Modi dwelled on the rising graph of farmer suicides across the country.
"In the country, the rate of farmer suicides is high and the reason is debt, which is why we need to work towards integrating our farmers with the banking setup," he said.
"As many as 270,000 farmers suicides have taken place in last 20 years, " Modi said quoting central government figures.
He called for placing trust in farmers and simplifying processes for farm loans and credits.
"We should work on how to grow more in reduced amount of land," Modi said. Families are increasing while amount of land remained the same, which makes it important to increase productivity, he said.
Modi said the only way current account deficit (CAD) could be reduced was by integrating technology and e-governance in agriculture.
He stressed on giving the benefits of the IT revolution to farmers in order to help make them more global in their outlook.
In his address, Badal termed as unjustified the fixing of minimum support prices (MSP) for farm goods.
He also demanded autonomy for the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), a central government body that decides the prices of farm produce.
Badal said Punjab accounts for only 2.5 per cent of country's population, but produces over 50 per cent of India's food grains.
"Agriculture prices are beyond our control. It is decided by the Centre. Neither I nor Modi can do anything about it. No chief minister is consulted before deciding on the MSP," Badal said.
"Today, the farmers are in huge debt. Are the prices fixed by the Centre justified taking into consideration the rising input cost than expenditure that farmers has to incur in farming?," Badal asked chairman of CACP Ashok Gulati who was sharing dais with him.
"Agriculture pricing should be autonomous and not act under pressure of central government," he demanded.
--ANI (Posted on 09-09-2013)