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President Ram Nath Kovind today lauded the progress made by Bihar in the field of agriculture and said the state could become the harbinger of "next green revolution" with better water management and advanced facilities.
The state has won the Krishi Karman Award a number of times because of its fine performance in the field of agriculture, he observed.
"The per-hectare yield of paddy in the state has risen over the past decade by nearly 90 per cent - from 1.3 tonne to 2.5 tonne. This is tremendous, considering the fact that paddy is cultivated on nearly 35 lakh hectares in the state," Kovind said here while launching the state government's "third agricultural roadmap" for the period 2017-2022.
Better management of resources and effective implementation of development projects such as the Namami Gange can work wonders for Bihar, he claimed.
"I think that with improved water management Bihar may emerge as the harbinger of the next Green Revolution in the country", the president said, drawing applause from the audience, which included Governor Satyapal Mallik, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Union Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav and state Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar.
He also extolled the farmers here for their hard work and dedication.
"The farmers here are gutsy. Come what may, they keep working hard. They do not get bogged down by floods or droughts."
The president expressed satisfaction that the new roadmap laid emphasis on food processing, water management, organic farming and a modernised system for land records to ensure farmers get better prices for their produce and minimise land disputes.
"I can also see that this roadmap includes four schemes of water resources department. Water management is important. The states and the Centre should, through mutual consultations, strive to achieve that," he said.
He also recalled the emphasis Mahatma Gandhi used to lay upon improving the facilities for farmers and said that an important step was taken in the direction a century ago when the government set up an agriculture university at Pusa in Samastipur district.
Paying rich tributes to the legacy of Buddha, Mahavira, Veer Kunwar Singh and Dr Rajendra Prasad, Kovind said, "People from Bihar are excelling in their respective fields. They are the true brand ambassadors of the state.