India has to change and specifically Indian agriculture sector has to change radically in many ways.

Today the politics in India is so polarised that even if you want to make any honest and even innocent pronunciation it is suspect and mistaken in terms of the highly polarised politics. And let us not forget for a minute that agriculture is very tough subject and very difficult to articulate in any objective manner. Agriculture is also a state subject and it is for the states to draw up and implement any meaningful agriculture policy or policies. Unfortunately, the politics in the States too is so polarised that those states what are under the Congress party dispensation are asked by Sonia Gandhi not to implement the Centre’s new policies. So we have to keep in mind the larger interests of the very entire farming community.

Here we would tackle only a few basic points. One, we have to first of all take a very broad outlook. Agriculture is the least efficiently performing sector also, the allocation in the budget for agri research is near zero do you know? Just one percent ! The reasons are many, one, the rural areas are so left our socially backward, the castes and the ethnic. Communities are too many and they have all remained tied up with so many traditional beliefs and superstitions. Democratic politics had brought about a very unpredictable rural society. The lands are fragmented and thus, those who support the government and others too often talk about the meagre land holdings.

The data about these vast landscapes is also lately twisted and thus, one new issue that is going to affect the future immediate as well as remote is how we are going to implement the new policies in the absence of reliable data. How to implement, say, the PM’s many welfare schemes, how to put the money in the hands of the small and marginal farmers’ hands?

So, we have to pause and suspect at every stage of policy implementation. The existing and emerging gaps in data pertaining to the dispersal of real potential beneficiaries. You can already see the allegations in the Pradhan Mantri schemes of how the free loans are diverted into hands of corrupt officials. And as we read in Tamil Nadu, the scheme is already in the dumps before it is put into practice! These are the sort of ground level realities we like to highlight and many more such government money-swindling acts are likely to come in the way very soon. So, first of all we have to ensure, the Central Government must first get reliable data is not fudged and the very openness and transparency must be ensured before we start talking about our hapless farmers.

We welcome them, the new bills, with certain qualifications and also with a progressive mindset! You see agriculture is a vast area of economic activity.
Yes, agriculture in India has been the subject of much controversy today. In sum, we can say with certain confidence that all who talk of farmers’ issues are very superficial and they don’t know, we say with some confidence, anything at all about the ground level realities.

The BJP has come out with the three bills, all related to the marketing freedoms for farmers and also with the promise of MSP and much else. The opposition led by the Congress party and in particular by Rahul Gandhi who has lately turned into a full-scale opponent of the BJP and more so directly towards the Prime Minister has turned the whole debate into a partisan politics whose end we don’t know yet full impact of the three bills on the future prospects on the Indian agriculture. The agriculture sector of India is a vast subject of importance. It is a bit ironical that politics in India today also has become so unprincipled that anybody and everybody who speaks on agriculture these days seem to be totally unsuited and unequal to the task! Unfortunately, democratic politics has brought out a sort of rootless people to high offices!

You live all your life in Delhi, you inherit some office or title and you become a leader, even a party functionary is now a leader. In the political parties too most of the persons who appear on the TV screens or get your name inserted in some obscure corner of a newspaper or a TV show is a leader and given the sort of politics we have fashioned in the country with so many of the present or past leaders, the numbers are so significant that there are no resources, we are told to book and carry out court cases against those implicated in criminal cases, the past MPs and MLAs and so on. Given the whole corrupt scenario of the politics and also the unconcern of the common citizen about these allegations, the number of lawyers and others who are making news by associating themselves with political parties and had held offices of ministers even for a brief period are all experts on their own assumptions, these persons also add to the vitiation of politics.

As for agriculture it is a no-man’s land for the mass of people. The office holders speak with authority, those who had lost their offices turn into a sort of permanent residents of the Lutyens’ bungalow zone for years and years. They don’t vacate their residences and for continuation of their occupation they somehow manage to hold on. Just you see how the members of the Congress Working Committee become members in the first place.Today each and every member of these sort of parties’ core committees are New Delhi residents and they are totally cut off from the ground level realities of the rural India.

