The formulation of the National Agricultural Policy(July,2000) and the constitution of the National Commission of Farmers(Nov,2004) had come close on the heels of an unrelenting agrarian crisis in our country which had resurfaced in the backdrop of several paradigmatic changes in the world. At the socio-political level the change has largely been dictated by liberalization and globalization and consequent formation of the WTO(World Trade Organization) and the launch of the IPR(Intellectual Property Rights) regime. In the physical domain the aggravation of the crisis is due to soil deterioration, water crisis, desertification, injudicious and indiscreet usage of chemical pesticides, weedicides, fertilizers, natural calamities beyond human control such as floods and cyclones and to an extent climate change(which is as yet not proven). The green revolution launched with great fanfare in the mid 1960’s has reached a fatigue point after having met its intended objectives and having outlived its utility is in dire need of rejuvenation along with structural amendments.
The Indian State needs to step in and stem this rot before it is too late. The state machinery in India itself needs an overhaul in more ways than one. The problems a citizen is often confronted with are:
- Indifference of people in power( the officialdom)
- wranglings between the different wings of the state(legislature, executive and judiciary)
- lack of serious debates and discourse on pertinent issues within the elected bodies such as the legislatures
- hasty and adhoc measures with an eye on quick-fix solutions and rampant populism
- general inefficiency, indiscipline and lethargic style of functioning
The NCF(National Commission of Farmers) which was headed by Dr M.S. Swaminathan made many sweeping recommendations after some commendable and painstaking effort in a brief tenure lasting less than two years between Nov,2004 and Oct,2006. The terms of reference mandated to it by the Central Govt were comprehensive as well as transformative in nature and if the said recommendations had been implemented and acted upon, the farmers of this country would have a different story to tell, but tragically that has not happened.
The NAP(National Agriculture Policy) launched in July,2000 made a lot of ambitious pronouncements under the following heads
- Sustainable agriculture
- Food and nutrition security
- Generation and transfer of technology
- Inputs management
- Incentive for agriculture
- Investment in agriculture
- Institutional structure
- Risk management
The policy announced by the Central Govt is mandated to run over a twenty year period and some measures have been initiated to set the ball rolling.