Agri Business

‘Land leasing reforms, the need of the hour’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 27, 2020 Published on February 27, 2020

(from left) AK Padhee, Director, Country Relations, ICRISAT ; Ashok Dalwai, Chairman, Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income; Rajalakshmi Nirmal, Senior Deputy Editor, BusinessLine ; Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj; Vilas Vishnu Shinde, CMD, Sahyadri Farmers Producer Company; and Balram Singh Yadav, MD, Godrej Agrovet, at a panel discussion on “What more needs to be done to double farmers’ income”, at the BusinessLine Agri Summit, in New Delhi, on Thursday   -  Kamal Narang

ICRISAT director says it’s the only way private sector participation can be ensured

Indian agriculture requires investment to the tune of ₹6.4 lakh crore by 2022, said ICRISAT Director Arabinda Kumar Padhee while participating in a panel discussion at the BusinessLine Agri Summit on Thursday.

He emphasised the need for major land leasing reforms in the country which he saw as the only way to turbo-charge the agriculture sector. To ensure private sector participation, legalising land leasing was the only solution, he added.

He pointed out that informal tenancy is on in almost one-third of the land holding in the country. But any reforms in this sector requires huge political will. It is a very volatile subject, as revenue and agriculture are state subjects.

 

 

Balram Singh Yadav, Managing Director of Godrej Agrovet, raised concerns over farm surplus in the country despite a silent revolution happening in the agricultural sector in rural India.

He said most of the government schemes are moving in the right direction and are expected to achieve the goal of doubling farmers’ income. Productivity improvement is happening in the country with a two to four per cent increase in the production of all commodities. However, there is a need for new market access solutions to sell the products.

He stressed on the need for the development of more technologies to predict farm surplus.

The panelists deliberated on the subject of “What more needs to be done to make doubling of farmers’ income a reality by 2022.”

Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj, said that radical changes are happening in government’s programmes and there is a need for such programmes to be evaluated by an independent authority or a group of farmer collectives.

Soil health cards

Jakhar pointed that the Centre was pushing for soil health cards to promote judicious use of fertlisers. But the use of fertliser such as urea has come down not due to the use of soil health cards but because of the reduction in the size of the bag from 50 kg to 45 kg.

However, Ashok Dalwai, Chairman, Committee on Doubling of Farmers’ Income, was of the opinion that the soil card was the first step towards efficient fertiliser management. The Centre has now suggested sensor-based soil testing, which will quickly deliver the results.

Vilas Shinde, Chairman and Managing Direction of Sahayadri Farmer Producer Company, highlighted the importance of farmers producer companies and said that such companies are a vehicle, but without vision, it cannot move ahead. Farmer Producer Organisations are just like a start-up and need hand-holding.

Senior Deputy Editor of BusinessLine Rajalakshmi Nirmal moderated the panel discussion.

Published on February 27, 2020
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