New Delhi: Indian farmers are taking to new and scientific methods of cultivation by adopting organic and solar powered farming, while the government has formulated an agriculture export policy to prepare farmers for the international market, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Independence Day speech on Wednesday.

“Despite apprehensions of many, we have set a goal to double farmer incomes by 2022," Modi said, adding, “We will achieve this target with our focus to help farmers with better seeds and markets, and value addition of farm produce."

Indian farmers are purchasing a record number of tractors, and adopting improved methods like drip and sprinklers for irrigating their fields, Modi said.

Commenting on what he called the policy paralysis in previous governments, Modi said that for years economists and farmer organizations had discussed how to ensure remunerative prices for crops but it was his government which took the decision to set crop support prices at 50% over the cost of production.

PM Modi also congratulated farmers and scientists for achieving new highs in food production, and highlighted that in recent years production of honey has doubled while India is now ranked second globally in fish production. “Sugarcane farmers will be happy know that ethanol production has trebled (helping better utilization of surplus produce)," Modi said.

Speaking on the heavily subsidized public distribution system, the Prime Minister said that his government has successfully removed crores of fake beneficiaries to ensure that subsidies reach only the poor and deserving.

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