In a farmer-friendly gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a DD Kisan channel stating that this move will usher in ‘big change’ to Indian agriculture.
Kicking off this new channel as part of the first anniversary celebration of the BJP government, Modi urged the farmers to increase per hectare productivity of paddy from the present two tonnes to three tonnes.
Modi admitted that the agriculture sector was the most ‘neglected’ activity in the country and time has come to make it more vibrant. He lamented that 50% of the farmers won’t know if there is an agricultural department in the government.
It was essential for the agriculture to grow steadily, if villages are to make progress which has a direct bearing on the development of the country.
The Prime Minister suggested ways and means to boost farm income even as he was cheered by the gathering in his 45-minute speech.
“Farming can be divided into three parts to keep it self-sufficient. Keep one-third for traditional farming, another one-third for animal husbandry and the last part for timber,” he advised.
The country has to import timber but land has been wasted due to fences erected by people along their fields, he noted. “Plant timber trees instead of a fence. Plant them when a girl child is born and cut them when she gets married,” he said, adding that the sale of this wood will meet expenses for the girl’s marriage.
Modi said if modern technology was adopted to the fields, then the youth of the country will again be connected to agriculture which will give a big push to the economy.
The only way to ensure food security among the rising population was to boost productivity, he said.
He asked DD Kisan to provide regular updates on weather obtained through satellites which will benefit farmers. Further, the new channel must provide information on the global markets so that farmers can make informed decisions on the crops they grow.
The channel can introduce competitions on best agricultural practices by inviting farmers and facilitate video-conferencing about innovations that can be shared across the country.
Noting that India imports pulses and oilseeds, he said the country should attain self-sufficiency in their production.
Prasar Bharati chairman A. Surya Praskah said the channel was the brainchild of the Prime Minister. Though aired in Hindi, some of the best programmes would be dubbed in regional languages, he said.