13 June, 2021

Mind The Crease

Sharad Pawar, agriculture minister. More agony, less ecstacy.

Fotocorp (From Outlook, May 21, 2012)
Mind The Crease

Pawar’s Report Card

The Negatives

  • Per capita availability of cereals and pulses has fallen in last eight years
  • No improvement in irrigation, 60% of agriculture still dependent on monsoons
  • Farmers growing cereals, sugarcane, oilseeds and pulses assured higher MSP, but majority don't benefit
  • Production up, but not productivity. Farmer suicides are on the rise.
  • Poor market advisory on exports being misused to buy cheaply from farmers and make profits overseas
  • Pawar referred to as “sugar minister” for promoting sugar industry interests
  • Big push to private seed companies is raising farm input costs with little hope of recouping expenses

The Positives

  • Pushed the boom in horticulture, fisheries, poultry. Has helped Indian farm sector chalk higher growth.
  • Has ensured higher production in cotton, milk, fruits and vegetables

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