Chennai, Jan 15 (PTI): Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday called upon youth to pay renewed attention to agriculture and said the need of the hour was to accord greater prominence to natural farming.

In his message to the people on the occasion of Pongal and Makar Sankranti, Naidu said Pongal is a thanksgiving festival celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety by people across Tamil Nadu.

“I call upon the youth to pay renewed attention to agriculture, which is the backbone of the Indian economy. The need of the hour is to accord greater prominence to natural farming and reduce the use of chemical fertilisers”, he said.

Noting that the traditional family system was a pride of the country, he said, “there is a need to protect family values.”

“Our traditions and customs not only strengthen the social fabric but also create a bonding among different sections,” he said.

Everyone should strive to protect, promote and propagate their mother tongue, he said.

“Indians always believed in the philosophy of sharing, caring and worshipping nature. During this Sankranthi festival, let us all rededicate ourselves to the cause of building a healthy, strong, prosperous and inclusive India”, he said.

Naidu who arrived here Sunday celebrated pongal with family members.

The Vice-President extended his Pongal and Sankaranthi greetings in Tamil and Telugu language respectively, in his official twitter account, and also shared a photograph of his family members celebrating Bhogi on Monday.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.