Venkaiah for more ‘pro-farmer’ policies; says, loan waiver not permanent solution

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Jun 2018 09:20:06


 

PUNE,

Vice-President claims that farmers who take up allied activities such as poultry and dairy along with traditional farming, do not commit suicide

PITCHING for more pro-farmer policies, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said loan waiver is not a permanent solution and in the long-term, it would affect the agriculture sector and ‘hurt’ cultivators.
Claiming that farmers who take up allied activities such as poultry and dairy along with traditional farming, do not commit suicide, he said cultivators must be able to export their produce for better returns.


In many policies, consumers are given more importance because of their large number, but farmers’ concerns shouldn’t be ignored, Naidu said, adding, “How do we balance the two conflicting interests in practical terms? That is a major challenge.” The Vice-President was here to inaugurate a national consultation on ‘making agriculture sustainable and profitable’ at the Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Co-operative Management. Agricultural scientist and the Father of Indian Green Revolution Dr M S Swaminathan, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and NCP Chief Sharad Pawar were present at the event.

“Loan waiver is not a permanent solution and in the long-term, it will affect the agriculture sector and hurt farmers,” the Vice-President said, and opined that since a huge population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood, increasing the income and purchasing power of this group is extremely important.


Naidu said that the major challenge is to make agriculture economically viable and the solution to it lies in identifying gaps in policy formulation. “We should make our policies more pro-farmer. Secondly, we should streamline the implementation processes keeping the end consumer -- the farmer -- always in mind,” the Vice-President said. It is important to encourage farmers to take up allied activities such as poultry, dairy, fisheries and aquaculture that can not only enhance their income of but also cushion them against the adverse impact of failed crop season, he said. Farmers who take up allied activities like poultry, dairy along with traditional farming, do not commit suicide, Naidu said.


Noting that selling of agricultural produce and getting a fair return was a big challenge for most farmers, the Vice-President said cultivators still rely on local markets and have to very often resort to distress sale.