Yet how agri issues are relegated to lower priority!
Yes, agriculture doesn’t rank high in any of our day-to-day concerns except in our meals times! Yes, agriculture has evolved over time in such a way that when we think of agriculture, we think of villagers and rural India and rural India is what it is and so too agriculture and that is why even now we had ignored the farmers that they continue to agitate, maybe not so in a rational way that the three laws that are at the heart of the controversy and Delhi borders are uttered by the farmer’s protests for such a long time.
We talk of democracy, we have Parliament function right now, and yet no one, the very bulk of the body politic is assembled in Delhi, the capital and we never heard a word that on the opening day of Parliament the Prime Minister is shouted down and the subjects talked about are also not remotely connected with any issues of such urgency, the MPs in both houses didn’t allow the PM to make his statements and the talks were about some foreign spy agency trying to interfere in India’s security issues with a foreign spy agency trying to probe into Indian affairs. We are not sure how many Indian readers would have read through the morning newspapers or scanning through such remote issues.
What remained in one’s memory, we imagine the unruly demands to ask for Home Minister’s change or the least of the courtesies extended to the country chief executive, the Hon’ble Prime Minister. The monsoons have been plenty and the kharif season is in full swing yet the news reports are such that the kharif sowing lags the targets and as in mid-July that the area covered by this time was below target, it is only 6.1 million hectares instead of the expected 6.9 million hectares! Thank God only one mainstream daily reported on the front page when the whole nation is not worried about how democracy is functioning in the country. Even when we are imagining the rainfall was more than in excess, seeing the rainstorm was so threatening and almost flooded the city so completely.
Now, turning to the main issue that we have to take agriculture sector always very seriously only. Someone or others keep reminding the indifferent and also corrupt politicians all the time about how we look at the sector that had shaped and kept India and the Indians. At the mercy of the elements, we like to draw the attention of all Indians to the pictures of the Indian people at various historic times after at least the art of photography came into use.
There are even now many such albums that are featured in such devices as Youtube. There is one such large picture of the years in the 1870s where one large family stands in such one photo that must devastate you, if not simply shake you out of your very bearings.
Yes, Indian history must be written afresh almost as social history more on the many aspects of our society’s hierarchy. Divisions with all sorts of castes and other social disabilities.
More so under the much-touted British period when the rulers also joined in denouncing our very many time-tested traditions and social norms and much-valued traditions. There are such histories in England but not in India. We even now only have the dynastic narrations and as for other sectors like the rural hierarchies, our societies and their various rituals never got any academic or in-depth sociological researches on the lines already traded by many other distinguished sociologists like the late Prof.M.N.Srinivas and others.
In fact, we need a separate department of the sociology of Indian agriculture and Indian villages in some select universities and socialist research institutes. After all, our agriculture is such a very high priority area and so there is a new perspective to our agriculture. And we have to create such a new perspective and it is the demand of the times, we feel even our agri universities need to imagine such a new perspective, the time for which has come and the government must turn its attention to such an approach. There are very many issues for debate and discussion in any agricultural reform topic.
One is new innovations in agriculture. Of course, there is no other agri institute than the famed Netherlands’s own Wageningen University and Research (WUR), located 50 miles South East of Amsterdam. Why this university is not studied in some depth by the Indian agriculture policymakers?
This university has some of the most daring innovations and slogans, goals, and targets. Agri study centers must warmly adopt the WUR has made a slogan: Twice as much food using half as many resources! They have demonstrated this target already in many of their crops. The Dutch have also shown that water for some of the crops can be reduced as much as 90 percent. The campus is dotted with a sea of greenhouses surrounding farmers’ homes. Climate-controlled farms such as these have enabled farmers to produce record outputs. Some of the greenhouses are so large that in all, the greenhouses area cover an unprecedented 175 acres. Day and night have merged and the Dutch are the world leaders in vegetable seed exporters and also the fair-weather fruit, tomatoes!
More than a third of the world’s vegetable seed exports originate from the university’s high-tech broiler households up to 150,000 birds, from hatching to harvesting.
This university proves how to merge academics and entrepreneurship. The Indian government must send a high-power delegation to Amsterdam to study the innovations that are going on there and try to radically reform our grip university curriculum and innovation strategies.