Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called upon the states to make natural farming a peoples’ movement and appreciated Himachal Pradesh’s efforts in this regard.
Addressing the national conclave on natural farming on the last day of Pre-Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2021 virtually, he said the farmers of Himachal are expeditiously getting attracted towards natural farming, which is the need of the hour.
The states across the country should at least convert one village in each Panchayat to the non-chemical natural farming technique, which is low-cost and climate-resilient, he added
As many as 71,405 farmers from 3,488 Panchayats out of 3,615 Panchayats across the state listened to the Prime Minister’s address virtually. They were facilitated by the State Project Implementing Unit (SPIU) of Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojana (PK3Y).
The women farmers of Himachal Pradesh, who are playing an important role in natural farming in the hill state, evinced keen interest as they outnumbered men in the audience of farmers for PM’s address. The number of women farmers, who listened to the PM’s address, was 39,792 and the number of men farmers was 31,613.
HP Governor, Rajendra Vishvanath Arkelar, and Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur also listened to the PM’s address on natural farming at Raj Bhawan and Oakiver (CM’s official residence) along with some farmers.
The Prime Minister had announced plans to implement the natural farming technique in the country in his address to the nation on 19 November 2021.
At the national conclave on natural farming, he stressed that it is high time we took agriculture from the chemistry lab to the natural lab, which is also based on science. “Whatever power is there in the fertilizer, it is there in nature also,” he said.
He stated that natural farming neither needs fertiliser, nor pesticides. It requires less water and fits into the concept of ‘back to basics’. 80 percent of the farmers, who are small and marginal, will benefit from the natural farming technique, he added.
Union Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation, Amit Shah, and Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar also spoke on the need for switching to the natural farming technique.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat said he had started a campaign for natural farming in Himachal Pradesh during his tenure as a Governor. He appreciated the efforts of State Project Director, Rakesh Kanwar and Executive Director, Professor Rajeshwar Singh Chandel for promoting natural farming under PK3Y in a mission mode in Himachal Pradesh.
PK3Y Executive Director Prof Rajeshwar Chandel had given a presentation on the best practices of natural farming in Himachal Pradesh on the first day of the Pre-Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2021 on 14 December.
“It is a matter of pride for us that the efforts by the small hill state for promoting natural farming have got appreciation at the national level. It is a big boost to the Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Yojana (PK3Y) in Himachal Pradesh,” said State Project Director, Rakesh Kanwar.
It is because of the leadership and encouragement by Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur and Agriculture Minister, Virender Kanwar, and the able guidance of secretary Agriculture that the PK3Y scheme has been able to do good on the ground Himachal.
1.5 lakh farmers have adopted the natural farming techniques fully and partially on over one lakh bigha of land in Himachal Pradesh so far. The state government is committed to making HP a natural farming state with sustained efforts, he added.