The point here is that when we talk of agriculture we seem to speak so superficially and has nothing to do with the actual lives and livelihood realities. We are a small media group and we live and practise farming, you believe?

So we are totally unimpressed by the comments and criticisms of all these politicians, the crorepathis and the corrupt politicians who dare and comment and dare to give such bogus statistics etc. Everyone said without exception, it seems, that the average holds of farm lands has declined and now less than one hectare is hell by the majority of the farmers. Is this a magic reality? Is this something very unusual? Only those who live in the villages know well that in every village inequality and inequity is the basic ground level reality.

Not every one can hold big land holdings. It is the village reality that only a few, often one or two families can hold large holdings, every past century you can see that farming lands ceasing to remain big holdings, from old jagirdari holdings to progressive fragmentation. May be if we don’t further attend to farming issues, very soon villages would become desolate and the rest of the farming households would see their members further reduced and there could be empty villages without any younger generation continuing the traditional farming operations.

So, it is one more reason why we have to make farming a productive enterprise, we have to make farming change to respond to new scenarios. Let us welcome all changes with an open hand!
Any change is welcome in farming sector, so too the latest fermium bills. Only sad thing is how the bills were rushed through, may be the government has its own compulsions.

The government needs much sympathy and support, at least they enacted the bills! Of course politics is in reality very controversial politics one, it seems! Where the heads you win and tails you lose!
Now, we like to say certain things very clearly and emphatically!

First you have to reconcile with the Indian rural realities. One, the rural India would have to protect and promote the landless labour. You have to sustain this rural population segment as a permanent feature of Indian countryside, namely, the rural landless population!

India welfare State must address all the economic and social issues, like education, health and minimal protect from exploitation. This is a big issues but these issues will be there with us for long, in one election or other and politicians will continue to mislead and make false promises and this is a subject that needs a great deal of ideological debate and debate, a sort of education and even popular education.

Education is spreading now very furiously and education reformers have a great responsibility as to how to educate and awaken the public consciousness etc. Next to landless labour, there is the issue of the legal and traditional human rights. Land is becoming limited and therefore there will always be the land ownership issues.

Tenancy farming will also be there. You have to reform the current state of issues that remain unresolved. The old type, that is, the existing type tenancy r reforms. Have to go and new type of land ownership and tenancy reforms have to be brought out.

So, that there is a friction free environment in the countryside. The key to these issues like in the panchayat raj institutions that remain a part work only as of now. You have to address the panchayat reform in a committed way so that at the very bottom level the ordinary villager, the very bottom-level citizen feels the security of a non-exploitative social base. This is not there now. Today, there is a sense of insecurity and a fear of government itself prevails. The media and the NGOs and other voluntary agencies are all treated with a sure and dismissal outlook and this is very unfair and arbitrary government.

The Collector’s raj and the local party bossism must go. The corrupt and criminal elements are driving the social relations and the end result is no government and near anarchism and lawlessness.

Agriculture is the very root of Indian ethos. The latest agri laws are likely to contribute towards modernisation of Indian agriculture. There is no other way. The new generation agri laws would surely wipe out the old time mandis and commission agents. And the sort of nexus that had been built up in the mandis, be it paddy mandi or horticulture, like that of the onion mandis and the politicians and mandi bosses in mobilising election funds to other social and political nefarious relationships would go and they must go!

Yes, in their place the new age silos like those of corporate giants like Adani agri silos would come and there is so far everything positive and the farmers who take their produce only the good things have been said! Why not we acknowledge the ground level realities!

There would be only slow change in the rural Indian realities but we can think ahead and articulate rational policies even from now onwards. These are only some stray thoughts and let us debate and discuss issues without any ulterior motives.

