Every one knows the exact reasons!
No one dares to speak out!
We are publishing this magazine, now for more than two decades. And we have built up a dedicated readership. It is not easy to publish an agriculture magazine in English.
All the English publications are newspapers or magazines and all are urban-focused.
No educated Indian thinks of himself or herself as interested in agriculture or rural India. Those of the more prominent ones, both men and women, who are often seem vocal and appear on TV screens, what is called the “page three people” are all well-off people, have government connections, sit on the committees, or have taken up some public causes as they fit and they run either NGOs or other non-profit or government-grant based activities.
Even the academic experts, retired government servants, the others who are all highly visible in the various NGOs, think of agriculture more in romantic ways than in any serious, direct-people related normal and honest livelihood activity.
We have some 50 or so agri universities. But we haven’t in all our years in this business, ever received one letter or other evidence they read any serious agriculture policy magazine.
By the way, is there any other English language agriculture magazine in India that is read by the public?
It is a hell of a lot of money and effort. It is not financially viable and every other publishing house knows this truth!
If we have chosen any other field, other than agriculture field, we would have got national recognition or awards, Padma Bushans or what have you!
The trouble is that all our experts are experts in cultivating the government, all the time. Then only the government knew you, isnt so?
That is why Indian agriculture is getting neglected, that is the real business of making a living in agriculture.
The Left and the populist parties like the DMK have done enough damage by crushing genuine farmers and promoting factious names as farmers and tenants. Also, by spoiling the farm labour as landless and allotting wastelands. Given the rural reality, such lands would be sold out in no time for the other landowners in the same villages very soon! Is this the land reform we are all still harking upon?
Irresponsible politicians, unconcerned Delhi-based politicians and bureaucrats and experts have all to search their hearts whether they are really doing anything to justify their talk on agri sector!
Agriculture sector for the corporate houses is only for their other businesses to make profits by using the agri commodities. Because of their corporate reach, the businessmen and entrepreneurs don’t have any plain sympathy as such for the farming community. They look upon the sector as how to make more profits.
What agriculture the government is also focusing? You can see it is the fertiliser companies, sugar companies and the textile mills. The so-called agriculture subsidy is a subsidy for the agro companies, the larger ones, the more they get. Thus, we find the ministers, be the agri minister or the finance minister are busy to dole out huge, thousands of crores for exporting sugar! Or, getting the fertiliser companies running.
Or, procuring enough food grains for the PDS.
In all our years of experience, we find some strange Indian mindsets. As a class not many politicians care to read agriculture magazines, no Chief Ministers have shown interest in such magazines. Though we have interacted with some CMs, lately, we have given up interviewing them and giving them publicity in our pages, except when it comes to reporting their activities concerning agriculture. Why?
Simply because, interviewing Chief Ministers is boring, unrewarding and the effort is not worth the time consumed.
Neither the politicians, the MPs or MLAs are keen to read agriculture magazines. Nor, the corporate houses, the big ones have any use for agriculture.
These are not agri subsidies as we understand it. The agri subsidies strictly don’t reach the farmers directly. Even the crop loan insurance is for the banks! Not the farmers!
So, the government, driven by vote bank politics is keener to divide farmers in terms of caste groups, not even as economic groups.
The land reform legislation is violated so grossly and it is the genuine farmers, the traditional farm families are punished for holding on to their lands. The real crooks are the businessmen, now partymen too, who have all turned into real estate agents, all in the name of SEZs or other names they gobble up vast extent of lands in the rural areas.
Poor, Amitabh Bachan, got caught in his attempt to prove him “an agricultiurist” He could have done it by some other name!
We have the satisfaction that we have a dedicated readership consist of real farmers, aspiring farm entrepreneurs and also lots of new generation investors in the agri sector.
That is gratifying.
Unless, the government liberalises policies, relaxes the land reform laws no one will come
forward to invest in agriculture or agri enterprises.
This, the government is not willing to openly.
That will not be liked by the urban intelligentsia. May be what the West Bengal government is going through now may change the hypocrisy surrounding the farm policies. By keeping all farmers, some 80 percent of them, as in Bengal, poor farmers, all small landholdings, you want now Tatas to come and industrialise the countryside!
Why don’t you see reason and allow more private players, all farmers, traditional farm families to stay on the land and invest and prosper?
What we have done so far is to provide the latest information in the Indian agri sector. Information that is critical and real and not from the government propaganda sources but from our own grassroots level information.
We have also deployed out IT expertise to draw viewers to our agri portal that is again a new and innovative approach to generate information in the agri-related fields.
So, whether the government departments alone can produce the extra food surplus and other commodities or whether the government believes only in big corporate retail chains to come and rescue Indian agriculture only time can tell.
We believe the in the concept of PPP, the government has to draw the private farmers to work with govt. depts. or govt. depts. must learn to work with farmers/investors so that there is a positive and co-operative approach to farming as a viable and profitable profession.
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