Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid the foundation stone of the third Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) here in Assam.Addressing a huge public rally in Gogamukh in Assam's Dhemaji district, on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, Modi said his government has decided on 'Panch path' (Five Ways) for the overall development of northeastern states.He said the 'Panch path' -- highways, railways, waterways, airways and I-ways or the optical fibre network -- would make the northeast a new India.Modi said the IARI would not only help the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh but can change the entire country's rural economy.The IARI, located in the national capital, is India's premier national institute for agricultural research, education and extension. The work on setting up the second IARI in Ranchi, Jharkhand, has already started, according to the government.Modi appealed to the local people, and particularly the youths of the area, to take advantage of the IARI and said it is better to transfer the technology from lab to the farm when locals engage in research activities.
He said his government's objective is to ensure that farmers' income doubles by 2022, when the country celebrates 75 years of its Independence, and the government has been working in that direction. The Prime Minister also launched a SAMPADA scheme for value addition of agricultural products and said the government has earmarked Rs 6,000 crore for the scheme's working in various parts of the country."Our government has completed three years in office. Three years is not enough to change something in a big country like India. However, our government had taken steps which are already visible," he said.Pointing out the huge possibility of organic farming in the northeast, the Prime Minister said there is a global market for organic produce. "Sikkim has already set the example for organic farming by declaring itself as an organic state. If northeast goes global, India can become a major organic producer in the world," he added.Modi said India is an agrarian economy but nothing much has been done for the development of agriculture sector. "Small steps had been taken but time will not wait much. Science and technology changed to a great deal in the past 25 years and time has come when our farmers must get benefits of these strides made by science and technology," he said.