Our farmers must enjoy the benefits of new technological revolutions in not only cultivation but also marketing and realising higher incomes.
New Bills would only facilitate modernisation of out-moded practices!
Prime Minister’s assurance of doubling of farmers incomes must be made a reality very soon!

Why there is continuation of farmers’ agitations in Punjab and Haryana. Not much in other States? Down south in the Cauvery belt of the delta regions of Tanjore disticts the traditional paddy farmers are crying for inaction on the part of the government just for the opposite reasons of not lifting the harvested paddy that are left on the road sides and there is almost an outcry of neglect by the government, of course the state government. The simple reason is that what happens to big farmers in Punjab and Haryana is not big deal for the traditional small farmers of Tanjore who are left to tend for themselves or at the mercy of the state government which is not in a position to reform and restructure.

The traditional harvesting and marketing system in practice to put the paddy cultivation, procurement and marketing system in perspective we have to see only what is right now happening in the northern big States. You see there is in Punjab, Haryana there is already these traditional and powerful farmers’ lobby states, there is enough clout and there are the big corporates like Adani business conglomerate that had set up almost a giant Grain silo, the Adani Agri Logistics plant warehouse of immense size and capacity to procure farmers grain product both paddy and wheat. The Adani silos are in existence for the past 13 or so years and it can procure the paddy as they arrive and the silos changed the very face of the paddy procurement system. In Punjab, farmers are very happy to supply grain to Adani silos, the grain was accepted as soon as it is delivered and payments made within three days, say satisfied farmers interviewed by mainstream media.

This is not news for farmers in the southern states. Of course this is not a procurement season in Punjab, most traditional mandis now give a desert look, though Khanna is Asia’s largest market today and workers from Bengal and Bihar are driving the market as a hub of activity. The migrant workers are a constant phenomena and the migrant workers of India are also benefitting by the humming of activities in the Punjab and Haryana mandis. Trucks trundle by ferrying wheat and the migrant workers are busy in open sheds, sorting and cleaning mounds of wheat. Hundreds of commission agents, called here as “arthiyas” are busy dealing with buyers and farmers.

We have to write separately about the role of “arthiyas”, there are an estimated 27,000 of them and there can’t be any procurement system in Punjab without their presence and their well-established services and their role as buyers and money lenders and their intimate relationship with the farming families of the leading wheat producing state. The Centre has enacted now the new legislation namely the ‘The farmers’ Produce. Trade And Commerce (promotion and facilitation) Act’ on two principal counts. It provides greater choice to farmers and more importantly frees them from the clutches of commission agents. But this is contested by actual farmers.

Most farmers in practice are unhappy with these prospects, they don’t like to lose the services of the commission agents. Of course they, the commission agents charge 2.5 percent commission on their services. The government says it wants to cut the commissions but this is unlikely to go immediately at least. Why? This is the very old question, the commission agents who number almost 27,000 of them, all are licensed in the whole of Punjab and it is not an easy thing to change the age-old hold of these very able men who act as credit providers at the instant asking, no paper work, no other bureaucracy hurdles. So, this is the ground level reality at the mandis level.

Of course, the Adani Agri Logistics weights and gives a correct figure, usually, the traditional system of weighing always under estimates and also payment, the government run FCI godowns it takes time and delays payments. Each commission agent has at least about 100 farmers as close associates and so they know each other well. So the new assurances by the government would take time to be felt at the grassroots. There are also other players in his space. There is one Fairfax company which has emerged as the biggest player in agricultural storage it is said that Fairfax-owned National Collateral Management Service which also gives farmers credit in the post-harvest season when there is a glut in the market and prices fall. Whether this commodities-trading type company is a new comer or there will be such players in the future we can’t say right now. Anyway, there are going to be new players and new opportunities in the very near future.

