Indian Agrarian Crisis now moved to

Farmer-the most endangered species

Agriculture remains wanting

Posted by Ramoo on April 2, 2007…

2007-03-29 08:58:15 – The Standing Committee on Agriculture) 2006-07) is an unhappy committee. One does not have to look far for the reasons for this unhappiness

New Delhi, 29th March, 2007.
The Standing Committee on Agriculture) 2006-07) is an unhappy committee. One does not have to look far for the reasons for this unhappiness – lowering of per hectare growth of produce,, farmers’ rampant suicides, shortage of urea, inadequate water for irrigation, shortage of power for running irrigation pumps and last but certainly not the least,

old unimproved seeds that do nothing to increase productivity of grains.
The 23rd report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, chaired by Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav has noted that despite their repeated recommendations in various reports to substantially increase budgetary allocations of the agriculture sector to give required impetus to agricultural development, the allocations in respect of this vital sector continues to be unsatisfactory and much below the requirement.
The Committee has been informed by the representatives of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation that to build and sustain momentum of the agriculture sector it is necessary that both state and central plan outlays are augmented to achieve the required percentage of anticipated growth in the agriculture sector. Keeping that in view, they had proposed a plan outlay of Rs. 5917 crores for 2006-07 but only Rs. 4840 crores had been approved. The Committee noted that plan allocation of Rs. 3920 crores for 2005-06 at revised estimate stage was 6.3% less as compared to budget estimate of Rs. 4209.32 crores of the same year.
The Committee report, tabled in Parliament during the dying days of the first half of the budget session, noted that they are not at all impressed by the rosy picture portrayed by Member Secretary, Planning Commission during evidence where he profoundly declared that Plan allocation in favour of all the three departments of Agriculture put together (Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Department of Agricultural Research and Education and Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries) has been doubled within a single plan period from Rs. 3242 crores in 2002-03 to Rs. 6900 crores.
The Committee observed that in view of the inflation and value of money in real terms, the overall allocations are not actually being made from agriculture to carry out activities under its various programmes, although it has been termed as a priority sector. This can also be gauged from the fact that percentage share of agriculture in central plan outlay of Government of India has come down from 2.84 % in 2005-06 to 2.73% in 2006-07, of which share of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation accounts for 1.98% in 2005-06 and 1-89% in 2006-07.
The report said the Committee were of the firm opinion that to meet the challenges faced by agriculture sector, the government has to reprioritize the role of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation to achieve the targeted 4% growth rate envisaged for the agricultural and allied sector and to help the farmers to compete in the WTO regime.
The Committee strongly recommended that the Department should be provides Rs. 5917 crores by Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance at the revised estimates stage, as proposed by them at the budgetary estimates stage, since many of their new initiatives and other programmes are suffering owing to lack of requisite funding. The Committee further recommended that no financial cuts should be imposed on the department at revised estimates stage for smooth implementation of the schemes, as financial cuts imposed now may lead to further addition of miseries to Indian farmers and people engaged in the agricultural sector, in the absence of timely help. The need is to achieve the targeted 4% growth rate in agriculture and allied sectors.

2 Responses to “Agriculture remains wanting”

  1. Pradeep Gawande said

    Farmers’: The Wrong people for rulers and planners.

    Will Narendra Jadhav do a holistic Job?

    Roosevelt’s New Deal is the key

    Pradeep Gawande

    The Vilasrao Deshmukha Government in Maharashtra has set up a one Member committee for suggesting measures to arrest the crisis in agriculture. The whole exercise itself spares room for doubting the sincerity of the government to do justice to the cause as Narendra Jadhav has opined that writing off loans is not the solution. This diktat of Narendra in the first place seems to checkmate Swaminathan recommendation. And in the second place spells a reason to be skeptical about the sincerity of purpose of the whole exercise. Its long Swaminathan advised the government to write off loans as one of the relief measures. Painfully enough, Vilasrao Deshmukh seems contributing to worsening of matters by politically motivated priorities of assuring the implementation of Sachaar and studied silence on Swaminathan.

