Happy that there is a detailed plan and allocation for agriculture and rural development: Prof M S Swaminathan on Union Budget 2020

Chennai, February 1, 2020: I am very happy that there is detailed plan for agriculture and rural development; not just in words but also comprehensively on what can be done, as well as in terms of the resources needed. This is important since agriculture is the occupation of the majority.

The Economic Survey of 2020 presented on 31st January 2020 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.  The Economic Survey emphasizes the need for a technological upgrading of agriculture as happened during the green revolution period.  This will call for greater investment in science and technology as well as in providing farmers with effective support services.  Seed villages need to be revitalized.  We have all the ingredients essential for agricultural progress, but they need to be brought together.

I congratulate the Finance Minister for a very clear articulation. She also spoke about fisheries and youth and involvement of the state govt. since agriculture is a state subject.

I thank the govt, the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister for repeated emphasis on income generation occupation for non-farm income. What is now envisaged in terms of balanced utilization 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. That is what the Budget tries to do. Moreover, monetary allocation has been provided and for various inputs – infrastructure – farmers should be happy.

I am very encouraged, very happy, that aspiration number 1 is agriculture, and development of the fishery and how to achieve the aspiration, is what the finance minister indicated. 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. If all the programmes, indicated by the Finance Minister are implemented effectively, then the farmers’ distress will go down.

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