Is there is a concern for the drought and distress in the agriculture?

What progress we have made in the many new projects like river-linkages?

The government of Mr.Narendra Modi seems to have brought in a new reality or unreality for the all-important agri sector!

cauvery-7593From the estimates released by the government we are led to believe the government figures. After two years of drought and the all-time crisis in this vital sector of the Indian economy, reckoned as the backbone of our very rural sector, there seems to be a new growth phase in the 2016-17 year period.

Should the common man believe these figures or she he see around the try to figure out how to match the ground level realities-drought, why even a crisis for the drinking water, water levels have fallen and there is a scramble for bore wells in non-traditional areas like Cauvery basis districts like Tanjore in TN and in many states of Karnataka or should we take comfort from the government statistics?

The Central Statistical Office projects the agri sector growth at 4.1 per cent, this an over-estimate or an under-estimate?

It could be close to even 6 per cent, says an editorial in the Business Standard daily. Foodgrains production stands at all all-time high, it seems. At 8 per cent the foodgrain growth seems unbelievable. It is also reported that the horticultural production has outstripped that of foodgrains. Pulses output at 35 per cent. And oil seeds at 25 per cent growth! From the side of the Southern states, these figures seem a bit unreal. In the Southern states, specially TN and Karnataka we only read and also see for ourselves a continuing and nerve-racking drought and distress conditions. As all government figures try to portray the distress among the paddy growing Tanjore farmers in TN, there are reports of farmer’s suicides!

As far as the Central government is concerned it is bent on clearing the widely suspect impact of demonetisation, agriculture is not impacted. That is the official line. Of course there is the widespread fear about taking any adverse line against the government. But of course we have no solid ground to discount the official figures. So let us give credit for what the government has done so far in agriculture and related fields.

India is importing pulses, exceeded 6 million tonnes, against the normal 3-4 million tonnes,’ huge quantities’ of wheat is being imported, even distress sale of wheat, one of our food brackets’ key commodities, is reported.

Unfortunately, there are not enough agri experts or rural observers who have come out against any new instance of food imports but there is fear that if we don’t take adequate steps there would be a fall in agri prices, the MSP is there and yet the pulses are likely to sell for below the MSP and so too other commodities.

There is a good opportunity to export agri commodities and there is a need to liberalise agri exports. Over all there is the impression and someone in the agri ministry has to confirm or deny the impression that this government is least interested to improve the situation in the Indian agri sector that agriculture doesn’t seem to be a high priority in this time of drought. Is it a right impression or wrong impression? Please do confirm and help to create an optimistic outlook on the future of the Indian agri sector.

When we think of some countries like Israel, we immediately think Israel has done much for its agriculture. The Israeli Ambassador has said the other day how Israel is going to open more centres of excellence in agriculture in India. We also associate Israel with micro irrigation and water conservation techniques.

In India we are yet to hear anything about the big projects announced like inter-linking he national rivers and cleaning the Ganga and other inter-river linkages.

What progress we have made?

It would be useful if the government take some advertisements to tell the common man, the much-neglected poor farmers cursing their fate in the drought districts in Maharashtra and other states to know that somebody in the distant Delhi are caring for them.

The PM whose tireless tirades against the Opposition can be justified in times of elections but as the Prime Minister we have to hear some soothing words and not the diatribes as we have witness in the UP Assembly elections!

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