There needs to be an agricultural policy with periodic reviews: Badri Narayan Choudhary
Badri Narayan Choudhary, National General Secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), spoke on “Enabling Policy Environment for Agriculture and Rural Sector” at the Rural Voice Agriculture Conclave and NEDAC Awards 2021 held in New Delhi recently.
Not only should there be an agricultural policy, but there should also be periodic reviews said Badri Narayan Choudhary, National General Secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Choudhary was one of the participants in the session on “Enabling Policy Environment for Agriculture and Rural Sector” at the Rural Voice Agriculture Conclave and NEDAC Awards 2021 held in New Delhi recently.
Choudhary began with chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai!” and acclaimed Harvir Singh, the Editor-in-Chief of Rural Voice, for providing another forum to the farmers to make the rural voice reach the policymakers.
“We were a golden bird because of our agriculture,” said Choudhary. “Post-Independence we once again have an opportunity. We are indebted to the Green Revolution. But if you conduct all researches for 60 years with Green Revolution at their centre and ignore our own heritage, how long can this continue?”
According to Choudhary, research should be conducted on the conventional knowledge of the farmers. Such knowledge should be compiled and backed up by scientific support.
The production of wheat and rice went up, said Choudhary, because the government purchased them. However, the acreage of other crops went down because the government neglected them. The need was, therefore, for comprehensive data, felt Choudhary.
That Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about “natural farming” at Anand in Gujarat was a positive trend, said Choudhary.
New policies need to be adopted with a pinch of salt, he believes. There is no problem with the adoption of new technologies, but adaptations are necessary as per the changing times and conditions. The suggestions of stakeholders need to be sought.
Choudhary said the preamble to the Fourth Five-Year Plan (FYP) admitted that if the farmers were given the full value of their crops, the economy of the country would collapse. Besides, in 1950, the preamble to the FYPs explicitly mentioned we should bring such policies as would develop our industries. Farmers were treated merely as supporters of this framework. And it is there that the foundation was laid for the plight of the farmers.
All research, Choudhary said, was industry-centric while the need was to make it farmer-centric. “But no one is interested in seeking the farmers’ suggestions. I would, therefore, accuse the policies of being industry-centric.”
Not only should there be an agricultural policy, Choudhary concluded, but there should also be periodic reviews.