Come April and Indian farmers will have pan-India access to all agriculture mandis for selling their farm yield. The platform, to be known as National Agricultural Market, will allow farmers to know best rates for their yield through the internet. He also asked governments and farmers to join hands to take a pledge to double income for farmers by 2022, when India will mark 75th anniversary of its Independence.
“The platform will be launched from April 14, to mark the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar this year. The e-platform will provide Indian farmers access to minimum five hundred mandis of the country,” Prime minister Narendra Modi said in Sherpur village, Sehore district, Madhya Pradesh. He was in the village to launch guidelines of a newly launched crop insurance scheme at a rally called Kisan Mahasammelan.
“A famer can have access to all mandis through his mobile phone, so he can know where he can fetch best rates for his commodity. He can trade the commodity anywhere in India through this facility. This way, he need not go to a nearby mandi or do distress-selling. This is what the real meaning of Digital India is, which we want to implement for our farm community,” Modi said.
Elaborating upon his mission Digital India for farmers, he pitched for start-up initiatives in agriculture, by calling young entrepreneurs to join the Stand Up India scheme and begin with start-ups for farmers. “Why cannot there be start-ups for the farm community?” the prime minister asked. “Our young people should come forward and launch their start-ups for farm and allied sectors like dairy, fisheries, horticulture, poultry, etc.” On guidelines of the newly launched crop insurance scheme, Modi said, “Unlike previous schemes, we have decided to cover each farm as a survey unit.
Farmers will have to pay only two per cent of the total premium of the kharif crop and 1.5 per cent of the total premium during rabi crop, unlike 12 per cent mandatory as minimum in previous schemes.” He called on farmers and said more and more farmers should join the scheme, though it would put strain on the national kitty.
“We have covered entire anticipated farm income under the scheme. Even in case a farmer fails to till his fields due to drought-like conditions, he will be compensated to a certain extent,” Modi assured a mega congregation of farmers waiting for his arrival for past two days at the venue located on the Bhopal-Indore highway.
Also, the prime minister spoke about Soil Health Card Scheme, organic farming, irrigation scheme, ensuring adequate availability of urea, and ethanol-blending programme to help the sugar cane farmers.
On promoting organic farming he pointed out, “Sikkim has become first lead state in organic farming in the country. Entire north-east is ready to become organic capital of the world. We want to integrate technology with farm sector by tapping age-old traditions and knowledge of our farmers by adopting new technologies,” the Prime Minister said.
At the rally which was attended by Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Radha Mohan Singh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan besides others Modi said all states and agriculture community should take a pledge to double the farmers’ income by 2022, the 75th year of the country’s Independence. “We will do whatever is required achieve this.”