Sunday morning saw Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in an exuberant mood as he visited Mundala-Dostar-Ujjaini village, linking point of the Narmada and Kshipra rivers, some 30 km from Indore in Malwa.
“ Mark my word. In next few years, Malwa will emerge as the most fertile tract for agriculture in India and people will then realise significance of this project. We have saved the region from prospect of desertification. And this is just a beginning of what once was dismissed as an impossible mission,” he told dna in an informal conversation.
A day ahead of receiving Krishi Karman award for record agriculture production in Madhya Pradesh, Chouhan also expressed confidence that this year the state would surpass Punjab in wheat production. “We are expecting wheat production to cross 190 lakh ton this year against 161 lakh in 2012-13,” he said. Wheat production was just 67. 4 lakh ton when Chouhan had completed one year in the office in 2007-2008.
He will receive the award for a second time in a row from President at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.
According to chief minister, he had ensured that all prerequisites were in place for bumper crop- --be it irrigation, power supply, gunnysack stocking or fertiliser supply management.
The state had been at loggerheads with union food ministry two years ago on gunnysack and fertilizer supply.
Chouhan said the experience was useful in preparing him to deal with problems of farmers in advance. “This year too, we have already procured enough gunnysacks in advance for stocking wheat. Likewise, I have asked officials to encourage farmers to stock fertilizers and seeds in advance by taking loans from cooperative banks. The government will pay the interest for the loans,” he said.