The following are the excerpts (for a quick reading) from an excellent essay by Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, on the subject. The full essay can be accessed from the attached document.
The Government of India could make a net profit of not less than Rs 50,000 crore this year by exporting just one variety of rice grown in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, said Lok Satta Party President Dr Jayaprakash Narayan here today.
Addressing a media conference, Dr JP hoped that the economist-turned Prime Minister would seize the historic opportunity not merely to earn precious foreign exchange for the country but also to mitigate widespread distress among farmers. It was time Dr Manmohan Singh, who liberated industry from the license-permit raj, focused on rescuing agriculture from imminent collapse.
The Governments - Union and State - have put farmers in fetters with their antediluvian farm sector policies. A corrupt, thoughtless license-permit-quota raj has been crippling the farm sector. In agriculture, production itself is dependent on weather gods, pests and diseases, availability of quality inputs and timely workforce. One out of three crops is lost and the farmer suffers heavy losses. But thanks to Government policies, even when a farmer raises a good crop overcoming all obstacles, the price is depressed. The farmer loses all when the crops fail; and he loses heavily when there is a good harvest.
Dr JP accused both the Union and State Governments of ruining agriculture, the mainstay of 60 percent of people in the country. The per capita income of farmers and tenants who are solely dependent on agriculture in India is Rs15,000 a year, in contrast to Rs.1,04,000 of those engaged in non-agricultural occupations. How can industry flourish if 60 percent of people lead a subsistence existence and cannot afford goods produced by industry?
No major country actively works against its own farmers as the Indian Government does. If there is a conspiracy to destroy our agriculture, impoverish our farmers and tenants, and ruin village economy, the Government could not have done differently. Irrational and anti-national policies in agriculture are denying us market access, profits, foreign exchange and farm income. This shameless exploitation of farmers and tenants is leading to economic ruin of villages which constitute 70% of the population. This is also affecting the rest of the economy, as the demand for industrial goods and services is limited largely to 30% of the population. "The policies of the government are clearly resulting in India's economic growth being held back; eventually the economy will stagnate, and the nation will pay a heavy price," Dr JP said.
The essay says it all, and it is not quite rocket science. So, what is holding back the Agriculture minister from acting? Or, is it that he's too caught up with the BCCI and ICC shennanigans to bother with the travails of this vital sector of the country's economy?
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