21 October, 2020

M.S. Swaminathan

The grandpere of modern Indian agriculture and chairman of National Commission of Farmers was honoured with France's highest civilian award Commander, Merit Agricole

M.S. Swaminathan
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

You have said we could learn from the French in agriculture. How?

French Agriculture is highly specialized and concentrates on high value crops like grapes for making wine. France also cultivates rice, wheat and other food crops. The cost of production is high and therefore the government gives adequate support to farmers to ensure their economic survival. However, France has only about four percent of its population engaged in agriculture. In contrast we have nearly two thirds of our population depending on agriculture for their livelihood.

We should also learn how to ensure the economic viability of farming. Unfortunately today most small farmers are unable to earn enough income. This is why the NCF in its Draft National Policy for Farmers has suggested a major rural non-farm livelihood initiative. The economic viability and survival of farmers and farming constitute the bottom line of the agricultural policies of France. We should emulate this example.

What do you think of the PM's package for the Vidarbha farmers?

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