    Going by the history of the steps that the government has taken, the major one that it has paid back the entire amount of 3 % deduction done while procuring cotton under Maharashtra cotton procurement scheme with interest. Plus, the meager compensation paid for the natural calamities such as droughts and rain washed crops. The compensation for the pest affected cotton crop is yet pending. The point is, given the gravity of farmers’ suicides, the process has been pitiably slow. It’s time to remind the government that- justice delayed is justice denied.

    Now, Narendra Jadhav has a great challenge ahead of him as a student of economics. The thing required of him is that he will have to be prepared for learning. Plus he will have to do lot of unlearning as agriculture and agronomics is fairly complicated
    affair. There great deal of misunderstanding, heaps of myths deposited out of the lack of vision. Garbage created by the quacks out of their poverty of thought. Mess created by government and agricultural universities based expertise and political opportunism looms larger than life that might undermine the process of seeking the truth.

    Historically speaking the shatpatras of Ch Shivaji reflect the concern for farmers. Mahatma
    Fule –proves to be the father of farmer’s discontent through his historical work – shetkaryancha aasud,
    The second phase can be underlined as – Dr Panjabrao
    Deshmukh’s vision and action. In recent times Dr. M. G. Bokare through the platforms of KUS(Kapus Uptadak Sangh)made the economic process, – from raw cotton to the mill-woven fabric, common man’s cup of tea. However, the phase of KUS was full of views and counterviews as the categorization such as small and big farmers, labors etc often surfaced as the hurdle in unity.

    It was Sharad Joshi and Shetakari Sanghtana that distilled the principal of remunerative prices based on cost of production and consolidated the organization as a force to be reckoned with ironing out the narrow barriers.

    The present phase we are in is fondly termed as globalization oriented and wedded liberalization that is broadly christened as–market economy. It looms so horrible with suicides of farmers. The gravity of the crisis is so terrible that journalists doing bookkeeping job are bagging international awards.

    To do a sincere job the first thing that is required to help the farmer is to decide who is a farmer-

    1)To zero in – One who has no other source of income other than agriculture, such as a regular job, salary or pension, as an MLA or MP, irrespective of size of holding should be termed as – farmer.

    2) Hence for those having other sources of income such as a regular job or for businessmen who pay income tax, agriculture should be treated as a side business and a fit case for income tax.

    3)Thus an MLAs’ or MPs’ having a salary or pension should be deemed as a fit case for income tax for his agricultural income. The income tax authorities require to do job for expanding the tax net. The broadened tax net will ensure more revenue. The central government should take a serious note of this suggestion and take steps to bring all others for whom agriculture is a side business or a shield to evade income tax net and hide and convert black money into white.

    4) Thus the agriculture should be divided into to parts as- a plain farmer having no other income source and capital based farmer having other income source that makes agriculture a side-business. This will hit the bull’s eye.

    The object is to give relief to the aggrieved farmers. It’s therefore necessary to derive inspiration from the mantras such as – aano bhadra rutavo yantu vishvata and Lord Buddha’s “Give, Control and Sympathize” as guiding principles and look at the problem
    compassionately having faith in the tenet of welfare state. In short, the job demands perfect HR concern.

    I believe that my published and unpublished works- Farmer’s: The Endangered Species, ( Published by Dr Krishnabir Choudhary in BKS mouthpiece – Farmers’ Forum)Open Letter to PM Manmohan Singh and a note on World Bank People’s Tribunal, And the recent article on Jadhav committee published by editors-Vilas and Vivek Marathe of Daily Hindustan and editor Pradeep Deshpande of Janmadhyam, without pruning the length.
    Will offer Narendra insight to understand the subject.

    My work has been commented upon by noted economist Prof Arun kumar(JNU), Dr Banoji Rao,
    Prof P Konana (USA), D Murali, Asst editor Business Line, Prakash Kardley(Journalist), Pramod Patil ( Journalist)
    Praksh Ambedkar (RPI-BMS Leader).
    I quote some remarks here—
    Dear Pradeep,
    thanks for the mail.
    It is from the heart that you write and I agree that there is total
    callousness amongst all policy makers and the elite class of the country
    including the journalists, economists and teachers.

    We need to move to action.

    I attach with this a concept Note on Poverty that I have prepared.

