Karnataka has announced a form out budget for agriculture. Considering that agriculture continues to hold out the largest employer, together with amongst a terrible agrarian crisis sweeping the state, agriculture does merit exceptional focus.
Agriculture increase inward Karnataka has remained at a dismal 0.5 per cent inward the past times decade. The fail of agriculture is evident from the abysmally depression expenditure on agriculture. Despite pop perceptions of a highly pampered farming sector, the fact remains that expenditure on agriculture has marginally risen from a depression of Rs 228 per acre inward 1985-86 to Rs 928 inward 2005-06.
The fail together with apathy is all apparent. Although mass of the population remains engaged inward farming, the portion of agriculture inward gross domestic product is steadily coming down. This gives an impression equally if agriculture is no longer important. The huge population inward farming is seen equally a national burden. Nothing could hold out farther from truth.
The Tennessee University had sometimes dorsum challenged this notion. The portion of agriculture inward America’s gross domestic product was barely iv per cent together with amongst less than 1 per cent population remaining inward farming, agriculture should accept been abandoned. What is non together with so good known is that agriculture’s portion inward the US of America economic scheme was equally high equally 65 per cent. It is primarily for this argue that US of America refuses to compromise its agriculture inward the ongoing negotiations at the World Trade Organisation.
Prof T due north Prakash of the GKVK, University for Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, has come upward out amongst a like analysis that tells us how cleverly the contribution of farming inward the economic scheme is underplayed. In instance of sugarcane, for instance, ane tonne of cane produces most 100 kg of sugar, 150 units of electricity together with most 35 litres of 4lc0h0l.
Market value of all these manufactured products exceeds Rs 20,500. What is non known is that Karnataka’s taxation revenue from the diverse value additions comes to Rs 2,040 crore every year. And what gain the farmers get? On an average, cane growers larn a cost of Rs 2,000 per tonne, of which 85 per cent is already incurred equally the cost of production.
The acre hence must admit that farmers gain economical wealth for the country. But unfortunately, equally the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) 2003-04 showed, the average income of a farm menage unit of measurement inward Republic of Republic of India is Rs 2,115. The minimum monthly salary of a chaprasi is Rs 15,000 together with what the farmer gets is exclusively a fraction. Isn’t this a national shame?
The proposed agriculture budget provides an chance for primary government minister B southward Yeddyurappa to brand a historic correction. I suggest setting upward a State Farm Income Guarantee Commission. Based on the agro-climatic conditions, the committee should operate out a feasible together with assured monthly income for the farmers depending upon the topography together with crop production. Let us non forget, the National Farmers Commission besides has called for an assured monthly income for farmers.
As an immediate succour to farmers, Karnataka should past times means of gratitude to its ‘annadata,’ who accept also served the province past times producing food, furnish a monthly pension to all farmers who hand the historic menstruum of 60. The monthly pension should non hold out less than Rs 5,000 per farmer. It should rename millets equally Nutri Cereals, together with Rs 1,000/quintal should hold out the bonus for those farmers who cultivate millets.
Yeddyurappa has already announced Karnataka’s intent of providing cooperative credit to farmers at 1 per cent interest. This facility also needs to hold out extended to self-help groups (SHGs) linked to microfinance institutes. As is good known, MFIs are charging an exorbitant involvement of 24 to 36 per cent which is leading to multiple borrowings together with also has pushed a large seat out of small-scale borrowers to commit suicide. MFIs accept inward reality decease loan sharks.
Economically also it appears that the authorities is unfair to the piteous together with marginalised. On the ane manus it is willing to furnish cooperative loans for farmers at 1 per cent together with on the other manus farmers’ wives (who may hold out business office of the hamlet SHGs) are made to pay 24 per cent interest, which effectively comes to 36 per cent on weekly recovery. Cooperative credit hence needs to hold out extended to SHGs.
In improver to declining farm income, the other major employment Karnataka confronts is the devastation of the natural resources base of operations — poisoned soils, drying aquifers, together with pesticides contamination. It is because of the devastation of the farm lands that agriculture is increasingly becoming un-remunerative thereby forcing farmers to quit agriculture.
Instead of promoting GM crops, together with precision farming technologies, which genuinely convey profits to the manufacturers, Karnataka needs to follow the Community-based Sustainable Agricultural organization of Andhra Pradesh.
In 28 lakh acres spread over 21 AP districts, farmers accept stopped the purpose of chemic pesticides, together with are directly phasing out the application of chemic fertilisers. The yields accept non declined, together with because no pesticides are used, wellness expenses of the rural population accept drastically fallen past times a minimum of forty per cent. Karnataka should adopt this sustainable farming model. It does non Pb to farmer suicides, together with nor does it cultivate naxalism. #
Source: Deccan Herald, February 16, 2011