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Remedies to solve India's agricultural growth issues
Agriculture is the soul of Indian economy as 75% of the country's population depends on agriculture or agro-industries or agro-business. Now, it has come to light that India's economic growth is not keeping with the expectations because its agricultural growth is lagging behind.

For progressing on the agricultural front, we have, first of all, to ensure that all of India is irrigated and none of its area remains rain-fed because chemical fertilizers cannot be of much use in rain-fed areas to boost agriculture production.

At present, a major part of land in India is rain-fed. For quick results to achieve 100% irrigation, we have to build small dams which cost less and yield results quickly. Moreover, we have to implement the inter-linking of river project immediately to ensure 100% irrigation and to escape the wraths of both floods and droughts. Our watershed programmes too need to be implemented quickly.

Most of the land is in the hands of small and marginal farmers who cannot afford costly inputs for agriculture like fertilizers, better seeds and tractors as well as other machineries, and have to depend on credit. They also do not get enough returns for their products because they do not know agricultural marketing.

In this regard, we have to treat agriculture as industry and open it to corporate who can afford to buy these costly inputs and can employ the small and marginal farmers as their employees. The other option is that cooperative farming may be introduced and cooperative marketing of agricultural products as well as running of cooperative banks by these farmers be ensured by giving them proper guidance and training.

However, at present, cooperatives are suffocating under government controls through the various Acts etc. passed by it. The cooperatives once formed and those already existing would have to be given a free hand to allow cooperative movement particularly cooperative farming, which includes running of cooperative agricultural banks and cooperative agricultural marketing, to develop.

The IFFCO has developed as a federation of farmers' cooperatives, which produces fertilizers for the farmers. Like IFFCO, more cooperatives of farmers need to be formed which can produce fertilizers for them.

In other words, let farmers’ cooperatives be formed who can produce inputs required for agriculture. For this, guidance and training would need to be provided to the farmers. Extension services would have to be strengthened and a separate channel each of Doordarshan and All India Radio would need to be set up for the benefit of farmers. If all the above proposals are implemented, it would go a long way in achieving expected economic growth.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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