What future for agriculture development?
Development is now the catchword!
Development is now the Prime Minister’s critical mantra. Just a few thoughts on development. Development is both a wood and a concept. As a word it can mean any development, any change. As a concept development means a new insight into how we bring about in our economic environment. Economic development is again a very specialised field where you measure the growth of a range of activities.
For instance, just now we see the fall in prices of the fuels, petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
The very demand for these critical fuels and also the supply issues constitute one of the central themes of development of our economy. How do we ensure that the demands are met and the supplies are ensured at affordable prices?
So, economic development is a whole range of other spheres of economic activities.
Development is an old word. Not a new concept given by Mr.Modi who used the mantra of development to win a massive general election. So, development is also a sense of hope and optimism.
It is in this sense development has come to acquire a new meaning and a new significance for the development of the country and the well-being of the people.
Now, there are other areas where development throws up new challenges and new insights.
Take agricultural development. What does it signify?
Agriculture again is vast field where you can mean that the production of good grains is the critical priority.
When we talk of agriculture we, that is the very government and bureaucracy, why even the agri experts seem to point to the food grain targets only.
This is also misleading.Why?
Then, how do we see the large number of farmers’ suicides?
That means our agricultural development strategies are defective in some critical senses.
We have concentrated on food grains production targets but failed to ensure the average farmer is protected socially and otherwise.
There is no social security policies for farmers, we have for instance for the other weaker sections. There are no pensions for the farmers after certain age.
It is time we ensure this and also insurance for crops made more stringent and also for other concessions, the freebies we distribute. The rural jobs scheme was introduced by the previous government but that ended in great much wastage and also led to the Congress defeat in the rural areas.
Of course there are issues here, both in the rural development schemes as well as in the agricultural development strategies.
May be we need a new look at our otherwise many decentralisation schemes.
Panchayats need to be more strengthened and more power given to the local government institution to tackle such immediate issues like farmers suicides.
Also, there are health and health insurance schemes in rural areas.
So the three concepts, development as economic development, both macro and micro economics, also rural development and also agricultural development need a fresh look when we now have the time and also need for such a re-look at some of the old issues.
The development Mr.Modi is talking about as of now don’t seem to mean any of the issues we have touched here.
His development, as one intellectual pointed out is so far only about social development, the current caste, religion and other Hindutva issues point outdone go beyond the social and cultural sphere.
But then this is not really genuine development. Mr.Modi’s emphasis on make in India, manufacturing and also clean India need a much more serious analysis and spelt out in terms of more viable and more implementable terms.
As of now, there has not been much movement in terms of FDI inflows, nor in terms of manufacturing investments.
Economic development, economic transformation calls for much more serious study and details.
International economic developement scenario will have an impact and also an influence on the rate at which Indian economic growth can also take place.
You can’t grow in isolation.US economic growth is critical for the global growth. Do the BJP wallahs know this basic truth?
Economics is a serious business, let us realise at least at this very beginning for the BJP rule.