And for a Friday in Hyderabad, in the heart of Innovative….. Agriculture….. some thoughts…..
The unprecedented 180 kms walk through blistering heat by more than 20,000 Tribal farmers from Nasik to Mumbai not only attracted National Interest, but is a big “ Slap-in-the-Face” for all us Policy Makers and Managers and Experts of the Rural Economy.
Imagine 2,24,000 crores are being budgeted every year into expenses for Food subsidy and MGNREGA schemes….. year after year….. giving free food and distriburing cash to labourers. This costly experiment has outlived its utility.
Nathu Udar, the agitating farmer exhibited the uniqueness of the Indian farmer to seize an opportunity. He carried his Solar Panel on his head and walked the 180 kms helping his co-farmers charge their Mobile on the move. Jugaad at its best. The Indian farmers, be it the pineaaaple grower in Sikkim, Rice in Kuttanad, Apples in Kulu or Peanuts in Bharuch, are all producing world class yields with adaptive affordable technology.
Indian Agriculture needs urgent large scale reforms. Farmers need ease of doing business just as the other economic sectors. Loan waivers and spot subsidies are Political sops. They do not resolve systemic issues. The agitating Nasik Tribals wanted title to the land they are tilling under the Forest Land Rights Act. Sugarcane belt, Cotton Farners, Potato, Onion and Paddy farmers each have different issues in different climatic zones. They need capital investment, technological inputs, infrastructure and deep abiding and sustainable Solutions.
Let us all help build India Agri, block by block, by solving the Farmers Grassroots level problem, the Empathy way, the Ethical way, the SEEGOS way.