Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called upon farmers to launch 'sweet revolution' and 'blue revolution' by taking up honey bee farming and optimising use of waterways for transportation.
After inaugurating the Amreli Agriculture Produce Market Committee's new marketing yard in this Saurashtra town, Modi appealed to farmers to adopt modern practices such as drip irrigation and solar power to improve income, and pledged his government's support.
"After green and white revolutions, now it is time for 'blue revolution' and 'sweet revolution'," he said. "These two revolutions have the potential to transform the lives of people of Saurashtra," Modi said, addressing a conference of cooperatives here.
"This is the launch of Madhu Kranti," said Modi, who also laid the foundation stone for an ice-cream plant and a honey farm to be set up by the Amreli District Co-operative Milk Producers Union (Amar Dairy) here.
"Like white and green revolutions, sweet revolution will also grow fast. Farmers can earn additional Rs 2 lakh even with 50 beehives," Modi said, addressing the audience at a school ground.
The PM also urged various milk cooperative unions of the state to collect honey from farmers and sell it so the agriculturists get good returns.
"Madhu Kranti can happen naturally without any extra efforts. And if the produce is marketed well, the farmer can earn a lot. It is even good for health if given to children," he said, adding that he would ensure that bee-keeping flourishes on the lines of dairy cooperative network.
The prime minister said another revolution he is working on is "blue revolution" through development of water transport.
"Gujarat's 1,600-km long coastline will contribute in a big way towards this blue revolution," he said, adding that the Centre's initiatives to promote water ferry and port development will help send Morbi's famed tiles to the east coast of India through the water route, helping generate employment in coastal areas of Gujarat.
The Centre is also encouraging the youth in the coastal areas to join the Indian Navy, Modi said.
Earlier in the day, the prime minister dedicated the Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation. Referring to it, he said, "Today is a day of immense pride for us that the work of Narmada Yojana is completed. If we adopt drip irrigation, we can ensure a better future for our coming generations."
Using drip irrigation and solar panels, farmers can cut down on water and power bills and augment their income, he added.
Asking them to grow timber on farm boundaries, Modi said his government was working on a new law to ensure that farmers were not harassed by the forest department while cutting timber grown on farms.
"Currently we have to import timber, but if our farmers take up timber farming, it will benefit them in the long run," he said.
The prime minister also asked them to adopt modern methods to rear cattle, and said the initiatives of his government would help them in this regard.
The new Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) market yard, constructed at a cost of Rs 175 crore, has a training centre for farmers, auction platform, banks, restaurants, a guest house, over 500 shops and 50 godowns.
Modi also inaugurated a new dairy processing plant and a cattle feed factory here. His other engagements in Amreli town included inauguration of the College of Dairy Science affiliated to Kamdhenu University, constructed at a cost of Rs 55 crore.