    With the best.
    Arun Kumar.

    Arun Kumar
    18 Dakshinapuram, JNU, New Delhi 110067
    e-mail ID:,

    Good to see your mail. Best wishes for your efforts to educate people through booklets. I have passed on your article to my colleague J.Srinivasan, to whom I’ve marked a copy of this reply.
    Dear Pradeepji
    Thanks for the mail. Distressing topic. Is this an article for publication in Business Line?
    Warm regards
    Chief Research Analyst
    The Hindu Business Line

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts. The sad part of our great land is encapsulated in two misfortunes: promises are sky high and delivery is poor; and none cares to bring high levels of equality in the first 12 years of education and primary health care. Haves know not only how to have but also how to ensure the havenots will never have.
    Sorry for taking your time.
    Bhanoji Rao
    The question of the farmer plight is that we do not look at the system that protected us. The announcement by Dr. Ambedkar that if land reform are not taken up immediately i will start the march from Agra to Delhi. This forced the government to bring land reform. The majority became land owner only by this and other process. This ownership of land is due to public policy. In the later year the same farmer lost it shin and went after the caste leader. even today instead of following the economic issue, they still belief the caste leader. Unless people like you educate that it is the economic agenda that will survive them. If they keep on following the caste leader they will always be exploited. For the caste and religious leader do not have a ideology.It is only organization having commitment to the cause can and will lift the farmer from the present plight.
    Prakash Ambedkar (RPI –BMS Leader)

    Thanks for your article. I guess, we need to understand where does money comes from to lend it to anyone; whether it is a farmer or a big business. Sadly, the intense cynicism often fails to recognize this fundamental truth. We either borrow from some one (like World Bank) and agree to their conditions, or create that wealth some how. If we don’t want to borrow from some hegemony – as perceived by some intellects – we need to create it. Unless, we recognize how we raise capital and how we harness capital into new wealth all rhetoric or concerns – including the writings of Amartya Sen to yours and mine – are simply words.

    Your arguments are valid; farmers suffer enormously due to failed crops, monsoons etc. But, it is beyond human control so we come up with dams; we know what happens if dams are built. This unending cycle implies we move people to other professions that require new skills. This cannot be done in a year and may take generations. Sadly, intellectuals thrash other intellectuals in the name of concern and the status-quo remains for everyone to see. No progress has been made despite 60 years. May be, it is time to think differently since current status quo has made no progress.

    Prabhudev Konana Ph.D.
    Professor of Information Management
    Distinguished Teaching Professor
    Assistant Director, Center for Research in Electronic Commerce
    McCombs School of Business
    The University of Texas at Austin
    Austin, TX 78712
    Ph: 512-471-5219; Fax: 512-471-0587

    thank you mr gawande for mailing me your powerful presentation.

    Prakash Kardaley _(journalist)

    Dear Pradeep,
    Agree with you on all issues.

    Pramod Patil (Journalist)(



    It will help Narendra go to the root of the cause. He will find the facts laid threadbare and the core areas to focus on. The demand to payback the 3 % deduction in cotton procurement was my suggestion made through my column almost seven years back. And the demand to pay back the Seva Sahakari Society
    share capital with interest made last year in a letter to the Divisional Commissioner is now gathering momentum.

    The above reactions on my work that further confirm the validity of the argument.

    The sample of the mess created by state policies can be pointed
    such as- the use of pesticides. Now farmers are being advised
    to do organic farming and thus bring down the cost of production.
    Sharad Pawar attributes it to the lack of irrigation facilities and Mohammad Yunus opines it due to the lack of easy and low interest rate loans. The contradictions can thus be juxtaposed. This is horrible.

    There is a heap of junk that is down- loaded on the farmer from all and sundry in a perfectly sadistic manner that can be enumerated as-
    1)Grow More 2) Change the cropping pattern 3) Processing
    4) storage and go downs 5) Use pesticides 4) Don’t use pesticides do organic farming.6) Marketing 7) Irrigation.
    8) Do side business 9) Use hybrid varieties 10) Export, so on and so forth. 11) Use internet.

