Towards an extra green revolution by djsgjg0045

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									Credit Card, investment schemes like Rural Infrastructure Development Fund and
insurance schemes like crop insurance throughout the production process have failed
because of a lack of initiative from nationalised banks. While micro-payment systems
and mobile banking are flourishing in Africa, the RBI has continued to shun
technology options to reach rural customers. When it is time to appoint the next RBI
governor, the government must give serious consideration to an eminent
agro-economist heading the central bank. As a shareholder in nationalised banks, the
government must nominate representatives from the agriculture sector to the boards of
these banks. This could send the right message to the farming community and to the
country at large that the government is serious about tackling agriculture sector
finance problems.
  When it comes to the Bombay and national stock exchanges, everyone recognises
the need for private investment in the agriculture sector. But the sector is
unrepresented in these freest of the free market institutions. Therefore, it comes as no
surprise that the exchange authorities have neither introduced an agro-index nor do
agro-companies find representation in the Sensex or Nifty. Despite the listing of
multibillion- dollar agro companies like Jain Irrigation, Tata Tea and United
Phosphorus, authorities at the stock exchanges do not see merit in representing 18 per
cent of the economy in the indices that are supposed to be barometers of the entire
Indian economy. Introducing an agro-index along with agro-companies finding
representation in Sensex and Nifty will go a long way in bringing much-needed
private investment to the agriculture sector.
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  The stated mission of FICCI and the CII is to work closely with the government on
policy issues, competitiveness and expanding business opportunities for industry. But
rarely do these industry associations advocate agriculture reforms and their silence
was palpable during the BT-technology debate. Indian agriculture suffers from a
distorted market, laws that stifle private investment, controlled prices and poor
infrastructure that requires policy changes from the central government. Land
consolidation and marketing reforms are needed at the state level. FICCI and CII can
be ardent advocates for policy changes at the Centre while their state chapters can do
the same with local governments. To proactively recommend policy changes, due
representation should be given to the agriculture sector on the boards of these two
industry associations.
  Effective implementation of the Food Security Act along with India's desire to
achieve double digit economic growth and keep food prices in check will require food
output to be doubled in the next decade. In order to boost agriculture output, major
policy changes are required at every level of government. Agriculture needs board
representation proportionate to its strength in the economy in important public
institutions to triumph the multidimensional problems afflicting the sector.">Almost
immediately, the National Food Security Act will become law. The ruling United
Progressive Alliance flagship social security programme of providing every Below the
Poverty Line (BPL) family with 25 kg of rice or wheat at Rs 3 per kg per month is a
welcome step to alleviate some of the human trauma that haunts the poor in our
country. The government also hopes that the Act will secure freedom from hunger for
40 per cent of the population. But a successful implementation of the Act requires a
boost in food production. Can it be done today?
  It has happened once before in our country. India's food output, which was 72.3
million tonnes in 1966, rose to 108.4 million tonnes by 1971. It was made possible by
two men with distinct rural backgrounds Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and food
and agriculture minister C Subramaniam. Subramaniam, brought in by Shastri to
tackle the looming food crisis, was the architect of reforms in the agriculture sector.
He shook up the bureaucracy, introduced yield increasing technologies, created
producer price incentives and established new institutions like the Agriculture Price
Commission and Food Corporation of India during this period. This transformed India
from a food-deficit to food-surplus nation in a short span of five years in what is now
popularly known as the 'era of the Green Revolution'.
  Today, agriculture is 18 per cent of the gross domestic product and the country is in
the midst of transitioning into a market economy. To repeat the success of the 'Green
Revolution', the agriculture sector too needs to be subjected to market forces. But
many of the public institutions functioning in a market economy that can be expected
to bring about major policy changes lack board representation for the agriculture
sector. This has proved to be a hindrance to sustainable agriculture and improving
food production. Important public institutions like the RBI and nationalised banks, the
country's premier stock exchanges BSE and NSE and associations like the Federation
of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian
Industry (CII) should be mandated to fulfil their obligations to the agriculture sector.
  Lack of representation on the boards of the RBI and nationalised banks has denied
the farming community the necessary financial instruments required for farming to be
profitable. Many of the credit schemes like Kisan Credit Card, investment schemes
like Rural Infrastructure Development Fund and insurance schemes like crop
insurance throughout the production process have failed because of a lack of initiative
from nationalised banks. While micro-payment systems and mobile banking are
flourishing in Africa, the RBI has continued to shun technology options to reach rural
customers. When it is time to appoint the next RBI governor, the government must
give serious consideration to an eminent agro-economist heading the central bank. As
a shareholder in nationalised banks, the government must nominate representatives
from the agriculture sector to the boards of these banks. This could send the right
message to the farming community and to the country at large that the government is
serious about tackling agriculture sector finance problems.
  When it comes to the Bombay and national stock exchanges, everyone recognises
the need for private investment in the agriculture sector. But the sector is
unrepresented in these freest of the free market institutions. Therefore, it comes as no
surprise that the exchange authorities have neither introduced an agro-index nor do
agro-companies find representation in the Sensex or Nifty. Despite the listing of
multibillion- dollar agro companies like Jain Irrigation, Tata Tea and United
Phosphorus, authorities at the stock exchanges do not see merit in representing 18 per
cent of the economy in the indices that are supposed to be barometers of the entire
Indian economy. Introducing an agro-index along with agro-companies finding
representation in Sensex and Nifty will go a long way in bringing much-needed
private investment to the agriculture sector.
 offers and discounts on Hotels In Shimla
 The stated mission of FICCI and the CII is to work closely with the government on
policy issues, competitiveness and expanding business opportunities for industry. But
rarely do these industry associations advocate agriculture reforms and their silence
was palpable during the BT-technology debate. Indian agriculture suffers from a
distorted market, laws that stifle private investment, controlled prices and poor
infrastructure that requires policy changes from the central government. Land
consolidation and marketing reforms are needed at the state level. FICCI and CII can
be ardent advocates for policy changes at the Centre while their state chapters can do
the same with local governments. To proactively recommend policy changes, due
representation should be given to the agriculture sector on the boards of these two
industry associations.
 Effective implementation of the Food Security Act along with India's desire to
achieve double digit economic growth and keep food prices in check will require food
output to be doubled in the next decade. In order to boost agriculture output, major
policy changes are required at every level of government. Agriculture needs board
representation proportionate to its strength in the economy in important public
institutions to triumph the multidimensional problems afflicting the sector.

								
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