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Survey of Indian Agriculture 2012: The Hindu

 

 
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The Hindu – Survey of Indian Agriculture (2012)

Though prices of many agri commodities have increased the plight of the small and marginal farmers remains the same. The Govt. has recommended a minimum support price (MSP) for almost all produces that a farmer grows, except for sugarcane. Farmers growing other crops are not able to get a remunerative price. The reason being MSP is not being strictly implemented, it often remains on paper.The Indian agricultural sector is dominated by several middlemen. And today the entry of many private players in marketing agri produces also throws more marketing avenues open. Are the farmers getting a fair deal?

 
Contents:
  • Is rural India really shining or is it just a poster image by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman MSSRF, The future of agriculture and food security will depend upon the attention we pay to soil conservation and enhancement, water harvesting and careful use, conservation of agro-biodiversityand anticipatory action for meeting the challenges of global warming resulting in unfavourable shifts in temperature, precipitation and sea level rise (page no. 7)

  • Are subsidies responsible for destroying agriculture? by K. Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor, TNAU, Coimbatore, The biggest problem in agricultural subsidy is that it has failed to distinguish between the needy and non-needy (page no. 10)

  • Need to learn from past experiences by M.J. Prabhu, Agriculture Correspondent, The Hindu, The lessons learned from the past when there were problems to face the drought must serve as guiding factor for preparedness to help the farmers to overcome the vagaries of weather (page no. 14)

  • Feasibility of farming for a small farmer today by V. Joseph Satish, Research Associate, Knowledge in Civil Society (KICS), Secunderabad, There has been a revival of traditional farming and organic food crops like millets and pulses (page no. 16)

  • Why are small farmers so vulnerable in the country? by Satyapal Malik, former Union Minister, Prabhari Kissan Marcha, BJP, New Delhi, When the farmers goes to sell, there is hardly any agency to buy his crop, he has to leave it at the middle man’s shop (page No. 20)

  • Why is production not matching international levels? by V. Rajagopal, former Director CPCRI, Kasaragod, The yield levels of some crops are lower than international level, still India ranks high in other crops. Agriculture is a complex enterprise with several ‘gaps’ which need attention, he feels (page no. 24)

  • Some reasons for why farming is not viable today by K. Kumaraswamy, Sol and Crop Management Scientist, Coimbatore, Small farmers are unable to transform the farming as a commercial venture due to resource constraints (page no. 26)

  • Official statement and ground reality don’t seem to match by A.P. Fernandez, former Director, MYRADA and currently Chairperson NABARD Financial Services, Loans for construction of warehouses for agri commodities should be considered as priority sector lending eligible for subsidized interest rate at part with the crop loan (page no. 29)

  • Many practical difficulties plague a farmer today by Suresh Pal and Alka Singh, Division of Agricultural Economics, IARI, New Delhi, A large majority of small farmers would be living below the poverty line if they depend only on agriculture as their source of livelihood (page no. 35)

  • Successful economic in aquaculture growing by M. Krishnan, Ananthan P.S and S. Pavithra, Head and Scientists, SocialSciences Division, CIFE, Mumbai, Policy driven, professionally companies that make huge investments ensure that the culture remains pristine like it was on day one day (page no. 38)

  • Loss: gain ratio for a small farmer by V.C. Mathur and G.K. Jha, Professor and Senior Scientist, Division of Agricultural Economics, IARI, New Delhi, Modern production technology underlines the use of chemical fertilizers and plant protection chemicals to realize the yield potential of modern varieties (page no. 42)

  • Continuing to grow without choice or chance by Uthara, organic farmer, water management expert and grassroot knowledge worker on sustainable farming, Kerala, The price of being a farmer gradually faded and the title slowly started gaining the burden of shameful humiliation of many dimensions (page no. 46)

  • Involve farmers as partners to achieve growth by S. Prabhu Kumar, Zonal VIII, Bangalore, About 630 KVKs a popular name among the farming community is functioning under ICAR (page no. 49)

  • Why does even a 10 acre farmer languish in poverty? by P. Ramasundaram and Lakshmi Prasanna, Principal and Senior Scientists, NCAEPR, DPS, Marg, Pusa, New Delhi, The lives of smallholding families can be improved by higher per acre productivity, and horizontal and vertical diversification (page no. 52)

  • Our farmers can learn from Chinese model by T. Ravisankar, Senior Scientist (Agri. Economics), CIBA, Chennai, The consumer preference for chilled fish is slowly improved but frozen fish is rarely accepted even in city fish markets in India (page no. 54)

  • Does dry land agriculture mean the end for a farmer? by C.A. Ramarao and B. Venkateswarlu, Principal Scientist (Agri. Economics) and Director, respectively at CRIDA, Hyderabad, It should be adequately recognized that the critical problems at rainfed agriculture are different from those of irrigated agriculture (page no. 57)

  • Three measures to reduce gap in farm income by Ramesh Chand, Director, National Centre for agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi, The shift of cultivators from agriculture to non agriculture has been lower than growth rate in their population (page no. 60)

