Why keep the public in the dark?

Indian agriculture is at a critical stage. After years of self-reliance and self-sufficiency as ensured by the Green Revolution, we seem to be reversing some of the national consensus. The so-called second Green Revolution of which the PM and his colleagues seem to be imagining without fully working out the implications of the now Evergreen Revolution as envisaged or promised by the India-US Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture is full of fundamental questions. Why there is so much secrecy here?

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PM, Sonia Gandhi just talk casually!

About helping the farmers!

Who said the PM is a transparent man or really sensitive to farmers, farm decline or farm imports? Farmers’ suicides that continue don’t evoke any response from those in New Delhi. Delhi is really door hai! The PM, Sonia Gandhi or the FM don’t show any concern for all these things. They seem to inhabit a different, far-off rarified world.

After he expanded the Cabinet and after he held his second press conference the country found out in him a different persona. He seems to be a man for himself, confident in his own secret ways and he seems to be inviting criticisms, mild and strident, from a wider section of the media. He is called obfuscating (The Hindu).He seems to be full of “I, me and myself”(The Asian Age) and so on.

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Ajit Singh’s call for productivity and intensive farming.

Do they know the ground reality of agriculture?

Who speaks for farmers? How committed is the government for the agri sector?

At the second International Congress on Plant Physiology, the President said this. The agri minister said this. What about the Prime Minister and his distinguished Cabinet colleagues? The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Agri Minister and in an indirect way the Food Minister are all the senior politicians and ministers who have the authority and moral responsibility to give agriculture its due priority in the scheme of things.

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But no credible agri export strategy is visible!

Surplus onion and potato production and fall in prices!

This `annual ritual’ gives us an idea of how horticulture sector is capable of over producing and prices crashing! Indian horticulture cries for attention. What we need is not extension of horticrops. Nor crop productivity. What we need is to improve quality in every way. Instead of expanding production, we need assured market for specific crops. Quality production, quality packaging, brand building and States-specific export agencies to attend to crops specific to their regions could add more to the incomes of farmers. A beginning has already been made in India by the government identifying about 40 agri-export zones all over the country through which horticultural produce such as mangoes, gherkins, rose onions, lichees and so on.

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