Fresh thoughts on the critical sector!
In the latest world hunger index, India is shown in a poor light after many small neighboring countries!
This is an insult to our media organizations. We have to change our media priorities from what we generally think our own political scenarios. Let us at least now change to serious priorities.
Agriculture is a field where the majority of our people, mostly poor and exposed to many risks in their day to day livelihood issues. India is a particularly vulnerable country and economy that is still basically a backward society. That resists change in ways other than what is known so far. Even after nearly a near-century of freedom and much government efforts in planning and development we still remain a rural economy, where people in the villages remain subject to so many superstitions and lack of modern facilities like adequate education and healthcare.
The nearly one and a half years of the pandemic only proved how our health infrastructure has been inadequate to respond in a desired manner.Thank god that we have been at least able to produce our own Indian-made vaccine and also emerge as the independent manufacturer and also invent our own new indigenous new one, India made brand and our whole experience in managing the unprecedented crisis gives an enormous self-confidence.
Other things apart that the Prime Minister deserves all the praise and credit for pulling the country out of this great challenge.Of course, the economy is to a great hit, and we are in the process of completing the story of our economic management and we are far from getting on the growth track and the problems are too many and too many big and small complications, remain to be solved.
Now the most critical sector that needs for the nation is agriculture and agriculture is not an easy sector where so many issues are there first a sense of clarity and a sense of truthful talk.
Unfortunately, agriculture is an alien field for those living outside the villages.
Not only that but agriculture is also left out of any concern for the vast mass of urban society.
See how the political discourse in the cozy circle of top political party circles. Those who are in the policy-making circles, leave out the rural and agriculture sectors in prescribing policies.
They invent some catchy phrases, like 100-days work for those who are without jobs. The 100 days rural employment has as you can see outlived its initial attraction and what remains is the high profile gentlemen and ladies who sat near Sonia Gandhi in the National Advisory Council have all lost their initial glamour and we don’t know today whether the NAC is still in existence or not.
All the agriculture policies today are tested by the PM’s many other policy initiatives for agriculture except for the critical insight the PM himself had left the organized farmers groups to their own devices and they are all hanging around the Delhi outskirts and, in fact, Indian agriculture development strategies, have no basic focus and Indian agriculture is languishing in a vacuum and there are no ground realities in the current thinking on Indian agriculture.
On themes realistic sense the Indiana Indian farmer, the peasant, and the landless labor have taken on many new avatars, as internal labor migrants, there is a flow of rural coolies from the Northern and North Eastern states o the Southern states. There are no landless labor enclaves in many of the Sothern states. In Kerala, Tamil, and Telangana, why even in a great many cities, in Mumbai there are many variations, Mumbai taxi drivers reform UP and so on.
This new dimension of the Indian landless coolies has to be welcomed in the wake of a great many industrial cities and it is one of survival instead of any new policies.
At the micro-levels we often say, we say things to sensitize our 500 and odd economic policy advisers to the Central government, most of them sitting pretty at the cozy climate of Delhi’s Lytton’s bungalow zone.
Far distantly in the rural inhabitations sirs the helpless average Indian landless farmers who must from now onwards be called only as a debtor or litigant in the complex web of Indian bureaucracy and a new bureaucracy of retired bureaucrats who get themselves posted in another cozy enclave the PMO!
Yes, there is any number of. Retired bureaucrats who also get posed as Cabinet ministers and what other cushy jobs are available aplenty in Delhi city itself!
With less than one hectare per head, Indian farming is cursed by the lack of any new reforms.
All over the developed world agriculture is in crisis, more so in the post-Brexit European countries where small farmers are suffering from the new confusion prevailing in farm policymaking.There is a shortage of labor, more so agri labor for seasonal work fruit picking, and vegetable farming and so the world of small farmers are in deep crisis.
So, there is a need for wider social understanding and. Appreciation of farming in the new world of many other wide crises of climate change and environmental issues. Public intellectuals and experts must come forward and suggest new positive policies to see the environment and the crisis at the micro-level of people living in small communities.
Yes, at the macro level, in big agricultural economies like the USA, China, Russia, and India, these large countries have managed to produce basic grains and other food needs like cooking oil and pulses there are imports and exports and today food production for exports has become a high-level diplomatic tool these countries practice their foreign relations.
So, agriculture has come centre stage in modern-day world where there are pockets of political turmoil with food shortages and also the presence of large scale hunger etc.
These issues make agriculture and food production and distribution, a high profile international and a world high priority.
Image Source : www.bbc.com