  • Government alone cannot address all the challenges by Suresh Chandra Babu, Senior Fellow, IFPRI and Prasanna Rajasekaran, Scholar on public poilcy, One way to put Indian agriculture back on track is to increase public investment on agriculture research and extension (page no. 63)

  • Government claim of being pro-farmer is just an eye wash by N. Mahalingam, Chairman, Sakth Group of Companies, Chennai, The government has to introduce agriculture in higher secondary school at plus two and at degree level in regional language in rural areas (page no. 66)

  • Who is to be held responsible for the suffering of farmers? by G. Nammalwar, Nammalvar Ecological Foundation, Surumanpatti, Karuru, Tamil nadu, An understanding of the roots of agrarian crisis may help the planners to reconsider what do they mean by “second green revolution” (page no. 69)

  • Is privatizing marketing a feasible solution? by L. Narayana Reddy, Doddaballapur taluk, Bangalore Rural district, big supermarket or a mall has displaced hundreds of small traders from their age old profession and put them and their dependents into a sad state of leading their lives (page no. 72)

  • FDI is not reform but an investment policy by Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak, Samaj, New Delhi, For years, farmers have been suffering at the hands of those who have a monopoly on purchasing and selling of agriculture produce, (page no. 75)

  • Commissions and kickbacks are ruining productivity by S. Durairaj, enterpreneur, Green energy generation and poultry manure production, Tamil nadu, UNDP has selected this as one of the 11 projects in the world. Further, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the UNFCCC has registered this as a green project (page no. 78)

  • What do farmers want from the government? by Thooran Nambi, Coordinator Tamil nadu Farmers Association, Tirupur, Commodity based mono-cropping for exploiting the basic natural resources has to be stopped and to maintain bio-diversity, multi cropping system is to be worked out (page no. 81)

  • Do away with middlemen for food security by Suman Sahai, Convenor, Gene Campaign, Sainik farms, Khanpur, New Delhi, Middlemen are able to exploit the farmers largely because of the failure of the formal credit system which is practically non existent (page no. 83)

  • Can a finance bill exclusively for agriculture help? by L.N. Manjunath, Executive Director, SKDRDP, Dharmasthala, Karnataka, An exclusive farm budget instead of being treated as yet another election year budget, should micro manage the available resources in the country (page no. 86)

  • Need to change policies to suit present day requirements by Yashawantha Dongre, Registrar, Vijayanagara, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Bellary, Even if the agricultural sector grows at the present rate for the next decade, reduction of population pressure would enhance its productivity levels many fold (page No. 88)

  • Confidence building measures to bail out agriculture by Vijoo Krishnan, Joint Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, New Delhi, Farmers’ cooperatives and SHGs must be given institutional credit at low interest rates (page no. 90)

  • Suffering farmers and an oblivious government by A.K. Ghosh, Director, CED, Jadavpur University, Can any farmer easily access seeds from National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NPBGR) holding more than 70,000 varieties run by tax-payers’s money? Or do they even know it exists? (page no. 92)

  • How far is the Govts. claim on being food secure true? by Alok Sinha, IAS (Retd), Former Chairman and Managing Director, Food Corporation of India, Food security can be introduced through an executive order. Later it can be given the cover of a Parliamentary mandate, and no party would then oppose such an egalitarian and sensible policy (page no. 95)

  • Removing imperfections to facilitate better marketing by N. Ajjan, Director, Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies, TNAU, Coimbatore, To protect the rights of the farmers as well as sponsors of contract farming, a dispute settlement mechanism should be set up (page no. 97)

  • Is present credit facility squeezing life out of farmers? by C.V. Sairam, Principal Scientist, Agricultural Economics, ICAR, New Delhi, During extreme conditions such as drought, flood, cyclones, etc., farmers expect better and timely empathetic measures from the financial institutions and hence the existing norms in this regard may be fine-tuned (page no. 100)

  • Result of flawed policy paradigm by D.S. Bhupal, Senior fellow, Agricultural Economics Research Centre, University of Delhi, Delhi, Wrong choice of flood irrigation method and cropping pattern are leading to huge water wastage (page no. 102)

  • Need for more stringent measures to save groundwater by K. Palanisami, Principal Researcher, IWMI, Hyderabad, Among the top 10 groundwater-abstracting countries as of 2010, India ranks first (page no. 106)

  • Whether farmers are benefiting from Bt cotton by Kavitha Kuruganthi, ASHA, Bangalore, How is it that Bt cotton in other countries had not resulted in the kind of cotton yield increases that India has seen for a few years in the last decade? (page no. 108)

  • A decade of successful Bt cotton cultivation in Gujarat by V. Kumar, Research Scientist (Cotton), Main Cotton Research Station, Navsari Agricultural Unviersity, Athwa Farm, Surat, Due to Bt cotton, farmers harvest more yield, better assured of returns, incur less expenses on pesticides, efficient use of water, nutrients and other inputs (page no. 110)

  • Direct marketing can ease woes to an extent by M.J. Prabhu, Agriculture Correspondent, The Hindu, Chennai,The self-sufficiency that the country claims to have achieved is not real – as one-third of our present population do not have the purchasing power for three meals a day (page no. 112)

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