Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A former minister, in his new avatar as the latest  President of this country recently had a chance to say some thing about Indian agriculture which is interesting to hear. It is a pity that after practically wasting 65 years since independence, now comes the realization that the country's agricultural situation is not good and the farmers in this country are not well off! Being a part of the so called planners for almost 5 decades, now turning around to blame the very same planners for not achieving prosperity through more farmer oriented programs with significantly visible impact is some what far fetched which may sound hollow. Still the fact uttered by him is 100% correct and the country must introspect as to why farmers are committing suicide in droves in spite of trillions of rupees pumped into the economy in the name of farm subsidies. Every government with a tenure of five years does not take seriously long term needs of the country, being busy managing day to day chores that will not precipitate any immediate crisis! Here is the statement of the President in a conference in Ludhiana which tells its own story.  

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday underscored the need for a rethink on the agriculture policy to ensure food security in the country and meet key challenges in the farm sector. Addressing an assembly of academia and experts at the international conference on 'Sustainable Agriculture for Food and Livelihood Security' organised by Punjab Agricultural University to mark its golden jubilee, the President sought to know why despite an overall improved growth scenario in the country, economic viability of agriculture sector continued to be a challenge. He asked policy planners to ponder as to why prosperity eluded a large part of the agriculture sector despite government programmes and schemes that were backed by efforts of the scientific and corporate community. "We must have in place a coherent and comprehensive policy that has synergy among its elements. Government initiatives are of little use without efficient system for their implementation. Equally important is the necessity for collaboration between the state and Central governments on monitoring and appraisal of various schemes. A coordinated and integrated approach should start at the grassroots," he said.

if politics were not injected into the rural sector, especially in a country considered grossly under developed viewed from literacy angle, it takes lot of dedication, hard work and commitment to develop rural agriculture. A prospective but dynamic policy frame work with clear cut long term goals and mode of action must be evolved that will keep in view country's food needs while farmer prosperity is not jeopardized. If the farmers are happy the country will be well off without any foreign prop. What prevents succeeding governments from formulating such a policy is still a mystery. Funds are available, land is plenty, farmers are hardworking, consumer demand is high, private entrepreneurship is commendable and modern technologies are continuously being developed but still the country is just limping along with mediocre performance in farm sector. If President's words are sincere he must energize his government in evolving a dynamic farmer driven agricultural policy that will bring further prosperity to this country.


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