India farmers’ interests ‘my top-most priority’: PM Modi

As the farmers’ protests against the three new farm laws by the Indian government enters Day 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his government’s commitment towards the farmers and said that protecting their interests was its topmost priority.
“The present agricultural laws had been the demand of farmers since a long time. Even those who are in the opposition today were supporting these bills earlier when they were in power, but could never take a decision on them and pacified the farmers with false assurances. I once again repeatedly convey to my farmer brothers that for each and every one of the farmers’ doubts, my government will stand with you. The interests of farmers has been the top-most priority of my government right from day one,” PM Modi said at a virtual ceremony of projects in the Kutch region from Dhordo city in Gujarat.
He added: “It is my government’s intent and honest effort to bring down the farmers’ agricultural production costs, provide better alternatives to them, increase their income and reduce their difficulties. I firmly believe that the thousands of farmers who have blessed the government all across the country, will reject all the misguidance provided to them.”
Modi said it was his government’s intention to give freedom to the farmers, the freedom experienced by the dairy sector which is associated with agriculture.
“Dairy and fisheries are two sectors growing rapidly in the country, which very few people know. The government’s interference in these sectors is minimal. The Anjar Dairy is the best example of it. When we started it in Kutch, there was very little hope expressed by everyone but I was firm to try it. Now look how the dairy sector has grown. Earlier, for processing milk it was sent to Gandhinagar, but now the milk is processed here and now the dairy capacity will be increased by two lakh litres. Through this new plant, value addition will also be possible for milk products,” he said.
Modi added: “25 per cent of the agricultural income came from the dairy industry and those who were benefiting the maximum out of the dairy sector were the small farmers. The private and the co-operative players in the dairy sector play a maximum role in the trade with minimal interference from the government. The same applies to the horticultural sector.”
“The overall milk production value in the country is more than that of foodgrains and pulses combined. The dairy sector is free from government hassles, so why should not this freedom be given to the farmers growing food grains and pulses? And it is this freedom that our government is making efforts for,” Modi explained.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court suggested that the central government put the implementation of the new farm laws on hold, adding that it will enable negotiations with farmers.