There was a need to develop processing in every agriculture-related sector, PM Narendra Modi said

India needs a Post Harvest Revolution or Food Processing Revolution and Value Addition in the 21st century, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today as he highlighted the need for expanding the options for the country’s farmers to sell their produce.

He called for an improvement of the system of taking the produce from the fields to processing units and emphasized that hand holding of these units should be done by the Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).

Strongly emphasizing the need to develop processing in every agriculture-related sector such as foodgrains, vegetables, fruits, and fisheries, he said it was critical that farmers should have the storage facilities near their villages.

He was addressing a webinar on effective implementation of Budget provisions regarding Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare through video conference.

“We have to expand our country’s agriculture sector into the global market for processed food. We must increase the number of Agro-Industries Clusters near the village so that the people of the village can get employment related to farming in the village itself” said the Prime Minister.

He pointed out that under the AatmaNirbhar Bharat campaign, emphasis was being laid on creating clusters for fruits and vegetables processing in the districts across the country.

At the same time, there was a need for more private sector contribution towards R&D in the agriculture sector, he added.

Prime Minister Modi highlighted some of the provisions for Agriculture in this Union Budget like increasing the Agriculture Credit target to Rs 16,50,000 crores with priority to Animal husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries sector, increasing Rural Infrastructure Fund to Rs 40,000 crores, doubling the allocation for micro irrigation, expanding the scope of Operation Green Scheme to 22 perishable products and linking 1,000 more mandis with e-NAM.

Emphasizing that contract farming had been present in India in some form or the other for a very long time, the Prime Minister stressed the need to ensure that it did not remain just a business concept but should also fulfil our responsibility towards the land.

Calling for concerted efforts to find a comprehensive technological solution from irrigation to sowing, till harvesting and earning, Prime Minister Modi said there was a need to promote startups associated with the agriculture sector.

Talking about Kisan Credit Cards, he said coverage had been extended to farmers, cattle ranchers and fishermen.

Over 1.80 crore farmers had been provided cards in the last one year, he said, adding that the provision of credit had also been more than doubled compared to 6-7 years ago.