Agri Business

Allocations to agri sector inadequate, says NGO body

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on March 19, 2012 Published on March 19, 2012

kavithaa

Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), a network of non-governmental organisations and intellectuals, termed poor allocations to agriculture sector in the Union Budget as unfortunate and inadequate to bail out ailing agriculture.

“We are deeply dismayed to see that the allocation to agriculture and allied sectors as a percentage of the total allocations in the Budget is decreasing in the country. While the share of spending was 1.55 per cent in 2010-11, it is now 1.38 per cent,” Ms Kavitha Kuruganti of ASHA, said here in a statement here on Monday.

Given that a majority of Indians live on farming and that Indian agriculture was in a deep crisis, it is deplorable that the proportion of the Budget to agriculture and allied sectors was coming down. “It should be at least 20 per cent of total allocations. This is the only way by which the rural economy can be revived,” she said.

The network felt that any increase in allocation for ‘Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India' (BGREI) will be counter-productive in the medium and long term especially, if such Green Revolution is not shaped to create debt-free, ecologically-friendly farming in Eastern India.

While welcoming Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana under the Ministry of Rural Development's Aajeevika programme, ASHA felt that the Government should have earmarked funds to encourage ecological farming.

The National Mission on Seeds and Planting Materials should be geared towards making farming communities self-reliant. “We do not believe that increasing the budgets for agri-research will pay off by itself, unless such research is targeted at farmers' real needs on the ground,” ASHA said.

kurmanath@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 19, 2012

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