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Call to Find ways and means to help Farmers increase their Income Levels and reduce Cost of Living

NIRDPR is organising the two-day event to build capacities and promote fresh talent by giving them a platform to display their innovations

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Farmers in India, VOA
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Hyderabad, March 23, 2017: Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary on Thursday called for finding ways and means to help farmers increase their income levels and reduce the cost of living.

He was speaking here at the inauguration of India’s first “Rural Innovators Startup Conclave 2017” (RISC).

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The National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is organising the two-day event to build capacities and promote fresh talent by giving them a platform to display their innovations.

The minister said that the NIRDPR could play a major role in capacity building and help farmers get educated in fundamental financial literacy and cost accountancy.

W.R. Reddy, Director General, NIRDPR, noted that this was the first of its kind platform to connect all institutes and agencies promoting innovation and start-up culture to look at the rural landscape.

“RISC will be an annual feature that can handhold and mentor the innovators and connect the startups with funding agencies. We believe rural development can be accelerated by infusion of technology tapping the creative minds of the youth across the country,” he said.

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The organisers pointed out that Indian start-ups were mostly IT-based and cater to urban services and that innovation and technology diffusion for rural development was the need of the hour.

“Other important stakeholders who act as support systems to rural innovators are still evolving. There is a need to develop and nurture mentors, angel investors, faculty, corporates, media so that they play a much more active role in contributing to the ecosystem.”

On the second day of the conclave, the start-ups will received the awards in six areas — agriculture and allied, green energy technologies, drinking water, health and sanitation, waste to wealth, sustainable housing and other livelihoods. (IANS)

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The Farmer’s Protest In Delhi Makes The Indian Police Take Severe Steps

The government has allowed police to “brutally beat up” the farmers, said the opposition Congress party.

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Farmer protests
Police use water cannons to disperse farmers during a protest demanding better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

Indian police on Tuesday fired tear gas and water cannons to halt and scatter a march by thousands of protesting farmers heading for the capital New Delhi to demand better prices for their produce.

Reeling from a crash in commodity prices, more than 50,000 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a top producer of wheat and cane, blocked part of the main highway to the capital.

They also sought loan waivers, cheaper power and tougher action to get sugar mills to pay dues owed for their cane, as discontent in rural areas turns to anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who faces tough general elections next year.

“Despite our repeated requests, the government has failed to help farmers in any meaningful ways,” a farm leader, Dharmendra Malik, told Reuters by telephone from the protest site.

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Police try to stop farmers during a protest demanding a better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

“Left with no choice, we’ve decided to march to Delhi to highlight our plight.”

Cash-strapped sugar companies owe cane growers about 135 billion rupees ($1.9 billion) in the current season. Saddled with huge piles of sugar and hit by a fall in prices, mills have said they are unable to pay farmers on time.

“The state government has initiated a number of steps to help farmers, including a clutch of measures to expedite cane payments to growers,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told video news agency ANI, a Reuters affiliate.

Mills are struggling to export sugar because of lower global prices, Adityanath said.

Television broadcast images of angry farmers clashing with police and driving their tractors into security barriers, in a protest that disrupted rush-hour traffic.

Farmers
Rural areas turns to anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. VOA

Some farmers were injured when police fired tear gas and water cannon to keep protesters from breaking through barricades to reach New Delhi, the site of events to mark the birth anniversary of India’s apostle of non violence, Mahatma Gandhi.

“It’s ironical that the farmers were brutally beaten on the day of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary,” opposition leader Rahul Gandhi said.

Farmers had started trickling into the city late on Monday, prompting authorities to bar gatherings of more than four people.

The government has allowed police to “brutally beat up” the farmers, said the opposition Congress party, which ruled India for most of its 70 years since independence from Britain, before losing power to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

Also Read: Asian Farms Tackle Drug Resistance with Apps and Dictionary

“Can India’s farmers not come and tell their own government that they are in deep pain?” asked Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Modi’s rural woes have been worsened by a failure to deliver on a promise of tens of millions of jobs for young people that helped him win the largest mandate in three decades in 2014. (VOA)