Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government is facing protests against the Centre’s agri reforms, on Sunday highlighted the importance of modernisation in the agriculture sector as he addressed the 75th episode of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Stating that modernisation is the need of the hour in the Indian agriculture sector, he said it has been delayed and and “we have already lost a lot of time.” He said adopting modern practices in agriculture sector is imperative and farmers should adopt new alternatives.
“In order to create new employment opportunities in agriculture sector, to increase farmers income, it is equally important to adopt new alternatives, innovations along with traditional agricultural practices,” he said, adding that bee farming is also emerging as an alternative.
The prime minister’s statement comes at a time when farmers from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh have been staging a protest against the Centre’s three farm laws at the Delhi borders for over five months. The government believes the new laws will boost farmers’ income but the farmers fear this is a step towards privatising the farm sector.
During his radio broadcast, Modi also recalled that in March last year the nation first heard about the Janata curfew. The Janata curfew was imposed on March 22 last year on the prime minister’s appeal. “From very early on, the people of India have put up a spirited fight against COVID-19,” asserted Prime Minister Modi.
Noting that around time last year, the question was whether there would be a vaccine for COVID-19 and by when would it be rolled out, Modi said it was a matter of pride that the world’s largest vaccination drive is underway in India. He also stressed on “dawai bhi, kadai bhi” (medicines as well as preventive measures).
Modi also said that India’s Nari Shakti is excelling in the sports field and lauded the recent sporting feats of cricketer Mithali Raj and shuttler P V Sindhu.
On Mann Ki Baat completing 75 episodes, the prime minister said: “During Mann Ki Baat, we have discussed a wide range of subjects. We all have learnt so much. Diverse topics have been covered.”
Mann Ki Baat completes 75 episodes at a time when India is looking forward to marking our Amrut Mahotsav, he said underlining the importance of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence. “The sacrifices of our great freedom fighters must inspire us to think about our duties as a citizen. This is something Mahatma Gandhi talked about extensively.”
(With inputs from agencies)