Agriculture’s political priority now the focus!

03THFARM_1474792fSee the budgets of the government! The Centre has taken the bold step to come out with a budget that makes bold promises. Agriculture spending will top the sectoral allocations. What was once considered to be an urban party of traders and small businessmen and shop-keepers, the BJP now talks like a rural, old fashioned establishment party! Yes, that is what agriculture in the Indian economy and society impacts by way of numbers, farmers and the rural population.

As for the Prime Minister in his mid-term in power he has to worry about the people outside Delhi. In fact, the ruling party now in absolute majority has to worry about why it is not winning power in the states, not just in Delhi but also in the absolutely rural of the rural state of Bihar. How could the rural voters in Bihar could resist all the blandishment of power and authority, the high decibel rhetoric of the Prime Minister and the Party President, Amit Shah and went the wholhog to vote back to power the lesser mortals! Nitish Kumar and with Lalu Prasad Yadav must have taught some real lessons in political insights and strategy.

That is one major reason why, instead of relying on the pucca urbanites, the famed economists and the high profile bureaucrats, not to speak of the ones in power, the politicians who too earned their spurs only in the totally urban setups, the Prime Minister, keeping himself to the ground level political realities went for the agriculture budget.

While this politically-oriented budget for what it is worth, the ground level realities haven’t changed, for the good, unfortunately. In Maharashtra, no less in Karnataka, it is agriculture that sends a cold shudder in the veins of the politicians who are in authority. There is a three-year run of drought and also unstoppable farmer’s suicides in what is supposed to be an otherwise urban state. A whopping Rs 25,000 crore to agriculture. Fadnavis, the CM said in the Assembly that the budget covers ‘all aspects of farming’. The CM further said: The farmer is the backbone of the rural economy and the self-dependent farmers and prosperous villages constitutes the foundation of Make in India. Further, the CM said, the survival and the prosperity of our farmers is undoubtedly essential for strengthening and empowering the state’s economy.

In Karnataka, no less is the cry is all about farmers. Here too there is a consecutive drought and the economic survey points out that the agri sector and allied sector is expected o show a decline of 4.7% in 2015-16 against a growth of 1.6 per cent during 2014-15.Foodgrain production fell to 110 lakh tonnes because of drought conditions in as many as 136 taluks in the state during kharif season.

The farmers’ plight all over the country is no less better.  There is an all-India phenomenon of dissatisfaction among the farmers’ community, the outlook is so bleak that the Bharatiya Kisan Sangha under the leadership of the younger Tikait had taken out a march towards Jantar Mantar in Delhi from the major states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Haryana, Western UP. The Jat Farmers in Haryana are on the war path over quota for their community.

All these developments open up a new front from the rural distress for the Modi government. So, there is a new emphasis on rural India in the development agenda of the Central government. Yes, the government has waken up to the ground level realities. There is enormous potential for developing agri sector.

Vadamalai Media ,as an agri media company, has demonstrated new initiatives in the online media. The webesite, is perhaps the world’s largest agri website drawing thousands of visitors. We have also diversified our services, there is a new world waiting to be tapped for what can be done in rural areas, from selling the rural insurance to crop insurance and many other services like bank loans for farmers.

It must be possible to cover the who of the rural sector by the new technological tools. We have demonstrated on a pilot basis what can be done. It is only a matter of imagination and moral commitment on the part of policy makers to be open-mined and welcome new initiatives and operationalise what is urgently needed.

To make Indian agriculture modernised by the digitisation of the various services and reach out to the farmers to create a new awareness. To deploy the mobile phone reach to the remotest corner of India. Where are the visionaries?

We ask the question so that we can get new ideas and new policy initiatives. Agri media is another tool.We can create new awareness. So that the rural people are reached and sensitised.
We welcome new ideas and Vadamalai Media is at the forefront of ushering in the needed changes.

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