New Delhi– Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reiterated his government’s promise of doubling farm incomes by 2022 and listed out a series of steps being taken to improve the condition of farmers.

“It is my dream to double the income of farmers by 2022,” Modi said in his address to the nation from the Red Fort here on the 70th Independence Day.

Indian Prime Minister Mody
Indian Prime Minister Mody

“The conditions of farmers can improve only when we go for value addition. And for this we have laid emphasis on food processing and 100 per cent foreign direct investment has been encouraged,” he said, adding this will boost farm-based industries.

Prime Minister congratulated Indian scientists for developing more than 131 improved seeds which, he said, will enhance yields.

He said farmers can do miracles with their land but they need water, which is why his government has stressed on irrigation and water management.

“Each drop of water should be used for farmers,” Modi said, adding the government is laying emphasis on “per drop more crop” policy.

Prime Minister said that nearly 90 irrigation projects were lying half-finished and now his government would be completing them.

The government has also succeeded so far in distributing 77,000 solar energy-run water pumps which would drastically cut farmers’ energy expenses, Modi said.

In the process, he said, now the farmers have better control over their land, water, electricity, and production.

He said the government has tried to bring in soil health cards to help farmers.

“With the help of these soil health cards the farmers have started reaping the benefits. They tell us that the use of soil health cards has helped reduce their expenses by 25 per cent,” he said.

In this context, Prime Minister said there has been substantial increase in the production of pulses.

“We have fixed minimum support price for pulses and also announced bonus for the farmers. We have made arrangements so that pulses produced by farmers are also procured adequately,” he said.

Modi said a number of steps have been taken to increase production of fertilisers.

“There was a time when fertilisers were black-marketed. Farmers would incur losses for shortage of fertilisers,” Modi said, adding such days “have now become a thing of the past”.

He said Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana reflects government’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of farmers from land to production.

Similarly, he said, warehousing facilities too have been expanded.