M S Swaminathan supports farmers as Kisan Mukti Bills set to be introduced in Lok Sabha on August 9
August 8, 2018: As a former Member of the Rajya Sabha, on the occasion of the introduction of the Kisan Mukti Bills in the Lok Sabha on August 9, I would like to re-state the most important goals of the National Policy for Farmers proposed by the National Commission on Farmers (NCF). These goals are:
To improve the economic viability of farming by ensuring that farmers earn a “minimum net income”, and ensure that agricultural progress is measured by the advance made in improving that income.
To ensure that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) be at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production, that is, to implement the formula of “C2+50 per cent” for the computation of the minimum support price. Such a policy would provide income security to farmers and some protection to them.
To mainstream the human and gender dimension in all farm policies and programmes and give explicit attention to sustainable rural livelihoods.
To complete the unfinished agenda in land reforms and to initiate comprehensive asset and aquarian reforms.
To develop and introduce a social security system and support services for farmers.
To protect and improve the land, water, biodiversity and climate resources essential for sustained advances in the productivity, profitability, and stability of major farming systems by creating an economic stake in conservation.
To foster community-centred food, water and energy security systems in rural India and to ensure nutrition security at the level of every child, woman and man. • To introduce measures which can help to attract and retain youth in farming by making it both intellectually stimulating and economically rewarding, by conferring the power and economy of scale to small and marginal farmers both in the production and post-harvest phases of farming.
To strengthen the biosecurity of crops, farm animals, fish and forest trees for safeguarding both the work and income security of farmer families, and the health and trade security of the nation. Today, the farmers’/kisan movement across the country is justly demanding the implementation of the recommendations of the NCF. It is time to ensure a genuine implementation of the recommendations of the NCF, with priority to three components:
a minimum support price or MSP based on the formula of C2+50% ;
a favourable procurement policy to ensure that farmers actually receive the MSP; and
increasing mass consumption through the effective implementation of the Food Security Act, school noon meal programmes, etc. I support the demands of the farmers and request the Government to listen to them
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.