Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 19:
Appropriate policies are needed for accelerated and inclusive agricultural growth, said Dr. T. Haque, Chairman of Special Cell on Land Policies, NITI Aayog while speaking at the 10th Dr. Verghese Kurien Foundation Day Lecture at KIIT School of Rural Management (KSRM) in Odisha capital today.
India’s agricultural sector is ailing for quite some years now and the targeted 4 percent annual agricultural growth rate in the 10th, 11th and 12th five year plans was not achieved, Dr. Haque stated. Accelerated and diversified growth by itself can result in inclusive growth, by way of improving farm income and reducing poverty as well as farm distress, he opined.
Pointing to the employment and income diversification in rural India, he said, the average farm income remains low and consequently farmers in general continue to be in a distress situation. So the small and marginal farmers will require to access both farm and non-farm incomes in an accelerated manner to overcome poverty and distress.
There are numerous challenges for Indian farmers in the way to improve incomes and overcome distress. The present pace and patterns of horizontal and vertical diversification would not suffice, Dr. Haque opined, adding, inclusive growth would require region and class specific strategies of growth. Dr. Haque gave importance on the appropriate policies for accelerated and inclusive agricultural growth, which would include strengthening the R & D System to innovate cost effective technologies, providing incentives to farmers for adoption of organic farming, ensuring adequate price and marketing support, improving access to institutional credit, designing and implementing a comprehensive and farmer friendly agricultural scheme, etc.
Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS, in his welcome address, advised the rural management students to visit rural areas for more practical knowledge about rural India. Among others, Shri R. N. Dash, Secretary, KIIT & KISS; Dr. Sasmitarani Samanta, Registrar, KIIT University and Dr. L. K. Vaswani, Director, KIIT School of Rural Management were also present.