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Experts’ Speak - Protect Our Livelihood

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In Shivraj Singh Chauhan, India finally has an agriculture minister who, like Sharad Pawar in the previous United Progressive Alliance dispensation, has both understanding and passion for the sector. He's well-equipped to deal with two primary challenges that Indian agriculture faces today - climate change (especially heat waves and irregular rainfall patterns) and making farming remunerative in order to retain talent in the countryside
Why Shivraj Singh Chouhan needs to be empowered – like Sharad Pawar and Jagjivan Ram by Harish Damodaran, The Indian Express, June 21, 2024 Know More
India must move to high-value agriculture (poultry, fishery, dairy, fruits and vegetables) with a value chain approach, from plate to plough — a demand-driven system. For that we need to think of policies and institutions through which our farmers can access pan-India markets, and even export markets on a regular basis, be it through cooperatives or farmer producer organisation (FPOs) on digital commerce platforms (like eNAM or ONDC) or though contract farming with large processors, retailers, and exporters.
Agriculture in Viksit Bharat: In the vision of a developed India by 2047, agriculture must also catch up with the times by Ashok Gulati, Financial Express, April 1, 2024 Know More
Precision agriculture not only boosts yield but also contributes to the long-term health of the soil, extending farmland fertility. This practice, which demands a more precise application of inputs, results in lower costs for farmers. Simultaneously, enhanced productivity and improved crop quality enable farmers to command higher incomes.
Cultivating a better tomorrow: Empowering farmers through precision agriculture, tech innovation bl-premium-article-image By Ashish Dobhal, The Hindu Business Line, January 15, 2024 Know More
India needs to adopt a two-pronged strategy with respect to water in agriculture. First, on the supply side, it must augment buffer stocking of water during the monsoon season in its reservoirs, and recharge groundwater through check dams and watersheds, etc. Second, it must work on the demand side to ensure more rational allocation and efficient use of water across crops.
How India can minimise climate risk in agriculture, By Ashok Gulati, The Indian Express, October 16, 2023 Know More
M S Swaminathan is no more. But his legacy remains with every student and scientist of agriculture. He is most widely known for working with Norman Borlaug to usher in the Green Revolution in India in the mid-1960s when India was facing back-to-back droughts. Millions would have died of starvation if the country had not experienced the Green Revolution.
Ashok Gulati remembers M S Swaminathan: He brought science and humanity together, The Indian Express, September 29, 2023 Know More
Integrating livestock and crops, a common practice in the past, is a viable option that all farmers should adopt. This approach offers multidimensional benefits, including income security, continued availability of animal manure, and reduced dependency on crops for livelihoods. Government incentives, awareness campaigns, and training programmes can help farmers revive this approach.
How Natural Farming Can Revive India’s Farmlands and Ensure Sustainable Agriculture by Indira Singh, The Wire, July 21, 2023. Know More
Ineffective implementation of MSP and ‘non-procurement’ of all the crops at the MSP is also one of the main concerns of farmers. Such a scenario builds a strong rationale for giving ‘legal status’ to MSP as it is the floor or reference price. This does not imply that the government should procure all those crops but would certainly bind the private players to procure those crops at least at the MSP.
Will a hike in MSP help farmers? by Vikas Vasudeva, The Hindu, June 12, 2023 Know More
Convergence of SHGs, Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs) and Co-operatives will lead to better bargaining power of farmers in terms of bulk procurement of inputs at a discounted price, economies of scale in transportation and warehousing, access to low cost institutional finance, farm mechanisation (drones for monitoring of crops and spraying of fertilisers and plant protection chemicals, etc.), aggregation in selling of agri-produce at remunerative prices.
Agriculture needs a ‘natural’ boost by M Srikanth, The Hindu Business Line, May 16, 2023 Know More
Over the last six years, farmers paid a premium of about Rs. 25, 186 crore but received claims worth Rs. 1,25,662 core (as on Oct 31, 2022). There can't be a better deal than this for farmers. Still, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, Jharkhand and West Bengal opted out of the scheme citing 'financial constraints'. Punjab persistently opposed and never implemented the scheme [PM-Fasal Bima Yojana]. Now is the time for them to think and join this PM-FBY.
Weather vagaries, wheat woes by Ashok Gulati and Raya Das, The Indian Express, April 3, 2023 Know More
“We need innovations in technologies, products, institutions and policies for more diversified high-value agriculture that is also planet friendly. On the question of doubling farmers’ income, we must realise it is going to take time. It can be done by increasing productivity through better seeds and better irrigation.”
How to double India’s farmers’ income by Ashok Gulati, The Indian Express, March 6, 2023 Know More