Resourceful push for farm sector at right time: Prof Swaminathan

Eminent agricultural scientist and MSSRF Founder MS Swaminathan on Saturday hailed the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and said he was very happy on the detailed plan for agriculture and rural development, not just in words, but also comprehensively on what could be done, as well as in terms of the resources needed.
Resourceful push for farm sector at right time: Prof Swaminathan
MS Swaminathan

Chennai

Reacting to the Budget, Prof Swaminathan, in a statement here, said ‘’this is important since agriculture is the occupation of the majority.’’

He said the Economic Survey presented on Friday provides the statistical and intellectual foundation for the priorities included in the Budget.  

‘’An important message is that we should adopt a holistic approach in helping farmers and farming. In the 1960s (the Green Revolution period), technology, techno infrastructure, training and internal and external trade were all attended to in a holistic way,” he said.  

The Economic Survey emphasises the need for a technological upgrading of agriculture as happened during the Green Revolution period, Prof Swaminathan said and added that this would call for greater investment in science and technology as well as in providing farmers with effective support services.  

He said seed villages need to be revitalised. ‘’We have all the ingredients essential for agricultural progress, but they need to be brought together.’’ Prof Swaminathan congratulated the Finance Minister for a very clear articulation and said she also spoke about fisheries and youth and involvement of the state government, since agriculture was a state subject.

Thanking the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Finance Minister for repeated emphasis on income generation occupation for non-farm income, he said ‘’what is now envisaged in terms of balanced utilisation of fertilizers, farming, certification etc. also need to be done in a more scientific way; what is important is to ensure for India becoming a major agriculture power that needs to be done.’’ He said ‘’that is what the Budget tries to do.’’

‘’Moreover, monetary allocation has been provided and for various inputs-infrastructure- farmers should be happy,’’ he said. ‘’I am very encouraged, very happy, that aspiration No.1 is agriculture, and development of the fishery and how to achieve the aspiration is what the finance minister indicated’’, he said.

‘’Since agriculture is a state subject, states and the Centre work together, then I think we will be able to see a progress, not only in agriculture, but in rural economy and the rural prosperity’’, Prof Swaminathan said. ‘If all the programmes, indicated by the Finance Minister are implemented effectively, then the farmers’ distress will go down,’’ he said.

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