Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said farmers are making an exemplary contribution to food security with their agricultural produce.
Speaking at the third convocation ceremony of Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University in Samastipur, Bihar, he said that if farmers don't work in the fields then we will not have food grains to fill our stomachs despite having money.
"Our agriculture sector is very important for 140 crore Indians, farmers should be treated with respect," he added.
Tomar said that in view of the importance of agriculture in the country, the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given priority to this sector.
Till before 2014, the budget of the agriculture sector used to be about Rs 25,000 crore, whereas today it is Rs 1,25,000 crore.
He stated that for the development of agriculture, work is being done through technology. Concrete work is being done to improve the financial condition of 86 per cent of small farmers in the country.
The central government is constituting 10,000 new FPOs, on which Rs 6,865 crore is being spent, the minister added.
He said, "As technology advances, educated youth will get more employment opportunities in the villages; with the increase in employment in the villages, the agriculture sector will emerge a bigger pillar of strength of the country."
Tomar said that the agriculture sector is full of challenges, facing which the government is moving ahead with positivity.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has been implemented to compensate for the loss of farmers, in which, as compared to the farmers' premium of Rs. 25,000 crore, claims worth Rs 1.30 lakh crore has been paid as claims.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi has been implemented for income support to small farmers, in which Rs 6,000 is being given annually in 3 installments with complete transparency, disbursed directly into farmers’ bank accounts. Till now, more than Rs 2.40 lakh crore has been given to crores of farmers.
He said that whenever it comes to economic analysis, some countries do not want to praise us, but still, they are bound to say that India will emerge as the fastest-growing economy in the coming times.