November 30, 2018
Chennai : Father of Green Revolution, Professor M S Swaminathan on Friday extended support to farmers agitating in Delhi to express anger against government inaction over their woes.
The demand of farmers to make farming economically viable is just. “The implementation of my report on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) which will make farming economically viable and attractive. The demand for loan waiver comes from the present non-remunerative nature of farming and is indicative of the fact economic viability is as important to farmers as to industrialists,” Prof Swaminathan said. Unfortunately, the then government did not take action on the National Policy for Farmers (NCF) when the report was presented in 2007.
Farming is both a way of life and means to livelihood for nearly 60% of our population, a majority of whom are women and youth’ he said
“I only feel sorry that in the election politics solutions like loan waiver are given importance. The basic difficulties of farmers can be overcome only if integrated attention is given to pricing, procurement and public distribution,” he said.
Compounding the difficulties of today, farmers are facing serious problems from climate change. The most unfavourable impact of climate change will be high temperature, wide variation in precipitation and rise in sea level. While looking at the problems of farmers there should be equal attention paid to the families living and cultivating in the following ecosystems: Arid zone; semi-arid dry farming areas, irrigated areas, groundwater farming and plantation crops in hilly areas.
The support extended to farmers should be according to the requirements of those cultivating in the above-mentioned ecosystems, Prof Swaminathan said.
Farmers have now understood that while the problems of the other sections of society receive continuous attention, their own problems tend to be neglected unless they agitate. The Kisan Mukti March has rightly called for a special session of Parliament to discuss the problem confronting those who provide us with sustenance. It is sad that farmers who are life givers are forced to take their own life due to economic reasons, he said adding “I sincerely hope that today’s Kisan Mukti March will be a turning point in the history of public policy formulation in the field of agriculture.”
The reports of the NCF give a clear sense of direction to shaping the future of agriculture based on farmers’ welfare. The government of India has already changed, on the recommendation of NCF, the name of the agriculture ministry to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. This change in name should get reflected in action designed to promote farmers’ well-being as the main purpose of agriculture ministries at the centre and states, he said.