Kevadia (Gujarat): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said his government has taken several steps in the first 100 days of its second tenure to double the income of farmers' families.
"Continuous efforts are on to double the income of every farming family of the country including Gujarat by 2022. After the formation of the new government, several steps have been taken in this direction in the last 100 days. Farmers are getting benefits of PM Kisan scheme benefits. Pension scheme for farmers and small traders was also started," he said while addressing a public meeting here.
The National Pension Scheme for the traders and the self-employed aims at providing a minimum assured pension of Rs 3000 to small traders and self-employed after attaining the age of 60 years. Around three crore small traders are expected to benefit from the scheme.
The Prime Minister, who was in Gujarat on his 69th birthday, said that the scope of tap water has also increased by nearly three times in the last two decades in the state. "In 2001, only 26 per cent people of Gujarat used to get tap water. Today, 78 per cent houses of Gujarat get water due to schemes by the Gujarat government. Now we have to achieve 'Har Ghar Jal' water for every house across the country. Villages and cities of Gujarat are being connected to the water network," he said.
Modi said that increased irrigation facilities in Gujarat have benefitted benefits farmers in the state. "Earlier, farmers used to grow traditional crops only. But after the irrigation facility was started, the production of cash crops started and the inclination towards horticulture also increased. The income of many farming families has increased due to this change," he said.
PM Modi, who served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat for 13 years from 2001, said that almost double the land has been brought under irrigation in the state in the last 17 years. "In 2000 summer, special trains were deployed to provide water in Rajkot Surendranagar and Jamnagar. When we remember those days then we see how much Gujarat has developed today. When you gave me the responsibility here, we had a double challenge," he said.
"For irrigation, for drinking, for electricity, the work of the dam was to be speeded up, on the other hand, the Narmada canal network and also the alternative irrigation system should be increased. But the people of Gujarat did not lose heart and today a wide network of irrigation schemes has emerged in Gujarat. In the last 17-18 years, almost double the land has been brought under irrigation," the Prime Minister said.
Modi said that the scope of micro-irrigation was only 14 thousand hectares in the year 2001 and only 8 thousand farmer families were getting its benefits. "We started awareness campaigns for water conservation and emphasised on micro-irrigation. Today 19 lakh hectares of land is under micro-irrigation and about 12 lakh farmer families are getting its benefits. This was possible because Gujarat farmers adopted new science technology," he said.
"The IIM Ahmedabad study revealed that micro-irrigation has resulted in water savings of up to 50 per cent in Gujarat, reduced fertilizer use by 25 per cent, reduced labour costs by 40 per cent and electricity savings. Crop production was also found to be increased by 30 per cent. The income of farmers' families was increased by Rs 15,500 per hectare," he added.