Address by Governor at the presentation of laptops to the recipients of the “Doordarshan Sahyadri Krishi Sanman Puraskars”
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation of laptops to the recipients of the “Doordarshan Sahyadri Krishi Sanman Puraskars” at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 1100 hrs on Monday, 5th November 2018
Shri Eknath Davle, Secretary, Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Sachindra Pratap Singh, Commissioner, Agriculture, Shri M.S. Thomas, Additional Director General, Door Darshan, Mumbai, Smt Rohini Hattangadi, all distinguished recipients of the Doordarshan Sahyadri Krishi Sanman, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning and a warm welcome to each one of you to Raj Bhavan.
I extend my heartiest greetings to all of you on the auspicious occasion of Vasu Baras, Dhan Teras and Diwali.
I am happy that I am meeting all the recipients of the Doordarshan Sahyadri Krishi Sanman Puraskar awardees, once again after nearly 4 months.
I am aware that we are rather late in meeting you and presenting the laptops. Nevertheless, I am more happy that you are visiting Raj Bhavan today as the Governor’s Guests.
Ladies and gentlemen,
India has had a great culture and civilization. For the greater part of our history, our culture has been ‘agriculture’. Agriculture coupled with enterprise made India one of the most prosperous nations in the world. This prosperity of India attracted the Mughals. This prosperity of India attracted the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English, the French and various other foreign powers to India.
Long spell of foreign domination caused immense damage to India’s industry, agriculture and various other sectors. Neverthe less we started our new journey towards Swavalambana and Swa Paripalana after Independence by laying thrust on agriculture.
It is a matter of great pride that India has become a leading producer of several food commodities – cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs and fish. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, India’s production of foodgrains touched a record 279.5 million tonnes in 2017-18.
Even though, our farmers have made the nation self sufficient in foodgrains, our farmers are facing many tough challenges.
The size of agriculture land is shrinking constantly. Between 1970-71 and 2015-16, the average plot size has shrunk by more than a half : from 2.28 hectares to 1.08 hectares. The same piece of land gets divided among more and more family members over generations. As a result, the average holding of land has been falling dramatically.
Of the total 145.6 million farms, close to 100 million farms are marginal, with less than one hectares in size. An estimated 500 million people are dependent on marginal farms. We therefore need innovative solutions to make farming viable for our marginal farmers.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister has called for doubling the income of farmers by 2022.
Water scarcity is acquiring alarming proportions. This year, the Government of Maharashtra has declared 182 talukas out of 355 talukas drought-prone and will be extending subsidies in agriculture, revenue, power and education sectors to the villagers to cope with crisis arising due to poor rainfall.
While the government is doing all that is required to tackle the drought situation, it is the people who will have to devise innovative ways to manage available water resources and make farming profitable.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As Governor, I often meet Presidents and Prime Ministers, Ministers and Ambassadors of various countries. Many of these countries are keen to develop ties with India in agriculture and horticulture sectors.
Recently, direct cargo flight services were started between Mumbai and Kabul. The first flight from Kabul brought tonnes of apples in December last year. On its return journey, the flight carried bananas and tomatoes from Maharashtra. This helped our farmers immensely. With the opening of one direct flight, the market of one whole country opened for us.
The other day, Russia’s Consul General told me that direct air services are likely to start between Mumbai and Moscow and Mumbai and St Petersburg in Russia in the near future. We must take best advantage of these opening of new routes for the benefit of our agricultural sector.
In the years to come, innovation will be our mantra. Those who innovate will be winners.
All of today’s awardees are innovators in various areas connected to agriculture. I was extremely pleased to know about the innovative work being done in diverse areas such as Water Management, Agro Processing, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Fisheries, Flower, Fruits and Vegetable Cultivation, Social Forestry and Agro Forestry, Agriculture Extension and so on. I wish and hope that the farmers from Maharashtra will take inspiration from all of you and take agriculture in Maharashtra to the next higher level.
I have great pleasure in presenting to you the laptops and I do hope that the laptops will bring to you the power of technology. In a way, the laptops will bring the power of knowledge to you.
During olden days, the snake was considered as the best friend of farmers while the mouse was regarded as the enemy. The laptop has an optional mouse. This mouse will bring prosperity to you !!
I wish you good luck, peace and prosperity and wish you a very happy Diwali.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!