We need in­come-ori­ented farm pol­icy

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - M S SWAMI­NATHAN FOUNDER, MSSRF

I read with great deal of con­cern the ar­ti­cle ti­tled "Into the abyss" (Jan­uary 1631). It is im­por­tant that the points made by the au­thor are taken into se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion while de­vel­op­ing our fu­ture agri­cul­tural pol­icy. The Na­tional Pol­icy for Farm­ers sub­mit­ted by the Na­tional Com­mis­sion on Farm­ers ( NCF) in 2006 calls for a shift in our agri­cul­tural pol­icy from be­ing pro­duc­tion-ori­ented to be­ing in­come-ori­ented. Farm sizes are get­ting smaller and in­put costs are go­ing up. NCF, there­fore, stressed the need for pro­vid­ing the fol­low­ing kinds of sup­port to our mar­ginal and small farm­ers: Pro­cure­ment of the com­modi­ties cov­ered by the Com­mis­sion on Agri­cul­tural Cost and Prices at a sup­port price based on the for­mula C2 (i.e. to­tal cost of pro­duc­tion) + 50 per cent. This is es­sen­tial to pro­vide a rea­son­able in­come to small farm­ers whose mar­ketable sur­plus will be low. Credit at 4 per cent in­ter­est rate. Devel­op­ment of an In­dian Sin­gle Mar­ket which will per­mit farm­ers to move their prod­ucts across In­dia with­out any im­ped­i­ment. A non-farm em­ploy­ment and in­come ini­tia­tive which will pro­vide farm­ers with ad­di­tional in­come through value ad­di­tion to pri­mary prod­ucts. The need for in­come ori­en­ta­tion has also been stressed in the of­fi­cial Na­tional Pol­icy for Farm­ers placed in Par­lia­ment in 2007. Un­less this mat­ter is taken se­ri­ously farm­ing as an en­ter­prise will begin to lose ap­peal among the younger gen­er­a­tion in ru­ral ar­eas. In­ter­na­tional price volatil­ity is very high and it will be dis­as­trous if we are to go back to the PL 480 days for feed­ing our public dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem. I, there­fore, congratulate DownToEarth for the timely warn­ing.

SORIT / CSE

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