Agriculture sector needs more technology-driven solutions!
Agriculture prospects and crises, big economies’ concerns?
See the slowdowns, crises in China, Brazil and even other big economies.
IMF reports China economic slowdown is lowest in a quarter of a century in 2915! Weak commodity prices also hammering countries like Brazil and other emerging markets. The world economy itself is slowing, it would grow at 3.4 percent in 2016 and 3.6 per cent and 3.4 per cent in 2017.
India luckily grew at 7.3 per cent for 2015-16 and predicted 7,5 per cent for the 20116-17.India’s own economic expert, Arvind Panagariya says that India can even expect to do much more and predict an 8 per cent growth.
Agriculture is at the centre of WTO negotiations. Trade, tariff and exports and imports shape agriculture economies. Indian agriculture suffers from multiple challenges and also multiple crises.
See the persisting sugar sector crisis. It is not solved in a pro-active manner by the government. The farmers’ suicides? Now also the persisting. The fall in Indian exports in the successive 13th month! One can go on!
Mainstream media is simply no interested in such unglamorous questions. First, the so-called mainstream press is mainly tabloids, cheap and even sensational headlines grabbing news like some good for nothing politicians blurting out some accusations against a ruling party leader or just the opposite that of an Opposition party leader who is indulging, again, in some headline grabbing retort or more substantially holding up the working of the Parliament.
This sort of day to day, survival politics is the mainstream press. Then, comes the equally tabloidization of the TV news channels.
Where do we, the so-called small-time and also unglamorous agriculture, rural sectors, not to speak of other nationally high priority sectors like education, development issues?
So, dear readers, please note that agriculture is the country’s major, fundamental sectors, climate change, environment, pollution, the unbridled urbanisation etc. It needs some gravitas, some concern for the more sober issues to be debated in some depth.
So, keeping this shift in priorities in mind we like to draw attention that agriculture in itself is not seen as basic but seen in the context of how much agriculture contributes to the basic health and strength of the Indian economy we like to share some thoughts here.
Indian agriculture is emerging centre stage as contributing to the economic strengths of the country.First, it gives some stability to the economy over all. Second, agriculture ensures a level, let us hope a rising level of poverty alleviation, the standard of living of the majority, the major segment f the poor, at the bottom of the pyramid, the weaker sections, the tribals and socially backward segments gets really a boost from whatever is happening in the agriculture sector.
Only now, gradually, the rights and entitlements of the neglected, so far, deprived marginal populations, the tribes and the forest dwellers are getting noticed and they are draw into the overall development process and development opportunities.
So, agriculture is also intrinsically linked with the grand schemes like rural employment guarantee schemes.
One great missing link here is that so far, even the agri sector was left out in some of the overall development perspectives, education health and insurance and medical cover, from life insurance to medical insurance, more specifically, crop insurance on which the PM had dwelt not long ago.
You see the Indian farmers today need a whole range of security from multiple insecurities.The new agriculture policy, the Supreme Court has indicated as a need, should address the new awareness.
Let the Prime Minister initiate new dialogue on the agriculture scene. There are now new told to deliver the multiple services, from loans to insurance cover to remunerative prices.
Let us engage some credible faces to deliver on the IT tools and urgent needs of the most vulnerable sector in the emerging development scenario.
Let us hope the PM takes some time to interact with private sector players. In fact, we like to draw the PM’s attention to what Dr.Devi Shetty, the founder of the justly admired Narayana Hrudalaya, in Bangalore, the largest heart hospital in the world (!) that runs a farmers health insurance scheme. The Yashavahini Scheme(?).It is fully self-financed by farmers, we understand so. Why not such innovative schemes could not be incorporated into the new government schemes.
In fact, we can go a step further and bring in the various experts, IT and various other innovators into the government initiatives.
Agriculture, rural areas is one sector where so many development schemes can play more enabling roles.