Inaugurating the 7th edition of agriculture festival 'Agro Vision' here last evening, Fadanvis said due to rapid changes in climate, embracing new methodology and technologies was the 'need of the hour'. Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport, Nitin Gadkari, who is also the chief promoter of exhibition, Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Hansraj Ahir were also present at the inaugural function.

The Chief Minister said due to unfavourable climatic conditions, last year there was a drought-like situation in 20,000 villages of the state, which has swelled to 24,000 this year and production has suffered drastically in the entire Marathwada and eastern part of Vidarbha. About 50 per cent population in state is directly dependent on agriculture and makes use of traditional methods of farming, he said.

We cannot depend on nature as the climate is playing hide and seek with farmers. In such situation, we have to adopt new technology and do experiments with new crop that can
improve the financial condition of farmers. The Chief Minister on the occasion requested Gadkari to suggest the Central Government to allocate fund of Rs 2,500-3,000 crore to every state for investing in agriculture infrastructure and emphasized that it was important to improve the condition of farmers in the country.

Gadkari, in his address, said irrigation facility for farmers in Maharashtra was 16.8 per cent, 18 per cent in Rajasthan, and 90 per cent in Punjab and Haryana. He said farm yield can increase many fold in Maharashtra if farmers are provided with electricity supply 24X7. Scindia said her government would soon send farmers in small groups to Israel to study use of new technologies in farming.

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