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23 May 2019, Edition - 1409, Thursday

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Coimbatore

‘Concept of cheaper food should not endanger the lives of farming community’

Covai Post Network

A senior food and trade policy analyst from Delhi today mooted the need to increase income of farming community by shifting the focus on economic policies, as there was economic disparity between farming and other sectors.

In his special lecture on “Way forward of Indian Agriculture” organised at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University here, Devinder Sharma said that there was disparity between farming and other sectors, as productivity oriented agricultural alone cannot augment the income of farmers.

Stating that despite 98 per cent assured irrigation and highest productivity in the country, farmer’s suicides did occur in Punjab, Sharma said that the past 21 years witnessed 3.30 lakh farmers’ suicides, an issue that cannot be ignored or sidelined.

On the economic disparity, he said that a 120-150 times jump in income was being noticed in other sectors while only 19 times income jump was in agriculture.

At this rate, the deserving price per quintal of rice should be Rs. 5,100 against Rs.1,410 per quintal now, he pointed out.

The balance, if credited in to the farmers account, would greatly increase the GDP of the country by way of more consumptive pattern among the 52 per cent Indian population, Sharma said.

Stating that the concept of cheaper food should not endanger the lives of farming community, he said that writing off the three lakh crores farm subsidy would in fact be a smaller amount as compound to loans waived as non performing assets, as subsidies are in fact incentives to farmers.

Expressing the need to evolve mechanisms for proportionate growth of farm income as compared to government and private sectors, he said one such mechanism is the direct credit of cost on ecosystem services contributed by agricultural to the farmers account themselves.

The administrators and leaders should make genuine efforts to shift the farmer’s economy from its present status and to make more viable to change the entire phase of agricultural in 30 years, Sharma said.

University Vice-Chancellor in his opening remarks pointed out the need for good agricultural practices for an environmental friendly and sustainable food production for the entire West Asian countries.

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