And for a Friday as the most reformist farm laws been abandoned, some thoughts..… some musings…..
Political manipulations, neighbouring Pakistan fishing to create trouble in sensitive border state of Punjab, inept conflict management capabilities of Govt, have all lead to the most unfortunate result – scrapping of the 3 Farm Laws which would have been a “Giant leap” for Indian Agri sector. Creating new jobs, investments and providing Indian farmers innovative tech based competitive advantages – short term. Ofcourse there will be no impact as agriculture sector will continue to nudge along at its current pace. It’s the big opportunity lost, which is disheartening.
Problems, prospects, challenges and opportunities in Agriculture in India is too complex to be deciphered by an average Indian. Imagine as of October this year, Food corporation has already procured 81 million tonnes of food grains against the actual requirement of 31 million tonnes. So in a country starved of funds in COVID year, about 1.5 lakh crores of tax payers money is blocked – wasted resources. This is when only Rice and Wheat is procured at MSP from mostly the northern States. Imagine if all 23 crops are procured at MSP, the country will go broke within just one season. The agitating Sikh farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Western UttarPradesh do have their genuine concerns. But scrapping the reformist laws has amounted to yielding to the demands of, not genuine farmers but, the corrupt “Arthiyas” middle men, corrupt politicians and the exploiters of the small and medium farmers. With more than 85% of the Indian farmers being small and marginal with land holdings below two hectares, the only way for Agriculture to prosper is to aggregate – form FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisation), get investments for Agri infrastructure, cold storages, bring in modern Technology for crop production/marketing and up-skill the farm labour to provide employment at the village level. Alas, all that will have to wait till the reforms are brought back.
Irrespective of the outcomes, appeasement of a section at the cost of larger society will hurt the country. Let’s all be vigilant, the caring way, the sensitive way, the SEEGOS way.