FROM A CORRESPONDENT
DHEMAJI, May 26: Asserting that North East will become the new engine of India’s growth, Prime Minister rendra Modi said that Government of India has adopted five paths to take India’s astalakshmi (the eight north eastern states) forward. “Government of India has taken up five paths involving highway, railway, waterway, airway and information way (optic fibre network) to help growth in North East and to transform it into a hub of new economy, new energy, new empowerment and new engine of India’s growth”, PM Modi said while laying the foundation stone of Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Gogamukh in Dhemaji district on Friday.
Addressing a huge public rally in Gogamukh, the Prime Minister also announced launching of a new scheme “Sampada” for promotion of agro and food processing industry in the country to mark the completion of three years of Government of India. Sampada, which stands for Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters, the Prime Minister stated that Government of India has initially earmarked an amount of Rs. 6000 crore for the scheme and will take the same forward in Public Private & Partnership mode in future. Congratulating the Assam Chief Minister and his team for bringing back Assam into the track of development, PM Modi commented that the central Government’s move to set up IARI at Gogamukh is a step for changing the future of the tion. “We are blessed with ture and our life is agriculture based. We have reached upto this level following traditiol farming methods. We need to change now and ensure that science and technological benefits reach farmers and rural life”, Modi opined.
Stating that Government of India believes in decentralization, Modi stated that the network of institutes like IARI are expanded so that Government’s vision of “Lab to Land” and “Seeds to Market” becomes reality. The prime Minister expressed the view that the IARI at Gogamukh gives emphasis on area specific research and will help in scientific intervention based on local demand. He further added that in the functioning of the IARI, Gogamukh, North East will get special focus and local people and their experience will get preference.
Stating that Government of India envisions various plans to boost rural economy by adopting different innovative measures, Modi said “We have a dream to change the life of the farmers. We want to modernize agriculture through holistic intervention to double farmer’s income by 2022 when India completes 175 years of her independence.”
Outlining the achievements made through distribution of Soil Health Cards, the Prime Minister urged the farmers to take the benefit of this scheme stating that like human health, it is very important for the farmers to know the health of their land also to yield betters crops. Modi also informed that Government of India has increased the network of Soil Testing Laboratory from 15 to 9000 within three years, further added that small scale labs would soon come up for research at micro level through innovations of youth of the country. He also urged the framers to carry out test of their soil every year to obtain health card and to follow the prescribed suggestions for better production.
Modi also informed that around 90 schemes are being implemented by the Government of India for better irrigation facilities at paddy fields. He also said that there is seven per cent increase in the number of beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantra Fasal Bima Yoja in the country during last three years and efforts are on to implement the same in the entire country.
Highlighting the potential of Assam and North East to grow as an organic hub, the Prime Minister said that if North-east marches ahead, it acts as a big boost to the progress of the entire country. Modi also urged the farmers of the region to learn lessons from Sikkim which has turned into an organic state and to move ahead for an evergreen revolution.
The PM also talked about initiatives taken up for reducing farmers expenditure and laid emphasis on animal husbandry, growth in milk production, pisciculture, poultry farming to increase farmer’s income.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal said that north bank of the Brahmaputra was lagging behind for last seven decades, but with institutions like IARI coming up, the entire region would see rapid pace of development.
“Lakhimpur and Dhemaji are the storehouse of Assam’s food grain and with the setting up of IARI, the agriculture of the region starting from Joi to Sri Rampur would be benefitted”, Sonowal said. The Chief Minister also hoped that the IARI would help in exploiting the rich agriculture potential of the region and it’s growth as an organic state.
Thanking the Prime Minister Modi for giving the farmers of the region an opportunity to double their income, Sonowal said that agriculture and rich tural resources of Assam would now get a better platform for growth.
The Chief Minister also highlighted the vision of Chief Minister’s Samagra Gramya Unyan Yoja under which Rs. 30,000 crore will be spent in 25,425 villages of the State, over a period of five years, with an objective of doubling the farmers’ income. Under this scheme, an amount of Rs. 1.20 crore will be spent in each revenue village.
Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh in his speech said that the IARI, Gogamukh would be a boon for the entire North-east as the institute would put focus on improving economy of the region through intervention of agri based technology.
The Union Minister also highlighted Prime Minister Modi’s commitment for growth of North-east and thanked Chief Minister for prompt allotment of land for setting up the institute. Governor Banwarilal Purohit, State Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Irrigation Minister Ranjit Dutta, Cultural Affairs Minister ba Kumar Doley, MPs Pradan Baruah, RP Sarma, MLA Dr. Ranoj Pegu were present among other in the programme.