In the wake of rising number of farmers suicide cases in Maharashtra, Union Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari today said innovation and intervention is necessary to overcome the challenges faced by the farming community.
“Considering the current challenging situation like lack of rains and expensive fertilisers and seeds, there is a need to bring innovation in production as well as intervention from the government through policy decisions and reforms,” Gadkari said at an event organised here to felicitate farmers who have adopted organic farming.
He said farmers should not give up hope and commit suicide but replicate the success stories of those who have been able to overcome the challenges and increase their production and thereby profits.
“Farmers should be able to converge knowledge and technology to increase production. They can make use of natural resources like cow-dung, cow urine, bio-waste as fertilisers. There is no point in carrying on with traditional farming. Instead, they should explore new ways to increase production with minimal cost,” he said, adding farmers should adopt organic farming.
Gadkari also said production of ethanol should be encouraged as it can be used to run vehicles instead of petrol and diesel.
“The Nagpur Municipal Corporation has started air-conditioned bus service running entirely on ethanol. They are also planning to have 100 buses running on bio-diesel and another 100 on bio-CNG. The country can save on the oil import bill by producing more ethanol,” the minister said.
He reiterated the government’s commitment of not increasing the price of urea from Rs. 268 a bag for the remaining period of its rule at the Centre.
Gadkari also said there is a need to explore producing urea from coal. “Currently, our urea imports are very high. To reduce this, there is a need to increase domestic production.
We have a lot of coal reserves. So, we can also produce gas from coal and convert it to urea,” he added.