The government’s Farmers Produce Committees are also springing up in other parts of the country and only the future can tell ! Anyway, we have to welcome any new changes in the traditional types of farming systems. Farmers freedoms are paramount and we have to open our eyes and welcome new challenges. Anyway, agricuture is a field, where much attention has been given only at the higher levels, about biodiversity, the Planet’s future and there are many high-level reports like, Living Planet’s Report and the 5th UN Global biodiversity Outlook etc.

But as far as actual farming issues we don’t have many in-depth and serious probing about the actual future of farming. One critical reason is the lack of any serious attempt to reform the age-old traditional agricultural practices. Even now, after 75 years of freedom we see, more so in the northern states the actual tilling of the farms are done by the unseemingly old horrible man-drawing the man ploughs still in operation!

Only in the last generation, that is some 30 years ago we used to see even on the outskirts of Delhi the traditional water lifting devices in operation. Now, they are all gone. Machines have come in the form of tractors and other smaller machineries. In the South there is much change on this front. The government must introduce new policies to modernise agriculture and also lessen the physical labour of the actual farmers. Also, rural housing projects must have special housing schemes for farmers, small and big ones.

Unless you have such special housing schemes, the big one would migrate to cities and the villages would all become deserted. In fact these farming issues are all complex and the average political leaders, specially the populist, low calibre ones would only seek to drive a way the actual middle level farmers also to leave the villages.

Only the far-sighted thinkers and visionaries can only visualise the future of farming and the villages with a robust sense of realism and common sense.

More attention to the ground level realities. The social and economic and the panchayat level reforms are critical. These further details call for critical analysis on policy implementation.

The revival of the economy seems to be very much dependent upon the agri sector. All other sectors, industry, infrastructure etc seem to be still in the lockdown mode.

This kharif season agri output is projected at 108.22 million tonnes, as the kharif acreage hits all time high as a newspaper headlines scream!

The government has put lot of emphasis on small and marginal farmers in the revival of economic growth, rightly so therefore!

As the vast majority of farmers belong to this category only, it is only right that we seem to care much for these two segments of millions of farmers, the small households in the rural India. Indian agricultural transformation depends very much on what we do for this farming segment and what is happening already is a question we have to examine much more carefully and also what we find from the ground realities. These two segments lie at the very bottom of the pyramids to say.

In our experience the old regime is also like what the new regime with all its noise is going. Agriculture and rural development doesn’t get wet we are all talking about!

Technological revolution is transforming Indian society. including the agri sector. There is this smart phone revolution. Now, in almost every household in the villages, the new generation of boys and girls, the IT tech has transformed their lives, they are educated and aware and they use smart phones and the governments must do much more than what is being done and more so now, after the Covid menace online usage is increasing.
In agriculture, there is also the digital revolution. From now onwards technologies are becoming everyday reality. This is a new field and a vast territory and only more qualified. Hands can do justice by taking up this awareness campaign.

This is now a sadly neglected area and given the current environment when most of our exerts are urban based professionals, economists or retired bureaucrats, the grass roots realities of India seldom get attention.

Though Covid is a great tragedy and disrupted much of our normal life and created much agony and great losses it seems that Indian won’t be the same again unfortunately. Digital transformation of much of our society must be welcomed for what it is capable of doing and also still newer techs like AI and Cloud and others could help to impact the life of the people outside the offices and let us hope much of our farming scenario would be impacted by the many revolutions including the much-touted digital one!

Our point is that right now, the many tech revolutions seem somewhat far away or far ahead. The people at the bottom level are yet to seem to get the benefits in their day to day lives. The potential for much change seems visible and yet the lives of the hapless farmers who had suffered much for lack of priorities for so long remain where they were. For much of our post-Independence period, right?

There are many other issues at the grassroots level. One is the panchayat raj institutions

We restrain further comments or such revelations might antagonise the local vested interests. As we have been long saying as of today a small farmer is either a debtor or a litigant or both.

