Vowing to control inflation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said improving agriculture productivity through modern farm techniques and university- farmer collaboration hold the key to check price rise.
Replying to the motion of thanks to President's address in Lok Sabha, Modi said his government's top priority is to provide every citizen with a house that has running water, electricity and toilet.
No person should go to bed hungry, he said while stressing the government's resolve to bring food prices under check.
The retail inflation accelerated to a three-month high of 8.59 per cent in April, mainly due to increasing prices of vegetables, fruits and milk.
"We have promised to control inflation. We are determined achieve this target," he said.
"We will do this (control inflation) not only because it is our election promise but we want every poor to have access to food," he said, adding that "this is the collective responsibility of all of us".
In its election manifesto, BJP had promised that it would rein in prices if it came to power.
The manifesto had listed many steps to contain inflation, including a price stabilisation fund, setting up of special courts to deal with hoarding and black marketing, unbundling of the Food Corporation of India and establishment of national agriculture market.
Emphasising the importance of increasing farm productivity, Modi said there is a need for use of modern technique in the agriculture sector because farm land is shrinking with rising population.
"There is a need for modernisation of farming practices. Faster we bring in technology, better it would be for productivity because the number of people is increasing but the land is shrinking," Modi said.
"We have to increase the soil productivity. For this, we need to expand the research work in our universities. It has been so many years, there has been no research on pulses. Pulses (production) has become challenge before us," he added.
He also highlighted the need for use information technology in the field of agriculture productivity and proper use of railway for transportation of farm products to food deficit area.
The Prime Minister also said the country needs real-time data on agri products to deal with price rise.