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PM Modi urges farmers to attend his address on ‘natural farming’

PM Modi urges farmers to attend his speech on 'natural farming', December-16

PM Modi urges farmers across India to attend his speech on ‘natural farming’, online address on December-16

On December-16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a conference on ‘natural farming,’ in which state governments are also expected to participate. The conference is significant against the backdrop of record chemical fertilizer consumption in 2020-21, as well as a significant increase in subsidy due to a surge in global prices.

The Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal has tweeted a request to join the program by watching it live on Doordarshan or visiting the nearest Kisan (Krishi) Vigyan Kendra.

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So far, 43.38 lakh farmers in 38.09 lakh hectares (lh) have adopted organic/natural farming. The Centre intends to raise 7.35 lh additional area through various schemes between 2022-23 and 2025-26.

On December 11, Modi inaugurated the Saryu Nahar National Project in Balrampur, Uttar Pradesh, and invited farmers to participate in the ‘mega-event’ on natural farming.

Attend and Benefit

‘Our Padma Shri awardee Subhashji from Maharashtra has developed the concept of zero-budget farming.’ This is a natural farming project that saves our mother earth and water while also producing a good crop with a higher yield. I urge all of my farming community friends across India to attend this program on December 16 via TV or Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK). ‘I am confident that you will learn many things that you can implement in your farms and that will be very beneficial to you all,’ Modi said.

According to industry data, the country had record fertilizer sales last year — 67 million tonnes (mt) — as well as an all-time high import of about 21-22 mt. During the 2020-21 crop year, the country’s foodgrain output increased to a record 308.65 mt, and horticulture production increased to 331.05 mt (July-June).

After global prices reached an all-time high due to rising demand for crop nutrients in many countries, including India, the Centre’s fertilizer subsidy in FY22 may reach up to ₹1.5 lakh crore, or 89% more than the Budget estimate.

In the revised estimates for FY21, the government provided ₹1.344 lakh crore as fertilizer subsidy, of which the actual subsidy (excluding arrears) was approximately ₹85,000-90,000 crore. For FY22, the finance minister has set aside ₹79,529.68 crore in BE (Budget Estimates). However, the Cabinet has already approved an additional subsidy of ₹43,430 in two tranches in addition to the BE.

Through Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development, the Centre has been promoting organic/natural farming in the North East Region (MOVCDNER). Farmers receive a total of ₹31,000/ha under PKVY and ₹32,500/ha under MOVCDNER for three years to cover input costs such as seeds, bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, organic manure, and compost/vermicompost.

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Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP), a PKVY sub-scheme that began last year, promotes local indigenous practises such as the use of cow dung-urine formulations and plant-based preparations. Farmers receive ₹12,200/ha for three years under the BPKP for cluster formation and capacity building.