Participating in a webinar on provisions in the budget for agriculture and farmer welfare, Modi said the reforms in this sector should have been ushered in some decades back and the country should move ahead without delay in post-harvest value addition like food processing to improve the profits of farmers. The expansion in this sector should help the country make a mark in the global market.
The PM said his government aims at empowering the 12 crore small farmers in the country and the agriculture reforms are aimed at last-mile delivery in a time-bound and efficient manner while taking all segments along. Centre-state relations and public-private partnerships are crucial in this endeavour.
Though Modi did not mention the three farm laws in his address, he defended them throughout and said the country must move on to improve the condition of farmers. He maintained that the previous governments had focused only on agriculture productivity and not paid much attention to the demands of the 21st Century. Underlining that there is a need to move fast, he said dairying is one example where processing and cooperatives have helped in getting a good price for the farmer.
Modi emphasised on developing processing in all agriculture sectors like foodgrain, fruit, vegetables and fisheries, as well as establishing modern storage facilities near villages. He said farmer producer organisations (FPOs) can play a vital role in taking the produce from the farm to the factory.