Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday flagged off the 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal today via video conferencing and said that more than 80 per cent small and marginal farmers in the country have been empowered with Kisan Rail as the minimum quantity to be sent has not been fixed and a farmer can send even 50-100 kg parcel.
The Prime Minister said recent reforms in agriculture will lead to the expansion of agribusiness and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and cooperative groups will be the biggest beneficiaries.
He said private investment in agriculture will support the government’s effort to help these groups. The Prime Minister recalled that he had read somewhere that the smallest railway consignment that has been delivered by Kisan Rail is a three kg packet of pomegranates and a farmer had also sent 17 dozen eggs through Kisan Rail.
“The country’s 80 per cent or more small and marginal farmers have got a lot of strength due to Kisan Rail. This is because there is no minimum cap on loading the farm produce through these trains. If a small farmer also wants to send 50-100 kg of farm produce, he can do so through Kisan Rail,” PM Modi.
He said the first Farm Rail started in August and farmers in all parts of the country are being connected through it.
The PM said that the Kisan Rail that was flagged off will provide access to the markets of Maharashtra to the produce of farmers of West Bengal. “In the face of the corona challenge, the Kisan Rail network has reached the figure of 100 today. Today the 100th Kisan Rail began its journey from Maharashtra’s Sangola to West Bengal’s Shalimar. In one way, the reach of West Bengal’s farmers, fishermen and animal keepers will be extended to Maharashtra’s big markets like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. The people of Maharashtra have got a cheap way to connect with the markets of West Bengal,” he said.
“The railways which connected the entire country is also connecting the agricultural markets. The Kisan Rail service is a big step towards raising the income of farmers of the country. The farming system will see a change. The cold supply chain will also be boosted,” he added.