Modi blasts farmers for 'excessive' use of fertilisers

Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Monday criticised unscientific agricultural practices being deployed by farmers in Punjab, saying that chasing immediate dividends could have serious long-term repercussions on cultivable land and crop produce.

Modi said the continuing overuse of fertilisers by farmers in fields is a big mistake.

Addressing a public gathering on the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev in Hussainiwala near Ferozpur in Punjab on Monday, Modi said Punjab farmers were using up to 57 per cent excess nitrogen in fields against the permissible 4 per cent. The use of phosphorous was 13 times in excess of permissible limit, Modi said. He added that the underground water level in Punjab has depleted considerable. “I urge farmers to adopt latest technology, micro irrigation, drip irrigation. I am from a poor family and I have seen things closely. Farmers flood fields with water during plantation which may not help,” Modi said.    

Maintaining that Punjab farmers have saved the country from hunger for long, Modi enumerated some measures, including the soil health cards, that would help farmers towards better agriculture practices. He said under a private public partnership (PPP) arrangement, farmers above 60 will get a pension of Rs 5,000 every month.    

Modi used the occasion to hit out at the previous UPA regime saying ‘corruption has destroyed the country and even the soul of martyr Bhagat Singh would be uneasy’ seeing their sins.

He also touched upon the controversial land bill saying that the farmers were being misled. Modi attempted to strike a chord with farmers saying that ‘if the nation has to move ahead, we have to think about the farmers as well as the children of farmers’.

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