By Pravash Pradhan, Editor :
Indian agriculture faces tremendous challenges. The fact is that growth of agriculture cannot be imagined in isolation. A lot of factors like quality inputs-water, seed and fertiliser, in particular- as well as post-harvest management that includes efficient supply chain and storage, and market linkages must be considered as a whole when we plan for a sustainable agriculture. Otherwise, it would be difficult to address issues like regional imbalances in terms of productivity per hectare and low price discovery for farmers among others.
I wonder when production of food grains has increased considerably post-green revolution and a sizeable amount of money has been invested on agriculture and allied sector post-independence, there is not much improvement in the socio-economic condition of farmers in India. Is it a matter of resource crunch or is it a crisis of political will power?
The other day I was listening to a speech of the Union Agriculture Minister. He rightly said politics is an integral part of democratic set up and political parties want the welfare of farmers, but sometimes it is the level of sincerity on the part of political managers that varies.
What really matters is the political sincerity when it comes to plan for growth of agriculture and progress of farmers. It is the need of hour to review policies, reassess role of research institutes and emphasise on extension services. Exchange of right information among all partners viz. farmers, policy makers and traders, holds the key to the growth of agriculture and allied sectors in India.