Srinagar, Apr 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly "Mann Ki Baat" programme recently mentioned Dal Lake and a special vegetable -- Lotus Stem -- which is grown in the lake. In Kashmiri, the Lotus Stem is known as "Nadru".
He said that Lotus Stem is not only reaching different states of the country but is also exported to other countries, including the UAE. This correspondent recently met the Managing Director of a Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) and also had interaction with the farmers who cultivate Lotus Stem, who is also part of the FPO.
In response to the Prime Minister's mention, MD Muhammad Abbas of the FPO expressed great joy and said that "for the farmers who grow vegetables in Dal Lake, this is quite encouraging".
"It not only gave an inspiration to the farmers here but also created a new passion and enthusiasm," he said. He said with PM Modi mentioning the name, Lotus Stem was promoted at the national as well as international level, which will directly benefit the farmers here.
At the local, national and international levels as well, there are strong possibilities of improving the quality of life of the above-mentioned farmers by increasing the income of this special vegetable, he said. During the conversation, Mohammad Abbas attributed this success to the Director Agricultural and District Development Commissioner, who extended all support to him.
However, after Prime Minister Narendra's mention in "Mann Ki Baat", more farmers are getting connected and by 2024, at least 2,000 farmers are expected to connect with FPOs. In response to a question, he said that the district development commissioner had promised the farmers that they would provide better market facilities locally.