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NEW DELHI : Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday said that the spirit of our farmers is like that of the Indian soldier. 

Addressing the third Convocation ceremony of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, the minister said that the way soldiers protect the nation by standing bravely on the borders, farmers generate agricultural produce, making an exemplary contribution to food security in the same way. 

“If farmers don’t work in the fields, we will not have food grains to fill our stomach despite having money. Our Agriculture sector is very important for 140 crore Indians, farmers should be treated with respect," Tomar added. 

He said that in view of the importance of agriculture in the country, the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given priority to this sector. “Before 2014, the budget of Agriculture sector used to be about 25,000 crores, whereas today in the Modi Government the Agriculture budget is Rs. 1,25,000 crores." 

The minister added that for the development of agriculture, work is being done through technology. “Concrete work is being done to improve the financial condition of 86 percent small farmers of the country. The Central Government is constituting 10,000 new FPOs, on which 6,865 crore is being spent. As technology advances, educated youth will get more employment opportunities in the villages; with the increase in employment in the villages, the agriculture sector will emerge a bigger pillar of strength of the country."

Tomar said that the agriculture sector is full of challenges, facing which the government is moving ahead with positivity. “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has been implemented to compensate the loss of farmers, in which, as compared to the farmers premium of Rs. 25,000 crores, claims worth Rs. 1.30 lakh crore has been paid as claims. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi has been implemented for income support to Small Farmers, in which Rs. 6,000 is being given annually in 3 installments with complete transparency, disbursed directly into farmers’ bank accounts. Till now, more than Rs. 2.40 lakh crore has been given to crores of farmers." 

He added that due to the hard work of farmers, efficiency of scientists and visionary policies of Prime Minister Modi, India has today become a country that supplies to the world. “The whole world is amazed to see the determination, technology and positive thinking with which the government is moving forward under the efficient leadership of the Prime Minister." 

The minister said that more than 100 countries of the world look towards India with the expectation that India will help when needed, we have to accept this challenge and work. “It is our responsibility to meet the needs of the country, while keeping in mind the expectations of the world, we have to prepare for the needs of the year 2050 from now itself."

Tomar added that to attract the new generation to the traditional field of agriculture, there is a need to make timely changes. “Crop diversification and new techniques will have to be adopted. Today, entire world is left spellbound with India’s achievements in various fields including cashless transactions. We are also ahead in the production of agricultural products."

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