Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 May 2018 11:30:15










THE Central Government has reason to be satisfied on the food front as the country has registered a record agricultural production during the 2017-18 crop season. At 279.51 million tonnes, foodgrains production has risen by about four million tonnes over the last one year with the four foodgrains’ -- rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses -- output being higher than the previous year. Of course, in some cases the Government’s policy of announcing higher Minimum Support Prices (MSP) in advance and assured procurement support has definitely played a positive role in reviving farmers’ sentiment in an otherwise gloomy scenario in the agriculture sector. Satisfactory rains in several parts of the country also played a critical role in boosting foodgrains production. This will help in controlling inflation. While this is good news from the food security point of view, this should in no way be construed as the turn-around in the distressed agricultural sector. Much remains to be done to revive the farm sector as the farmer is perpetually in distress and needs support.


THAT North Korean dictator Mr. Kim Jong-un has threatened to withdraw from the proposed summit with US President Mr. Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore, does not come as a surprise. Both leaders are very unpredictable and there cannot be any finality unless they actually meet and sort out their differences. The provocation for the North Korean dictator came from the joint military exercise that US is undertaking with South Korea aimed at displaying American military might and browbeating Mr. Kim into submission on Washington’s terms for denuclearisation. For Mr. Kim such a show of might by Mr. Trump is provocation enough to issue the threat of withdrawal from the summit. When Mr. Kim has begun to take some steps towards dismantling his nation’s nuclear facilities, Mr. Trump should have waited for the outcome from his forthcoming summit with Mr. Kim for more action. However, right from the day of his inauguration as the President of the United States, Mr. Trump has shown unmistakable traits of an overbearing leader.