Address by Governor at the State function to felicitate farmers with Krushi Ratna Awards in Pune
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the State function to felicitate farmers with Krushi Ratna, Krushi Bhushan Jijamata Krushi Bhushan, Udyan Pandit, Sendriya Sheti Krushi Bhushan, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Mitra and Vasantrao Naik Sheti Nishtha Shetkari Awards 2015 & 2016 at Shiv Chhatrapati Krida Sankul, Mhalunge, Balewadi, Pune at 1040 hrs on Thursday,14 February 2019
Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Chandrakantdada Patil, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture and Horticulture, Shri Girish Bapat, Hon’ble Minster For Food And Civil Supplies And Consumer Protection, Shri Sadabhau Khot, Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture and Horticulture, Shri Vijay Shivtare, Minister of State For Water Resources, Water Conservation, Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Dilip Kamble, Minister of State For Social Justice And Special Assistance, Shri Eknath Dawale, Secretary, Agriculture and Water Conservation, Shri Suhas Diwase, Commissioner of Agriculture, all the recipients of various State Agricultural Awards for 2015 and 2016 and their families, senior government officials, officers and staff of various departments, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen….
सर्व शेतकरी बंधु आणि भगिनींना माझा सप्रेम नमस्कार.
आजच्या या आनंदाच्या दिवशी, आपणा सर्वांना भेटून खूप आनंद वाटला.
सर्व प्रथम मी सन दोन हजार पंधरा व दोन हजार सोळा या वर्षातील राज्यातील सर्व कृषी पुरस्कार विजेत्या, शेतकरी बंधु-भगिनींचे मनःपूर्वक अभिनंदन करतो.
केवळ तुमच्यामुळे आपला देश आज अन्न – धान्य उत्पादनात स्वयंपूर्ण झाला आहे.
केवळ आपल्यामुळे दूध उत्पादन, फलोत्पादन यांसह अनेक क्षेत्रांमद्धे भारत आत्म निर्भर झाला आहे.
अनेकदा विपरीत परिस्थितिमध्ये आपण हे यश मिळविले आहे.
यास्तव, हा देश व आपले महाराष्ट्र राज्य आपले नेहमी ऋणी राहील.
महाराष्ट्र शासनाच्या कृषि व फलोत्पादन विभागाने आजच्या या पुरस्कार वितरण कार्यक्रमाचे आयोजन केले, त्याबद्दल मी शासनाचे आणि विशेषतः कृषि व फलोत्पादन विभागाचे मन:पूर्वक अभिनंदन करतो.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I often say that the Culture of this nation is Agriculture.
Without Agriculture, the nation would not have been what it is today.
Until the year 1750, India was among the richest nations in the world.
India’s share in the global trade and economy was around 25 per cent, which was more than entire Europe at that time. This was possible because our farmers were prosperous and always combined agriculture with enterprise. So long as agriculture was backed by enterprise or industry, our farmers were prosperous and the nation was prosperous.
Unfortunately, the rule by the East India company and subsequent colonial rule by the British Crown destroyed our agriculture and village industry.
I think we can reclaim our past glory if we revive agriculture, upgrade the skills of farmers and combine enterprise with agriculture.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The growth of the nation is deeply connected to the welfare and well-being of the farmers and the productivity of farming. The issue of agriculture and empowerment of farmers is therefore a matter of faith and commitment for the government.
In the Interim Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister in Parliament recently, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana was announced. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi will provide assured income to small and marginal farmers. Over 12 crore farmers families are expected to be benefitted under the scheme. Nearly eighty per cent of farmers from Maharashtra, which means an estimated 1.20 crore farmers are eligible for benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.
The government is taking various initiatives to achieve the goal announced by the government to double the income of farmers by 2022.
The government is also offering farmers insurance protection, making them technology-friendly, boosting agriculture research and education, and building farm-related infrastructure to ensure the growth of agriculture sector and farmers’ welfare.
Sisters and brothers,
Healthy soil is critical for agricultural productivity. Indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers is affecting soil health. I am pleased to state that the Government of Maharashtra has distributed more than 77 lakh Soil Health Cards.
Given the dire situation of depleting water resources and diminishing rainfall, management of water resources, recycling of water and rainwater-harvesting will have to be given topmost priority. The Government of India has launched the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana with the objective of providing ‘Water To Every Field’. We will have to encourage micro irrigation to achieve the goal of ‘Per Drop More Crop’.
Brothers and Sisters,
Maharashtra has become a leading state in horticulture in the country. The State ranks first in terms of area, production and export of Alphonso Mangoes, Grapes, Banana, Pomegranate and Nagpur Oranges. Promoting food processing can help us in value addition to our farm produce, generate employment opportunities and reduce wastage of perishable food commodities, which is almost 25 percent.
Last year, in December 2017, I had a meeting with the Vice President of Afghanistan. He mentioned to me that there was no direct flight between Kabul and Mumbai. He said that if direct cargo flight services could be started between Kabul and Mumbai, farmers from both sides will benefit immensely.
I spoke to the Minister for Civil Aviation immediately and within 15 days the first Cargo flight arrived in Mumbai from Kabul. The Cargo flight brought fresh apples from Afghanistan. On its return journey, the Cargo plane carried tomatoes and grapes from Maharashtra to Afghanistan. A single direct flight created win-win situation for two countries.
I believe that Maharashtra must explore such possible avenues to enrich and empower our farmers.
As Chancellor of agricultural universities in the State, I am proud to state that some of our universities are doing excellent research and innovation. We need strong industry-academic linkages to translate innovative ideas and research taking place in the universities into marketable products and services.
With these words, I congratulate all Krushi Ratna, Krushi Bhushan, Jijamata Krushi Bhushan, Udyan Pandit, Sendriya Sheti Krushi Bhushan, Sheti Mitra, Sheti Nishta Shetkari & State level winners of crop competitions for year 2015 and 2016.
Let us make Maharashtra a model state known for sustainable agriculture, organic farming, horticulture, floriculture, agro-processing, agri export, water conservation and various extension services.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!