A strategy focused on ‘Farmer First’ required; major policy changes needed in agriculture, including MSP policy: Dr RS Paroda, Chairman TAAS and former DG of ICAR, in an exclusive interview
RuralVoice has completed six months of its journey today. The journey that lies ahead will be full of expansion and diversification in content. At this crucial point in its journey, RuralVoice, in its programme Rural Dialogue, spoke at great length to Dr RS Paroda, Chairman of TAAS, a former DG of ICAR and Secretary, DARE, in a video interview.
Thanks to the encouragement received from its readers and viewers, RuralVoice has completed six months of its journey today. The journey that lies ahead will be full of expansion and diversification in content. At this crucial point in its journey, RuralVoice, in its programme Rural Dialogue, spoke at great length to Dr RS Paroda, Chairman of the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS), a former Director General (DG) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), in a video interview. Dr Paroda spoke from Boston, US, to Harvir Singh, the editor-in-chief of RuralVoice.
Dr Paroda, who has played a key role in the development of the Indian agriculture sector from the early days of the Green Revolution, recently submitted to the government a report titled “Indian Agriculture Secure and Sustainable”. He led the team of scientists, policymakers and other experts who prepared the report.
In this long interview here, Dr Paroda cites the achievements of the Indian agriculture sector and farmers and also speaks about the second-generation difficulties. How the farmers’ cost is going up while their income is going down. He offers arguments regarding why an unambiguous policy is required for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops to be paid to the farmers and why C-2 should be 1.5 times the cost while fixing MSP. Besides, he also speaks as to how, instead of merely having policies focusing on crops, there is a need to promote dairy, pisciculture and horticulture in order to increase the farmers’ income. He feels there is a need for crop diversification and suggests a new formula for the subsidy given to the farmers.
Apart from these, his major emphasis is on making a new agriculture policy and implementing other institutional reforms. He feels a ‘Farmer First’ strategy is the need of the hour rather than ‘Agriculture First’. He also speaks about the necessity of the formation of the National Agricultural Development and Farmers’ Welfare Council and that of designing a new policy for agriculture and farmers’ welfare.
Watch this exclusive interview in Rural Dialogue to know Dr Paroda’s answers to all these issues and to get acquainted with his views on the future shape of agriculture and development policies.