Agriculture sector disappointed with Budget

Anvita Srivastava
Saturday, 6 July 2019

“In last six to seven years, the agriculture sector is lagging behind and is time some important steps are taken for farmers. It is disappointing the government is not serious about sectors like agriculture, dairy and textile that generate a lot of employment, while they are more focussed on highways and metro,” said Raju Shetti, leader of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

PUNE: Farmer leaders in the State expressed disappointment over the Union Budget. They claimed the government is not serious about farmers. They discouraged zero budget farming as it might affect the food security of the country. Zero budget farming is the farming done naturally without use of chemicals.

“In last six to seven years, the agriculture sector is lagging behind and is time some important steps are taken for farmers. It is disappointing the government is not serious about sectors like agriculture, dairy and textile that generate a lot of employment, while they are more focussed on highways and metro,” said Raju Shetti, leader of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

He said, “They are talking about doubling the income of farmers by 2022 but there is no clear roadmap. The cost of production for farmers will increase with hike in petrol and diesel prices. Zero budget farming was practised before the Green Revolution and now they want to go back to that level. We have a population of 130 crore. How  will we feed them as it can cause problem of food security,” added Shetti.

“They are pretending to be pro-rural India but are inclined towards corporates. The government has offered pension to traders but they were silent on farmers’ pension. There was silence on loan waivers and farmers’ suicides,” said Ajit Navale, State Secretary, Kisan Sabha. 

He said, “Last year, they asked farmers to switch to high-cost crops and now they are asking them to switch to zero budget farming, which reflects the change in attitude towards farming and shows they are not serious about agriculture.”

“Considering that a total population of 74 crore is involved in agriculture and allied activities, this year’s Union Budget has disappointed the agriculture sector. However, I understand that agriculture is the State subject but the policies are made by the Union government. In this budget, things offered for agriculture are superficial and there is no clear vision,” said Venkat Mayande, former VC of Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth. 

He said, “They are talking about zero budget farming which is a traditional way of farming that might hamper food production. We talk about being self-sufficient in food grains but with traditional farming, we might not be able to produce sufficient food for the population of 135 crore.”

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