Hyderabad, Feb 10 The time has come to explore a shift from the "technology and policy" of the green revolution as India can now afford to plan crop cultivation having achieved self-sufficiency in food grains production, Ashok Dalwai, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture has said.
"For example, a poor man has to survive somehow. He has no luxury of looking at better ways of living. But once we have crossed that basic poverty, then we have the luxury of planning. So, India is in that situation today. We have the luxury of planning," Dalwai said while delivering the Foundation Day lecture at the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), here yesterday.
Dalwai, who heads the Centre's panel on doubling farmers' income by 2022, lauded that the wheat and paddy revolution has helped India "cross the hump of food inadequacy."
The country is self-secure though there was drought for two successive years, he said.
"But now, time has come that particular green revolution technology...What has it done to our resources? So, is there not a need to shift from that particular technology to a new one, that policy to a new policy?" asked Dalwai.
"So, considering the tastes and preferences of the consumer, considering the environment in which a particular thing is grown, we need to design our policy such that we are able to give a stimulus to what should be grown better or in greater quantity," Dalwai said.
In an indepth analysis on agriculture, Dalwai touched upon a number of issues concerning the farming sector.
Quoting National Sample Survey Organisation figures, he said the net income of a farmer is Rs 6,426 per month and his monthly consumption is Rs 6,226, leaving him with only a surplus of Rs 200 per month.
"If a farmer is going to be left with Rs 200 surplus per month, then how do we expect him to make required capital investments in agriculture in terms of new technology, new seeds...It's not possible. How does he take care of education, health etc. Therefore, increase in income of a farm family is not a luxury," he said. (MORE)There is a need to work on three variables --
improving farm productivity, decreasing cost of cultivation, and improving market efficiency -- to improve the state of agriculture, Dalwai said.
The Central government has increased MSP and gave a bonus to farmers in the last two years, he said.
Noting that farm income and farmers' income are different as the latter involved income from sources of animal husbandry, he said the "next phase of green revolution or farmer revolution will come from animal husbandry, dairy, poultry, fisheries and horticulture sectors."
Observing that pulses, millets and oilseeds are similar in nature, he said there is a need to bring them together.
He stressed that post-harvestment management is extremely important.
"So, production segment and post production segment are two basic pillars of this house called agriculture. We will have to bring greater focus on that. The government policy is precisely to focus on that now. Our committee is trying to that," he said.
The inter-ministerial committee on doubling farmers' income, headed by Dalwai, was set up in April last year and it would submit its report in April this year.