Natural Farming, as the name suggests, is the art, practice and, increasingly, the science of working with nature to achieve much more with less. It relies more on soil biology than soil chemistry by encouraging multi cropping, round-the-year soil cover, addition of formulation made up of cow dung and urines to trigger the microorganisms in the soil system.
Needless to say, it’s a lopsided agricultural policy having no state-wise balanced crop production plan meeting overall requirements of essential commodities, though agriculture is a State Subject
India being an agrarian country and agriculture being a State-subject, there is a need for a calculated and balanced approach between the Union of India and the States as far agriculture, in totality, is concerned.
The contrasting scenarios of record agricultural production and grinding poverty illustrate what is described as the “paradox of plenty” in the agriculture sector. India wastes around food worth approximately $14 billion each year, according to government figures.
It reminds me how India became close to self-reliant in edible oil by doubling the output from 7.0 million tons of oil to nearly 14.0 million tons in no time with the launching of First Technology Mission on Oilseeds (TMO) in 1986. The simple interventions were price incentive to oilseed growers, procurement guarantee and total restriction on import of edible oils.
Spurious Seed, Sick Farmers, Dwindling Agri-Economy – A Stumbling Block on the Road to New India, Five Trillion EconomyPublished on :
Enhanced crop productivity is eminent in neutralizing input costs and thereby posting profits in farm income. The single most critical factor in profitable agri-venture is Seed.
Ministry of External Affairs has designated one officer each in 10 selected missions as Agriculture Counsellor. While welcoming such an aggressive strategy for developing international agricultural trade to achieve a growth target that is quantifiable, I would urge upon the government to take a top-down approach to bring about sweeping reforms (even at the risk of inviting criticisms and protests for heavy handedness).
Regulation of international trade in wheat should be governed by market forces rather than by frequent tariff and import control interventions. Instead, the government should focus on making Indian wheat produce cost and quality competitive.
The right of farmers to choose their own methodology is what should be advocated, keeping the restrictions and inconsequential nudge as reasonable as possible. The circumstances won’t change unless there is consistency between the price of fertilizers and the farmer’s income, to encourage them to use all fertilizers proportionately.