Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday that there is a need to bring about a revolution in food processing industry in the country through a public-private partnership (PPP mode). Addressing the Webinar on Budget Provisions for the Agricultural Sector, he highlighted the different initiatives taken by the Government in the Budget for the next fiscal year, including increasing the agricultural credit to ₹16.5 lakh crore from ₹15 lakh crore in the current financial year budget.
He reiterated the effective implementation of the provisions of the budget. Modi said the government took a number of decisions to benefit 12 crore small and marginal scale farmers. These small and marginal rural farming community would become the motivating factor for the rural economy, he mentioned.
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‘With food grain production in the country increasing, Modi said that ‘There is a need for the post-harvest revolution or the food processing revolution and added value.’ He said that it would be better if food processing had been adequately addressed two or three decades ago.
Modi said that the food processing industry needs to develop at a faster pace. In the context of the food processing revolution, he said, the participation of farmers and PPP mode must be increased.
The Prime Minister said that the public sector has mainly contributed to Research and Development (R&D) in the farming sector, and now is the time to extend the participation of the private sector.
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He also emphasised that alternatives should be provided to farmers so that they do not remain restricted to growing cereals such as wheat and paddy. The country’s farming industry needs to be extended to the global food processing market, he mentioned.
Modi again stressed the need to increase the number of agro-industry clusters along the villages so that the rural population can have agricultural-related job opportunities.
He also spoke about the need to encourage and support agro-based startups, saying that they have performed well throughout the pandemic period.
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The Prime Minister also reiterated the establishment of a network for soil testing at the village level and also the accessibility of technology for farmers.