Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for use of technology and water conservation to increase agricultural productivity as he listed out various pro-farmer initiatives of his government.
"The government is planning to make five lakh new ponds through MGNREGA. These will be our assets to conserve rain water which will help the farmers to irrigate their land in view of deficit monsoon," Modi said in the 18th edition of his monthly radio address 'Man Ki Baat'.
Asking people to find news ways to conserve water, the prime minister said the ponds should be kept clean so that "more and more water can be conserved".
He also requested farmers to download and use Kisan Suvidha App, which will provide all the information regarding agriculture and new technologies to improve the farm productivity.
"You will be amazed to know that we are presenting a Kisan Facility App for our farmers as part of Digital India campaign. If you download it in your mobile, information related to weather forecast, latest aggro-medicines and other developments in the fields will be on your finger tips. You will have better knowledge of crop prices and position of farm-markets," Modi said, insisting the mobile application will connect the farmers directly with the agricultural scientists.
"It is a myth that such a facility can only be used by urban people and youth," he said, asking farmers to file a complaint to him if they find any difficulty in the mobile application.
He also urged farmers to use lesser fertilisers as "their overdose is ruining the soil of its fertility and bringing hazards to the countrymen".
Referring to the World Health Day (April 7), Modi called for eradicating diabetes from the country and asked people to do Yoga and physical exercise to fight the disease.
"Please defeat diabetes this time. India was home to around 6.5 Crore diabetics in 2014. The disease brings many other problems with it and it was responsible for more than three percent deaths in our country," Modi said.
Mentioning the government's steps to deal with rising cases of tuberculosis, he said people should not delay going for check-ups if they find out any symptom of the disease.
"There are more than 13,000 microscopy centers and four lakh DOTS providers in the country who grant medicines free of cost," Modi said.
Admitting that India is lagging behind in tourism sector compared to the world, Modi asked countryman to give thrust to tourism. He insisted on the need to attract more tourists to India by making the country's tourists destinations more attractive.
He said tourism has great potential for generating employment for millions of the youth of the country. Calling for collective efforts in this direction, Modi said the governments, NGOs and society can play a pivotal role to further develop tourism sector.
The prime minister also lauded the efforts of Western Coalfields Limited Nagpur for developing eco-friendly mine tourism circuit.