NEW DELHI, April 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched for value addition and use of scientific methods in agriculture to double income of farmers and making the country self sufficient.
Speaking at the launch of National Agriculture Market portal (eNAM) to integrate 21 mandis in eight states for online trading of commodities, Modi said agriculture sector needs to be seen in a holistic manner to provide maximum benefit to the farmers.
The Prime Minister said e-agri market is a "turning point" in the farm sector which will benefit not only farmers but also traders and consumers.
Modi asked states, where APMC law is not there, to come up with new mandi law to facilitate online trading. In those states where APMC law is in place, the Prime Minister urged them to make necessary amendments to ensure that the benefit of e-agri market reaches to farmers.
"Agriculture sector should not be seen in isolation.
There should be an holistic approach towards agriculture sector and that's when the maximum benefit for the farmer can be ensured," Modi added.
To boost farmers' income, he stressed on the judicious usage of water, fertiliser and electricity and asked farmers to take advatage of soil health card scheme.
Modi said the government's initiative in the budget to allow 100 per cent FDI in food processing sector will help reduce wastage of fruits and vegetables, and promote manufacturing of value-added agri-products.
Highlighting benefits of e-agri market, the Prime Minister said this will improve the economic situation of farmers by enabling them to decide sale of their produce.
"This is a transparent system of agriculture trading, which will benefit farmers, traders and consumers. Farmers can decide when, where and at what price they can sell in the wholesale mandis online. Farmers will be not dependent on others. They will be able to decide on their own," he said.
Through this pilot launch of eNam, Modi said farmers can sell as many as 25 agriculture commodities in 21 mandis in eight states -- Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh.
The government aims to integrate proposed 585 wholesale mandis much before March 2018.