India is a land of agriculture. This is what we read in our geography books when we have been youngsters and this is what we say now, grown ups we are. Not that we have not progressed industrially in these forty years after independence. Form a nation that could not manufacture ‘nuts and bolts’ we have emerged out as a nation that can make and launch its personal satellites. But mainly we remain agriculturists. Seventy 5 percentage of the individuals are connected with agriculture a single way or other. And in terms of production we have some distinctions to be proud of. We are world’s quantity a single in the production of sugarcane and quantity two in rice. We are only subsequent to China in tea and to Egypt in cotton. And once more in groundnuts, we are number one particular.
But inside of so a lot of firsts and second we are no where near self sufficiency in food. To feed the millions of our poor, who do not consume even two square meals a day, we import year right after year, wheat from America, rice from Burma, sugar from Indonesia and cotton from Egypt. One purpose that is beyond dispute is its multiplying mouths, though there are other folks that are not so apparent. Due to the fact of unscientific approaches of preservation and poor storage conditions millions of tons of food stuffs are washed out in floods, if not spoiled by passage of time.
But it is our usual practice blame the poor farmer first, for his primitive approaches of agriculture. With a little patch of land that will not permit a huge tractor to manoeurve, with out sufficient capital to buy costly implements, not even to get fertilizers and pesticides, with out perennial irrigational facilities how can he adopt himself to contemporary situations? His ignorance, lack of education and heavy indebtedness maintain him firmly rooted to a state of helplessness, whilst a enormous revolution is taking place in front of his eyes. Which farmer loves to see his crops wither away for want of water? Or would not like to reap maximum harvests if he could assist it with an added supply of manures? Whether or not we accept it or not, agriculture is an business and like each other market, it requirements capital. The poor farmer with insufficient holdings can in no way hope to have it. There might be cooperative credit societies and rural banks. His ignorance prevents him form cutting across the red tape and get timely aid. No wonder then, the average yield per acre remains the lowest in the world.
In India lies one of the most fertile locations of the planet. The Indo — Gangetic plain, can simply become the food bowl of the world and feed it alone and fully. But, most of the water in its rivers drains off into the sea and in instances of flood they inundate vast places, killing cattle and individuals alike, destroying thousands of acres of standing crops, washing village following village and lastly becoming the sorrow of the land. If we have a Bhakra Nangal project we do not know how to divide the water, to the satisfaction of every state concerned, than to stick to the path of prudence and prosper. It is not very long ago, that an engineer had a grand vision of linking the Kaveri with the Ganga — which he called ‘Ganga Kaveri Project’ and proved with figures and calculation that it was feasible. But prior to it could acquire popular approval, he lost his cabinet post and the scheme was thrown into a Waste Paper Box.
Right now, we do not know whether we ought to go ahead with the building of the Narmada Valley Project, which would maybe convert vast arid zones into gorgeous green belts. There are actually massive individuals, nonetheless arguing for and against it, even right after spending millions of rupees on the project operate. It is not water management that we ought to learn, but its distribution management. Andhra Pradesh was permitted till the end of the century to utilize the surplus waters of the Krishna that would at any price drain off into the Bay of Bengal, but the Karnataka government would not enable it. Its million dollar argument is: «If you use it now, you will be tempted to use it tomorrow». This is the ultimate in regionalism. No wonder the people of Madras city languish in thirst for a drought of drinking water. Only a Bhagiratha must bring the Telugu Ganga to Madras.
Far more than 175 million acres are under cultivation now and there are nearly 60 million acres that can be brought under the plough. Even after the reclamation of these vast regions also, the nation cannot obtain self sufficiency in meals, as primitive techniques are utilised. They might add yet another 30 million tons, which will not be enough to feed the rising mouths. The rate of land reclamation cannot preserve pace with the development price of population which is apprehended to double every single forty years if remains unchecked.
Consequently the need to have of the hour is to have a new look at the complete structure. There are not a lot of who own a minimum of 5 acres of land per family which any be sufficient to feed all the mouths it has. It will become a profitable venture if they adopt modern techniques, replacing the plough by the tractor, and turn to intensive cultivation. As a matter of fact, some of the people who own more than 5 acres of cultivable land have turned to modern day strategies of agriculture. They have their personal tractors, wells and pump sets. But the vast majority of the farming community either own no land at all or own much less than five acres. Although they constitute 80% of the cultivating community, their holdings do not exceed 20% of cultivated land — which is to recommend their pursuits are most uneconomic. It is there that the government need to come in with every feasible help-can organize them into cooperatives and supply them high yielding seeds, fertilizers and other vital implements. When waste lands are reclaimed, these landless poor have to be created to settle down with gives of minimum cultivable land, implements and other help. With a gift of 3/5 acre of land in addition to a modest money grant to each and every family to the landless poor, the Chinese had been in a position to obtain a green revolution inside a short span of 5 years.
For that reason, as matters stand at present, the small peasant with his uneconomic holdings can not take to modern day strategies of cultivations the large landlord, because of the changing tenancy laws and unpredictable conditions, is not really much interested to bring every bit of his land beneath the plough and strive for optimum yields. The land ceiling introduced by several states with half thoughts, did not generate the anticipated results, for they have been not pursued vigorously in the matter of reallocation. If, in some states, it was created, it added only to the hatred and enmity existing between the caste Hindus and the Harijans, for in most circumstances these have been the new settlers. The Naxalite movement which believes that the finish justifies the means, is the outcome of such a class hatred between the landed rich and the landless poor. A number of innocent folks had been mercilessly murdered in a lot of states especially in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
In the name of self sufficiency in meals, agriculture is exempted from revenue tax. Even if we do not dub it as an market, it is the mother of all activities exactly where millions and millions of folks are engaged no matter whether actively or not, whose task force is significantly larger than the one participating in the field of sector and unfortunately it is the a single which is most disorganized. A mill hand has a lot more safety than a farm worker his interests are far better taken care of, his voice a lot more audible, he has a entire organization behind him, to support, to struggle and even to die for him. In the socialistic kind of political technique we have adopted, the industrial worker will certainly have his share of profit some day in future. He has at least, his bonuses now.
To alter the complete program, a change need to 1st of all, come in the outlook and attitudes of the people who are the fortunate possessors of this vast gift of nature. If they realize that they are not truly its possessors, but only the custodians, the modify will be smooth, silent and peaceful. Change of heart is certainly much better than the adjust by compulsion. But, will a man who carries his son on his shoulders, wherever he goes, very easily alter?
Rahul M is a freelance writer and has written content material for numerous internet & print media projects.
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