Agriculture in times of confusion and uncertainties!
India is now at the cusp of radical changes. There is the new middle classes everywhere, too faster growth of cities, too much urbanisation, pollution and environmental damage. In all these changes and prosperity, there is very little time for any thought for the less powerful, weaker sections.
With politics being what it is today where is time or any space for too rational a thought for agriculture.
Even the London Financial Times chose to write an editorial, the lead editorial in such a powerful business and industry journal on the topic of Green Revolution!
Why, we wondered.
The reason is the recent outcry by the FAO and other agencies about the rising food prices, food inflation and the booming commodity prices.
Why the booming commodity prices? Anyone factored in?
Any editorial? Any relevance to the Indian situation?
Any banker or financial expert pondered over this?
As far as we are concerned there is no such thought at all.
What we see here is that the stock exchanges, the Sebi and other financial agents take the cue from the international financial markets, the mutual funds and other speculative funds that are aplenty, thanks to such giant US banks like Goldman schs and every big corporate entity in the finance business takes to imitating the Western financial and commodity trading markets and market centres.
That is why we hear more often these days whenever the agri commodity prices are talked about, about Chicago wheat and London coffee markets!
So, everyone like to make quick money and that is how agriculture commodities have come to assume so much international priority.
So, we can take it for granted that in the future the agricommodities would be playing a bigger role than before in raising the food prices and so agriculture sector might come to assume a corporate significance.
Already, there is much talk about private equity, venture funding in the agribusiness sector.
There is also the talk contract farming. This contract farming is for the big corporate to enter the unorganised small farmers-dominated farm sector and “exploit” the unsuspected farmers communities.
It is here we see the need for the states, state governments, why even for the various experts now operate in the farm sector, agri universities and agri experts to think more seriously the urgent need for new agri policy paradigm shift.
As it is life in the countryside, in the villages is becoming intolerable to the farmers.
Many farmers, farm businessmen are interacting with us and we receive various feedback and inputs. We also have contacts with the villages and we in fact also live in the village in a way!
So, what are our own inputs?
We define an average farmer, Indian farmer as a debtor and a civil court visitor!
Yes, any farmer incurs debt and he continues as a debtor for life! So, too the land title deeds is a perennial source for corruption and manipulation.
Our land records offices are the dens of corruption and so too the revenue depts, among others.
So how to modernise the title deeds and also the need for a rethinking on landownership titles.
There is total dishonesty when it comes to land reforms.
We talk of agriculture production and productivity but no one talks about the uneconomic holdings!
There is an urgent need to radically think anew and become more truthful as far as possible.
Unless there is a relaxation of the agri reform laws, land reforms, there is every chance that you are indirectly encouraging much more a violent countryside.
Already you see in the states there are more land grabbing, illegal encroachment of temple and trust lands in most cases and also owing to the various draconian tenancy laws, there is total decay and fall in the standards of rural folk, tenants and why even among the title holders who can be terms only as the new pauper, if not the total penniless new class of poor in the countryside.
So much research has gone into all these aspects and for what effect!
There is no other explanation for Mamata Banerjee’s style of politics to succeed than the total decline and decay of the rural countryside in Bengal under the uninterrupted Left rule in Bengal.
We have seen with our own eyes the total decadence of the Bengal countryside.
The Communists of Bengal are blindmen; they still celebrate Lenin’s birthday in Bengal when in Russia they have totally confined Lenin to dark rooms! Kerala is much better!
As a sequence you can also see the total decay of the rural TN under the DMK’s much-hyped and much destroyed values of politics under various film dialogue style political discourses.
When corruption is so total and on such scale as in TN where we found the Election Commission could seize only some modest amount of currency notes to some Rs50 crores while the unseized amounts that reached the voters is yet to be quantified, you can imagine what has come of the democratic politics in today’s India.
Indian agriculture needs a revolution. Not a Green Revolution. A revolution in open and transparent thinking and a sort of new integration of politics and the countryside and the rural people is needed.
This is the revolution in our approach towards a more open society that is the need of the hour.
Image Source : world.edu/…/