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Rs 20K crore under Kisan Samman Nidhi released, PM stresses on natural farming

 
New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday released the 10th instalment of over Rs 20,900 crore of financial benefit to over 10 crore farmers under the 'PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana'.

Under the scheme, Rs 6,000 per annum is provided to each eligible farmer family in three instalments.

In a virtual programme wherein tens of hundreds of farmers joined in from across India, the Prime Minister also released over Rs 14 crore equity grants to 351 Farmers' Producer Companies (FPOs).

The formation and promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) Scheme in February 2020 is aimed at empowering farmers and provided for a budget of Rs 6,866 crore for the same till 2027-28.

The Prime Minister said the FPOs help the small farmers in five ways: Better bargaining power, increase to large scale trade, innovation, better risk management and making changes and bringing around changes according to the market demand.

"Our farmers are benefiting from the FPOs in organic, bamboo, honey etc production. But we still import a lot of things that are in demand in the country. For example edible oil which needs a lot of foreign exchange. With an aim to help the local farmers, we have embarked on the National Palm Oil Mission, which will not just make us 'atmanirbhar' but also help our farmers earn more," he said.

Modi also listed the achievements of his government in the year 2021 and said, the world saw how major achievements are possible when all Indians come together. Among the achievements listed were 1.45 crore vaccination doses, Olympic performances by Indian sportspersons, formation of startups and India's role as a global leader when it comes to climate change.

Modi urged all the farmers to turn to natural farming. He also reiterated the 'vocal for local' slogan that will benefit Indians and give a global identity to Indian products and services. "In this new year, and in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, it is the innovation that will help us tide over the difficult times," the Prime Minister said and appealed to people to keep their surroundings clean.

Modi also used Sanskrit slokas and mantras in his speech and also explained their meaning in Hindi. Before his speech, the Prime Minister interacted with representatives of FPOs from Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The highlight of this was the interaction with Veer Pandi Kalanjiyam Jeevit FPO from Tamil Nadu which is run entirely by women.

Two short films - one on FPOs and another on Natural Farming - were also shown during the programme.

Earlier, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar termed Modi as modern day Bhagirath, who brought water to parched Gujarat. Tomar also mentioned how being a chief minister for 13 years helped Modi appreciate the difficulties that state has while dealing with the Centre and how that helped him plan schemes better when he became the Prime Minister.

--IANS
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