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"Agro sector needs more investments in research "

Posted on Jan 22, 06:56PM | IBNS

There is a need for more investments in research and technology along with greater usage of natural resources to get things going on the agriculture front in India, said Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen in New Delhi on Tuesday.

"The 12th plan is going to invest more in space technology, metrological and agricultural use to change the ways in which what farmer can do and the ways in which the government can reach the farmers," said Sen while talking about the need for better co-ordination between the Department of Space, Metrological Department and the Department of Agriculture.

"There is also a need for having a regulatory framework to arouse the confidence of the people in the actions of the government and hopefully the recent decisions by the Parliamentary Standing Committee would go a long way in this regard," said Sen while inaugurating a conference on "Challenges Ahead for Agriculture: Soil, Water, Energy, Technology," organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The Planning Commission of India will soon add a public private partnership (PPP) component to the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for better and more effective decentralisation in decision making to achieve desired goals in agriculture, informed Sen.

"We're in the process of adding a very strong PPP component to the RKVY when projects come from consortium of industry and this has been pioneered within the existing structure of RKVY by the government of Maharashtra."

"While designing the RKVY, we had hoped that combination of district plans and the states' commitment to spend money and the commitment of the Planning Commission to back them up if the states did not reduce their own expenditure on agriculture and came up with comprehensive district plans for spending money on agriculture would lead to a lot of things coming from district and below levels, which did not happen," said Sen.

"Rather, it lead to decentralisation from centre to the state with much of projects coming from state departments and not from a level below the state administration and thus, we'd like the states to allow better and more effective decentralisation in the decision making process."

Meanwhile, Ramkrishna Kusmariya, Madhya Pradesh minister for farmer welfare and agiculture development, stressed upon the need for a shifting to organic farming to overcome constraints of unproductive plantation, low crop productivity, poor crop manangement and high degree of pests and diseases.

"An organic green revolution is the need of the hour to improve the health of cultivable land, conserve bio-diversity, increase production, reduce wastage, bring down expenditure on input costs, increasing the net per capita income of the farmers and enable them to get good amount for their produce and generate more jobs in agriculture sector," said Kusmariya.