    Leaders invent designer devices to confuse. fool, emotionally
    blackmail and discourage farmers even held responsible the farmers to absolve themselves of the sins. Alcoholism is one subterfuge leaders resort to hang the moribund farmers. Now they have stopped this defense mechanism since there was a counter argument to implement prohibition. The open secret of this sef-applied breaks is congress leader are the manufacturers of country liquor which is produced from molasses. Perhaps sugar proves to be the by-product. Its hence Narendra will have to be on guard that the political gimmick do not cast their shadow on the process of realizations and the evolved measure. This is where the challenge lies if he chooses to do a holistic job.
    Prior to arriving at micro tools, Narendra can start the relief work
    with some macro ones.

    The simplest way to seek truth is to educate the farmers
    as Narendra happens to be at helm of academic affairs. It can be done by preparing a simple chart in columns giving the prices of commodities such as – gold, sugar, electricity per unit,
    bus fares, fish , mutton, cement etc plus salaries of government employees, and the dearness index plus, the prices of agriculture produce from 1947 onwards. This will help Narendra bring home the truth. In short, dearness index should be the cynosure.
    It will also have to be noted that various agricultural equipments
    that were provided under the PM package scheme were defective
    and thus the package was aimed at helping the manufacturers
    of substandard agricultural equipments. The old piled stocks of
    defective water pumps got picked up. Maharashtra government has been providing defective spray-pumps over the years that require to be thrown away in eight to ten days. This spells a
    spray-pump scam that is happening over the years. Most often the seeds and sort of thing that are given to farmers are intended at nothing but the –mini -scams. Such measure are just a show-off/ a façade.

    The help truly reaches farmers only when it is in the form of money through account payee instrument deposited in his
    Bank account. or else it is just a façade that is intended at mini scams every time. The help in the form of kind is meant for
    mini scams. Narendra will require understanding
    this anatomy of scams. To simplify, if the UGC scale teachers were asked that instead of giving them further pay –hike government would give them books of Rs 1000/- per month. Would they agree? What will happen? Apparently, there will be a big book scam.

    Needless to mention that congress is the single largest party
    to have enjoyed longest tenure in power. There is no point
    in playing –passing the buck trick.

    As the tenet of production cost has been accepted, it will now be required to go a step ahead and admit that the agriculture is not only a full time but overtime job given the whole exercise of – pre -sowing operations, sowing, post -sowing -cultivation, in gathering, harvesting, tackling the breath taking process of acquiring seeds and loans that makes him run from pillar to post, the whims and adamant nature of government machinery that run him mad, vagaries of nature and what not. Thus, tress is another serious dimension for consideration. It would suffice to quote that the cotton payments have often been delayed for months together. The accrued interest on the amount has been systematically gobbled up. This makes a good case to seek it back. This is a very vital suggestion.

    .Vilasrao is on record to have admitted that farmers’ suicide are a matter of shame, Narendra followed a suit. The admission of the sin is not enough. Giving economic justice is what is required. Narendra knows the proverb-money makes the mayor go. Speaking in terms of economics its money supply in rural India compared to urban one is the point. The academicians writing on this issue are thus expected to highlight this aspect.

    The president of APC (Agriculture Prices Commission) T Haq has opined that Food Security should be accepted as a part of National Security as we are importing food grains. Let us hope that Narendra will understand the overall significance of this statement. Apparently, its time to think about
    Ensuring security to the farmer who ensures food security.

    The a revision of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal –i.e The Agriculture and Consumer protection act(1973) will impart Narendra a new vision. This is perhaps the key.The Franklin
    Roosevelt Deal also requires to be made public knowledge.

    Super star Amitabh Bachhan is on record to have registered his grievance about the discrimination in Hollywood as –“ We are
    the wrong color for Hollywood”( Filmfare July –2004) Similarly farmers prove to be- The wrong people for rulers and planners of this nation. Narendra has to arrest the plague of farmers’ suicide.
    Albert Camus’ work – The Plague can be good metaphor for inspiration.
    The huge response of farmers to the public meeting of Udhhav Thakare in Nagpur spells that countdown has begun.

    Jai kisan Jai Jawan.

  2. Hello, I just stopped by this site from Google and just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the information that you’ve posted.

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