New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appreciated the farmers of Uttarakhand's Bageshwar district for starting the production of biscuits from their agricultural produce and selling them in the market.
"In Bageshwar district, main crops sown are mandwa, chaulai, corn or barley. This being a hilly area, the farmers did not get a fair price of their produce.
"But, the farmers in Kapkot village decided to come out of this situation and adopted a value addition process and changed the loss incurring equation into a profit-earning one," the Prime Minister said in his monthly radio programme "Mann Ki Baat". He said that after these farmers started selling Chaulai (Amaranth) in the form of biscuits directly in the market, their income doubled with the price of grain went to Rs 50 per kg from Rs 25 per kg. "With the hard work of these farmers, the annual turnover of the society has gone up from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh and with more than 900 families getting employment here, people have stopped migrating to other places," he stressed.
Modi has promised to the farmers that the government's initiatives in agriculture will double farm income by 2022.
He has been urging farmers and bureaucrats to think "out of the box" to help them increase their income.
"Some farmers from hilly areas of Uttarakhand have become a source of inspiration for the farmers across the country. With their collective efforts, they have not only changed their own fortunes but have changed fortunes of the whole region," he said.
He added that it is believed that the land in this area was iron-rich.
"Impressed by the bold initiative of these farmers, the administration has also linked this to the National Livelihood Mission," he said, adding that these biscuits were now being supplied to Almora and Kausani besides being sold to about 50 Aanganwadi centres in the district.