Life in the villages is not so easy and pleasant, as we all seem to imagine.
So, one more lesson for tackling the rural realities that stand in the way of further progress is to realise, for the experts and the expert professionals, in the Indian scene, either an economist and bureaucrat is that these category of experts also live in fear of the incumbent governments. So, you really don’t get realistic appraisal of many of the policies.

Now, we feel the time also has come to realise that we shouldn’t simply talk of policies in general, vague terms. We need not mention. The government policies in vague terms, we have to further analyse the implementation details and then come to comment, be it the ease of doing business or many other bureaucratic hurdles in policy implementations. One more aspect of rural development policies is the state of public opinion at the grass roots levels, the media is not a free media anymore and everywhere. These are stray thoughts and we need a more open society and a commitment for values like truth and honesty in politics. Perhaps, the education spread and growth in social media can partially rectify the current deficiencies.

It can only be a slow process!

The very global surface, it seems, is one of vast barren land, stretching miles and miles of unending desert land, looking like newly discovered forests and uninhabited empty spaces or other desolate stretches. That never end. This is the impression I got recently after seeing a series of new videos of Soviet Russia, the transSiberian. Railway journeys and also the transAustralian jobbers. From Perth to Sydney. What a waste of Nature’s bounties, I wondered.

Yes, agriculture everywhere, in every continent, including in Europe seems to be struggling for its legitimate place, legitimate existence. A recent write-up in the prestigious London Financial Times daily says that agriculture is on the wane and farmers concerns, that is finance for farming just one per cent of the requirement. Though India being the poorest country in the world in terms of various parameters, from the point of virw of per capita income or other indicators. And in spite of various promises, election promises included ,made for such a long period since independence, our villages remain poor and our livelihood indicators are also very disappointing including the post Modi period. So we find now in a very difficult context when we have to really seriously think about how to raise agricultural incomes, when we also have a separate department called, the Department of doubling agricultural incomes!

Is it so straightforward to raise incomes from the agri sector? Very relevant that we are all now. Caught up with the problem of rising. The income levels and also raising agricultural productivity. By all means. How to create more jobs in agri sector? How cogenerate more employment? How to really make agriculture a paying proposition? Theft write up begins with the first sentence: farming is a risky proposition>Of course we who had been under the British rule know well how many famines and how many deaths, in fact mass deaths, the British rule caused over the many centuries they ruled. The writer of this column lives in a city, though he has agriculture as his traditional occupation. So when we write on agriculture the writer knows well that he is touching upon a subject with which he has been struggling almost everyday. Only those who have some direct touch with farmers and farming only can speak the truth or truths about farming sector challenges.

There is food shortage in the world and there are countries and where food supply is still in severe shortages. So we needn’t elaborate here more on the usual official versions of schemes and promises made and implemented partially or fully. The fact remains that farming is still in distress; the many schemes are based on leaders and parties who live in the cities and draw schemes for others to practice and for the scheme makers to win votes and perpetuate their rule.

There are now some new developments due to Covid Pandemic and the lockdown gives us some new incentives to try new techs like Online Agriculture. Vadamalai Media has been in the print media business for a long time and now we have switched over to online agricultureinformation service providers. It is heartening to note that now more and more visitors come to our site and there is a gradual buildup of capacity and every day twice there is a respectable crowd of visitors to get the latest information about various new crops to be tried and new technologies to be deployed.

Much more encouraging is the fact that many new comers, like those educated and employed in highly lucrative sectors like IT companies and those who are bored with the high-tension jobs find agriculture a new outlet for a relaxed life style. So we can expect that in the new changed situation more and more highly qualified persons, from traditional or even from the new generation might find agriculture and rural environment more appealing. It is also the time and placebo devise more new avenues in agriculture and more so in the horticulture, fruits and vegetables’ very attractive areas for new investments. The governments must try new investment opportunities in these sector for these new non-traditional farmers and new entrepreneurs. Also, the new generation of educated families, youngsters from these families have entered into agri sector.

