New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday virtually inaugurated the new buildings of Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University Uttar Pradesh's Jhansi and interacted with university students, saying it is important to make "India a self-reliant nation in agricultural production".

During his interaction, the Prime Minister also asked the students about the ways to address certain challenges like reducing import of edible oils and increasing food processing, especially in fruits and vegetables and said "modern technology is helping deal with the challenges related to agriculture".   

He also said that the Centre is implementing several projects to ensure availability of water in Bundelkhand, asking students whether awareness among farmers can be created about micro, drip and sprinkler irrigation in the drought-prone region.

"Modern technology is helping deal with the challenges related to agriculture. One example of it was how the government used technology to minimise damage caused by locust attack in about 10 states recently," PM Modi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"It is important to take education related to agriculture and its practical application to schools. The effort is to introduce agriculture as a subject at middle school level in villages," PM Modi added.

PM Modi also stressed that it is important to save rain water, adding that there is also a need to increase forest cover. India has of late made great progress in this field, said PM Modi.

Stressing that farmers need to adopt organic farming as it will be beneficial for the country, PM Modi said that the government is working with Australia for the production of gram and banana. "The goal of self-sufficiency in agriculture is to make the farmer a producer as well as an entrepreneur," said PM Modi.

Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University started its first academic session in 2014-15 and is offering both under-graduate and post-graduate courses in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

It is currently operating from the Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi as the main buildings were getting ready.

Speaking on the occasion, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that setting up of a central agricultural university in Jhansi will benefit the drought-prone Bundelkhand region and help farmers become self reliant.

Adityanath also lauded the government's recent efforts that has brought changes in the region. The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana has helped address drought to a large extent in the region, while Jal Jeevan Mission has resolved the drinking water issue here, he added. 

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma