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PM Modi makes small farmers centre to his Independence Day speech, pitches on increasing their collective power

New Delhi, August 15:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his Independence Day speech here on Sunday exuded his Government’s resolve to improve the welfare of the farm community as he sought to reach out to them amid the ongoing farmers’ agitation, alluding to farm-centric schemes initiated to double income and support through direct cash transfer.

Modi, in particular, focused on small and marginal farmers saying “In the coming years, we will have to increase the collective power of the small farmers of the country. They have to be given new facilities”.

He said 80 per cent of small farmers possess less than 2 hectares of farmland but have remained deprived in earlier schemes.

“Earlier the policies did not focus on small farmers. Now keeping farmers in mind, farm policies and reforms are being made,” he said, voicing his concern over the shrinking farm size.

During his 90 minutes long speech, Modi devoted an appreciable amount of time to the agriculture sector and welfare of the farm community, underlining the fact that agriculture and farmers wellbeing remained as the core agenda of his governance.

However, he remained silent on the ongoing farm agitation on the outskirts of Delhi, apparently sending a message that the contentious farm laws would remain as laws of land despite opposition.

Drawing attention to the farm programmes, he said that schemes such as Fasal Bima Yojana, Kisan Credit Card and PM-KISAN will help in doubling farmers income.

Modi said Kisan railway trains are being operated to ensure farmers can transport at less cost to different parts of the country. Farm produce like black rice, turmeric, chilli, litchi are being transported to different regions of the country, and even the farm produce is being exported.

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