We need new schemes and investment opportunities for those educated generation of new entrepreneurs. We have featured in our online services of such new younger generation of agro entrepreneurs. There are other sensitive issues like land reforms. In Karnataka, for example, there are some new land reform law changes, to allow non-farmers to purchase agricultural lands. This change is welcome on the face of titbit and needs further consultations. Also certain age-old ideas of equality in society lasted to very inequitable laws. Who says that inequality originates only in agriculture?

Also, there is the current stark reality. An average farmer in India, we say is either a debtor or a litigant. This is the age-old problem. This social reality of thermal India and the life of farmers need much debate for new ideas, so that agriculture and rural India come to terms with the current socio-economic and cultural realities. We saw in the event Pandemic that some 50 crores of migrants returned to their homes in the vast stretch of North India. Now, we imagine the very same crores of migrants must have returned back to their old haunts. They must have done so for it is the new Indian reality no Indian agri policymaker might have suspected nor even if he or she knows, might not have openly said so. This is the new Indian rural reality.

Unless you create an environment that staying in the rural areas and making a living with dignity and honour is possible no amount of financial allocation can keep and retain the rural migrants in their traditional rural haunts. So, we are saying in conclusion that. You have to think radically, allow people where they are and employed, profitably, we hope and let the situation change gradually but with a steady commitment to give freedoms to farmers in the way they want.

Let the migrant labour remain where they are outside of their own states and gradually let us build a new changed rural context where the current many ossified laws get rejected and new, many more liberal laws come to govern the way agriculture is pursued with more freedoms in all areas and in all contexts.

Agriculture is always a sensitive and therefore controversial field and every media outlet, be it the mainstream newspapers or specialist magazines have their own priorities.

Today the entire world over we have a new crisis in farming looming large and that is this global level Covid-1 attack that had crippled societies and economies. The new Virus has brought to light, the inherent challenges in our global food supplies and the very economic crisis that had laid down the farming communities and as the rest of the societies the farmers are also confined to their homes in the fear the spread of this new calamity, specially for a country like India and why even big ones like USA and Brazil, not to speak of the other developed and developing countries.

When will the farming communities stand up and pursue their age-old practices. Agriculture is not an year-round activity, it is very much dependent upon the rains and climatic changes and when you come to Indian agriculture it is much more complex and divergent activity spread across many regions and agri and ecologies.

We at Vadamalai Media have our own agenda and goals. We come from an agricultural background and are still engaged in practical farming. So, you won’t see the usual academic or bureaucratic outlook, even our journalistic language might sound a bit old fashioned! Though these types of writing and speaking is common in India when it comes to agriculture and rural development.

One important difference for Indian farming and the non-Indian farming systems, like those of the USA and why, even the Chinese is the widespread traditional farming systems where we don’t see the inexcusable practices when it is some meat packaging industry and even the eating habits of people. Here the situation is very different. So, what is unique to Indian agriculture and food systems and cultures have to be kept in mind and we have to look at the priorities we assign to our agriculture and farming communities must be fully appreciated. That is one reason why we might sound different but more authentic and hence less elegant in presenting our views and opinions.

One has to be first of all skeptical when it comes to presenting an optimistic picture agriculture which we routinely do. Forbidding confidence about our food supplies and availability to run our ground level distribution system when it comes to predicating an optimistic picture as to food production targets. We too want to build confidence but at the grassroots level, not just at the Central government level.

American unemployed are growing and hence there is a cry about food security there. Here too there is a concern about food security but both are very different perceptions. Anyway, it is good to see certain new parameters today that point to good harvest this season? What are the parameters?

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) says that the agriculture sector emerges as a beacon of hope! That is very well said. Let us not be misled by the hyperbole. Such statements sometime prove to be specially a field like agriculture that depends upon so many uncertainties, let alone. The pre monsoon predictions often prove to be illusory. As our monsoon prediction technology is so primitive when we really reflect on the state of our science and technology. Let us not forget that the Kerala government has recently announced a payment to private monsoon predicting agencies in Kerala that took a government dependent upon many non-private sector initiatives!

