Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the country has controlled the spread of locust swarms using modern technologies like drones.
His remarks came after he inaugurated the College and Administration Buildings of Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi through video conference.
“After 30 years, the Bundelkhand region witnessed locusts attack. More than 10 states were affected due to locusts attack. It was very difficult to control locust attacks with traditional methods. India got rid of locust swarms and controlled it in a scientific way. Had there not been coronavirus, this would have been discussed in media in a very positive manner,” PM Modi said.
“The government purchased modern machines and gave it to districts. Drones and helicopters also used to sprinkle medicines. With all these efforts, India can save farmers from suffering big losses,” he said.
The Prime Minister said it is important to take education related to agriculture and its practical application and explained the benefits of this move.
“It is important to take agricultural education and its practical applications to the school level. Efforts are on to introduce the agricultural subject at middle school level in villages. It has two benefits. One, it will help children in villages to expand their scientific knowledge about farming. Another benefit is, they will be able to impart knowledge about farming and its techniques and trade to their families,” he said.
“It will also encourage the agro enterprise. Under the New Education Policy, necessary reforms have been done in this regard,” he said.
When we talk about self-reliance in agriculture then it is not limited to self-sufficiency in food grains but encompasses self-reliance of the entire economy of the village, Modi said.
He said the aim of self-reliance in agriculture is also making farmers entrepreneurs.
“When farmers and farming move forward like industry, then employment and self-employment opportunities near village will increase,” Modi added.
The Prime Minister highlighted that two central agricultural universities were created in the last six years.
“Six years ago, where there was only one central agricultural university in the country, today three central agricultural universities are functioning in the country. Apart from this, three more national institutes are being established at Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Integrated Farming at IARI-Jharkhand, IARI-Assam and Motihari,” he said.
The Prime Minister said more than Rs 700 crores have been spent so far in Uttar Pradesh under the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan, under which employment is being provided to millions of workers.
“I have been told that under this campaign, in Bundelkhand, hundreds of ponds have also been repaired and new ponds were constructed,” he said.
Modi underlined that around 500 water-related projects worth Rs 10,000 crores have been approved.
“In all districts of Bundelkhand, work is underway to develop new sources of water and laying water pipeline. Around 500 water-related projects worth Rs 10,000 crores have been approved. The work on Rs 3,000 crores projects has started,” he said.
‘When these are ready, it will directly benefit millions of families of Bundelkhand. Not only this, in Bundelkhand, work is also going on for the Atal Ground Water Scheme to raise the level of ground-water,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that projects like Bundelkhand Express Way or the Defence Corridor worth thousands of crores of rupees will work to create thousands of employment opportunities.
“The day is not far when this land of heroes, this area of Jhansi and its surroundings will become a big centre to make the country self-reliant in defence sector,” he said.
“In a way, the mantra of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan and Jai Vigyan’ will be echoed in all four directions in Bundelkhand. The central government and the government of Uttar Pradesh are committed to enriching the ancient identity of Bundelkhand, the pride of this earth,” he added.