By Tabasum Aziz
Srinagar, Apr 1 (IANS): 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 are 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.
The farmers also thanked the Prime Minister.
One of the farmers said: "We now hope that the lotus stem associated with the culture of Kashmir will get publicity at the national and international level, which will double our income. We are focusing our attention towards maximum production of this vegetable."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Lotus Stem of Dal Lake in Kashmir is reaching abroad and it is increasing the income of farmers.
Addressing the nation on the monthly radio programme last Sunday, Prime Minister Modi said Dal Lake is also famous for its delicious Lotus Stem.
Lotus Stems are known by different names in different parts of the country.