Anyway we have no quarrel with the CII in taking the tree body’s pro-government stand. It always pays to stand by any pro-government view when it comes to economics and business bodies! However, a range of indicators point to some positive developments. GST collections is one good indicator. Railway-freight traffic, petrol consumption, peak power demand, electronic tool collections, among others have all given us a picture of incipient signs of the economy picking up some gravitas and strength and momentum. Though it is still too early to see the signs develop into a reality of success on the economics from the signs are welcome and must give the public much hope and confidence.

After all public opinion matters a great deal and the common man’s outlook also matters a great deal. The other recent steps to put the cash in the hands of farmers is yet to make an impact, the free rations and the 100-days employment scheme is also a stimulant, though we need a more sound and systematic agriculture proposals as the most critical requirements.

Yet the CII and through its Director-General, Chandraji Banerjee, has voiced his concerns. He notes that in order to carry forward the current positive signs he wants the prevailing restrictions on the industry to carry forward long-term plans.

This is a tricky issue. The Corporates always want to have things easy. The Corporates don’t have other broader and social and economic visions of sorts. Economics in India is also not merely about profits and losses. It is much more. Then these are about livelihood for the poor and also about caring for the community as well. That is one reason why the villagers have survived all through the hard times and there is a sort of social bonding that is a real altruistic age old values that held the Indian society as an integrated entity. Rural India in this sense is a great surviving force and these survival instincts distinctly an Indian characteristic today’s the materialistic politics or the value-absent money grabbing power politics that dictate our day to day politics we witness today.

Our democratic politics is no more democratic and it is all about mere jungle warfare!

What are the new agri policies that we hear about today? The government talks about putting cash in the hands of small farmers, right? That is fine but then there are long-terms questions. How serious we are about ensuring a sustainable, long term health of the farming systems and future of our farming families? Small farmers are fine people, they are still clinging to their age-old small pieces of lands but how long the government hopes or beliefs in their sustainability?

We need some structural farming systems, somehow we have to pool the farmers into some sort of co-operative or collective systems. The new concept of farmer’s societies is one new innovation and we need further thought and reforms. No politician or political class has given any thought beyond lip service and that too only when some inconvenient question comes up.

We need a racially new way of thinking, we need thinkers to think about these issues. Where are the dreamers, the rural utopia builders and there are still some youngsters left to dream these new collectives. One young IT professional came on our online agriculture video-conferencing with a community farming system and community farming living. That was inspiring.

There is no alternative to rural co-operative enterprises and we need further conceptualization in this direction. There are now new farming systems and experiments in new types of cultivation.

In horticulture, there is ultra density cultivation of mangoes and other fruit trees, mixed fruit trees and such experiments. These are a few examples where there is much enthusiasm and experimentation and we at our media venture introduce such new ideas though our video conferences. Instead of talking rural politics, helping to build rural vote banks that seem to be the end goals today, we need to pursue more constructive ideas in our rural development issues.

Of course, India seen in the context of developed world countries, remains pathetically poor in many areas and so there is enough time we think ahead in time to introduce new rural economy’s new opportunity.

In all European developed countries, all rural dwelling have been now converted into agritourism outlets. This is one new opportunity. Tourism is a thriving industry and our rural housing too must foresee such rural tourism projects integrated into our rural development. Our present tourism industry, even in the cities is poor or as good as nil!

So, the future for India’s rural hinterland is very rich our cultural heritage. Remains largely neglected. Our ministers must tour abroad and see how tourism has emerged as the biggest industry even in developed countries like UK, Europe and also in terms of tourism related services industry. So, should envisage for rural India and its rich geographic and historical heritage as a new opportunity industry.

The sky seems to the limit!