Don’t compromise on high quality

Vijay C Roy

PM Narendra Modi’s name for making India atmanirbhar (self-reliant) has led to a debate on the potential of the agriculture sector to turn into self-sufficient. Experts say we’re self-reliant in cereals, wheat and paddy, however are closely depending on imports for oilseeds and pulses, to call a couple of.

According to them, India has the capability to switch imports and produce globally aggressive merchandise. They stress upon the necessity for a centered strategy with the correct mix of coverage formulation and implementation to turn into self-reliant. The query arises: what sort of help is required to make India atmanirbhar in agriculture?

“When the Central government frames a policy, it must involve stakeholders in the whole process. Only then can we become atmanirbhar in agriculture,” says Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission.

Agriculture is a state topic, however the cash comes from the Centre. “The Centre comes up with the agriculture policy without consulting the state government, the implementing agency. The Centre must ensure that the beneficiaries or stakeholders participate actively in framing the policy,” he provides.

There can also be a dire want for unbiased analysis of presidency programmes. “This can help in identifying the lapses in implementation so that these are not repeated. The lessons learnt can be used to design new programmes,” Jakhar says.

Rather than calculating the price of cultivation, the federal government should calculate the true value of rising meals to guard the pursuits of farmers. “Further, it’s time to plan for nutritional self-reliance and the focus should be on atmanirbharta in poultry, pulses and oilseed production and not just cereals, wheat and paddy,” he provides.

Cluster-based farming

To turn into self-sufficient, cluster-based farming is the necessity of the hour, with customised incentives for every crop. A one-size-fits-all technique have to be achieved away with, opines Puneet Singh Thind, a farmer and president of Northern Farmers’ Mega FPO (Farmer Producer Organisation).

The cluster-based strategy is geared toward forming a consolidated, cultivable holding devoted to particular foodgrains, greens, fruits and different horticulture crops. As per farmers, a cluster system can provide a fillip to the manufacturing of pulses and oilseeds. The demand for pulses, oilseeds and horticulture crops has outgrown provide previously decade or so.

“Also, instead of trying out random crops based on unsolicited advice, we should concentrate on specific crops suitable to micro agro climate and demand,” says Puneet. According to specialists, primarily based on an space’s manufacturing plans, solely recognized crops and practices ought to be incentivised in a specific area.

Experts state that meals security and high quality assurance are areas of concern for Indian agriculture, necessitating the adoption of excellent agriculture practices. Farmers say authorities procurement ought to promote high quality manufacturing by way of exports and never monoculture by way of public distribution at almost freed from value.

Experts say the present mannequin of agriculture just isn’t self-reliant. Considering a village as a unit, agriculture within the village relies on exterior sources in two methods: all inputs — seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and so forth. — come from the market and on the agricultural produce can also be bought within the metropolis markets. This mannequin makes farmer depending on the federal government, the market and firms.

“Seeds, fertilisers and pesticides should be locally produced in an organic way because all these inputs have a huge market. Every year, crores of rupees go out of a village. If this money stays in the village, it will make the village prosperous and self-reliant,” says Umendra Dutt, Executive Director, Kheti Virasat Mission (Punjab), an NGO engaged within the promotion of natural meals and farming.

He provides, “We are implementing MGNREGA by investing crores of rupees in order to generate employment in villages and running Skill India for training the people, even as our entire model of agriculture is creating unemployment due to dependence on machines and the market. If agriculture becomes organic and provides livelihood to other people in the villages, the country won’t need MGNREGA and skill programmes.”

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