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NEW DELHI : PM Modi has empowered farmers by giving them modern digital technology, said Union Minister of state for Food Processing Industries, Prahlad Singh Patel. 

Addressing a press conference, the minister said that through digital technology, the farmers are saved from many troubles and loot along with getting rid of problems of corruption and middlemen. 

Patel added that through digital techniques, the assistance given by the government to the farmers has now started reaching the farmers directly. “Due to this, new opportunities are provided to them to do business and they are able to take advantage of these opportunities." 

He said that keeping the interests of farmers in mind, the Modi government has created a new concept from seed to market. “For this the Digital Agriculture Mission has proved to be a miracle. This mission has played an important role in bringing changes in the conditions and standard of living of the farmers." 

The minister added that through e-NAM Mandi, more than 1.74 crore farmers are linked across the country and 2.36 lakh businesses are registered through e-NAM. “Through this business worth Rs. 2.22 lakh crores have taken place. 11.37 crore farmers of the country have benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana and through this scheme, Rs. 2.16 lakh crores are directly deposited in the accounts of these farmers." 

Patel said that after the digital revolution, farmers have also got a lot of benefits in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. “The crops of the farmers were monitored through satellite. In the year 2021-22, Rs. 16,000 crores were allocated for this scheme and from 2016 to 2022, 38 crore farmers were registered. Claims worth more than Rs. 1,28,522 were paid. Rs. 25,185 crores were given by the farmers as insurance premium." 

He added that more than 3,855 FPOs were registered under Farmers Producers Union, 22.71 crore Soil Health Cards were made and 11,531 testing laboratories were approved across the country. 

“During the time of the previous government, the allocation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana was 6,057 crores, while the Modi government has increased this by about 136 percent to 15,511 crores," the minister said. 

Patel added that sunder the Micro Irrigation Fund, projects worth 4710.96 crores are approved covering an area of 17.09 lakh hectares. “Apart from this, a micro irrigation fund has been created in NABARD with an initial amount of 5,000 crores and a corpus fund of 10,000 crores has been kept." 

He said that during the previous government, fertilizer subsidy was Rs. 41,853 crores. “It is increased to Rs. 62,151 crores (cumulative) on urea and Rs. 40,073 crores (cumulative) on non-urea. PM Modi started the concept of Kisan Rail, under which 2359 trains plied on 167 routes across the country and more than 7.88 lakh tons of agricultural produce were transported." 

The minister added that more than 12 agricultural products were transported from 33 cargo terminals under Kisan Udaan. “After the digital revolution, farmers do not have to visit banks and now farmers have got rid of the trouble of getting NOC from every bank. India is exporting food grains and India is making new records in exports in coarse grains, rice, sugar, milk etc." 

Patel said that Agri start-ups are creating a new history. “Earlier there were only 100 start-ups working in the agriculture sector but in the last 7-8 years this number has increased to more than 4,000. India has achieved the 10% ethanol blending target by 2021-22, much ahead of the deadline, resulting in timely payment of over 40,600 crore to farmers."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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