· MEASURES TO REGULATE PRICES OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE
· VILLAGE AGRICULTURE CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION -(VACA)
· NEED FOR ACCREDITED AGRICULTURE COORDINATOR (AACor) TO ACT AS BRIDGE BETWEEN THE FARMERS AND THE AGRICULTURE EXPERTS
· NEED FOR SEED DISTRIBUTION BY GOVERNMENT THROUGH GRAM PANCHAYAT
· MEASURES TO ENSURE WATER AVAILABILITY FOR CULTIVATION TO VACA’S
· METHODS FOR BETTER WATER SUPPLY IN DRY AND NON RAIN SHADOW AREAS OF CULTIVATION
· ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY BY THE GOVERNMENT
· FERTILIZER SUPPLY BY GOVERNMENT THROUGH GRAM PANCHAYATS
· NEED FOR QUALITY CHECKS FOR FERTILIZERS
· METHODS ENSURING QUALITY FERTILIZERS SUPPLY
· STORAGE FACILITIES FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCE
· SUPPLY OF LABOUR FOR AGRICULTURE BY GOVERNMENT
· NEED FOR GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHING THE MARKETS FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCE.
· MANDATORY PURCHASE OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT BY THE PRIVATE SELLERS
· MANDATORY PROCUREMENT OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE FROM GOVERNMENT FOR EXPORT
· ADVANTAGES FOR FARMERS AND PEOPLE BY GOVERNMENT DIRECT PURCHASE FROM THE FARMERS AND MARKETING
· MARKETING OF VEGETABLES & FRUITS
· NEED FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF SSI IN THE FOOD PROCESSING; ESPECIALLY THE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
· ADVISE FOR CROP ROTATION FOR ENHANCING SOIL FERTILITY
· REGULAR INCOME GENERATION FOR FARMERS, MANDATORY TO GROW VEGETABLES & FRUITS IN 1/4 OF THE CULTIVATABLE LAND
· CROP INSURANCE AND PROTECTION OF FARMERS IN CASE OF FAILURE OF CROP DUE TO SEED FAILURE OR SUB STANDARD FERTILIZERS OR SUB STANDARD PESTICIDES OR LACK OF SUPPLY OF WATER FOR CULTIVATION.
· NEED FOR ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF CULTIVATION
· NEED FOR GOVERNMENT TO PRODUCE SEED FOR SUPPLY TO FARMERS, PROMOTE TRADITIONAL SEEDS RESTRICT/BAN GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEEDS
· INCENTIVES FOR USE OF TRADITIONAL SEEDS AND BEST OUTPUTS
· NEED FOR ENHANCING THE FERTILIZER PRODUCTION AND GOVERNMENT CONTROLLING THE SUPPLY AND PRICING
· NEED FOR CAPTIVE POWER IN FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRIES
· PESTICIDES USE IN INDIA
· NEED FOR ENHANCING THE INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM) AND THE INTEGRATING THE NON PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT (NPM) WITH IPM FOR BETTER RESULTS.
· NEED TO PROMOTE TRADITIONAL SEEDS OVER GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEEDS
· CLOUD SEEDING (WEATHER MODIFICATION); THE ULTIMATE GAME CHANGER OF AGRICULTURE SECTOR, OVER ALL ECONOMIC GROWTH BOOSTER OF THE COUNTRY DUE TO MORE HYDRO POWER, MORE INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT.
· SOIL CONSERVATION
· NEED FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF SOIL TESTING LABORATORIES
· FERTILIZER USE IN INDIA FOR AGRICULTURE
· NEED FOR FERTILIZER REGULATIONS FOR CONTROLLING THE PRICES, ENSURING AVAILABLE TO FARMERS AT STANDARD PRICE
· NEED FOR INCREASE OF USAGE OF BOTH ORGANIC FERTILIZERS AND BIO FERTILIZERS
· NEED FOR FRAMING OF STRINGENT LAWS FOR FIXING SUB STANDARD OR ADULTERATED AGRICULTURE INPUTS AS WELL AS OUTPUTS.
· NEED FOR MODERN STORAGE FACILITIES FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCE
· NEED FOR ENHANCEMENT OF PULSES PRODUCTION
· NEED FOR AGRICULTURE UNIVERSITIES IN ALL DISTRICTS
· NEED FOR R&D FOR DRAUGHT PRONE AREAS
· NEED FOR ENHANCEMENT OF BUDGET IN AGRICULTURE SECTOR
· NEED FOR REGULAR INTERACTIVE SECESSIONS FOR FARMERS
· STRENGTHENING OF PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
· FIXING OF MINIMUM & MAXIMUM SALE PRICE OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE BY GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF SMALL RETAILERS/TRADERS AND ENSURING FAIR TRADE PRACTICES BY ALL RETAILERS & ALL TRADERS FROM KIRAN STORES TO MULTI BRAND GIANT RETAIL STORES.
· NEED FOR BANNING CONTRACT FARMING; TO PREVENT FARMERS BECOME SLAVES/BONDED LABOUR TO MULTI BRAND RETAILERS
· NEED FOR ENCOURAGING SME IN THE FOOD PROCESSING IN INDIA
· NEED FOR HUGE PRIVATE INVESTMENT ESPECIALLY THE FDI IN AGRICULTURE SECTOR FOR PROVIDING CHEAPER INPUTS LIKE WATER, FERTILIZERS AND LARGER STORAGE FACILITIES GODOWNS FOR FERTILIZERS, SILO BINS FOR STORAGE OF FOOD GRAINS, COLD STORAGES FOR STORAGE OF VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
· COMMUNICATION OF THE PRICES OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE TO GENERAL PUBLIC
As we all knew that India is basically an agrarian country with over 1.21 billion population (as per 2011 census) with over 115 million farm holding with an average farm holding of 1.47 hectors with total cultivated area of over 190 million hectors, contributing substantially to gross domestic product (GDP) and providing a livelihood to two-thirds of the population. But in the recent past there is a decline in the contribution of agriculture sector to GDP as it contributed about 13.9 % of GDP in 2011-12 as compared to 16 % of GDP in 2008-09, which clearly indicates agriculture’s share in the country’s economy is progressively declining and indicating need to enhance the efforts to increase the agriculture output. Even though India has world’s largest cultivator of wheat, rice, and cotton, and is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices with a total agriculture production in India is over 250 million tonnes of food grains in 2011-12 with over 50 million metric tonnes of central stock for supply needs of the PDS and the welfare schemes, but strangely India accounts for 1/3 of the children in India are malnutrition, with over 45 % of countries children are either underweight/ sub standard, which was described by our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh as “National Shame”, in addition to these children, majority youth is is having body mass index (BMI) below the standard and almost more than 50 % of the adolescence girl children in India are mal-nutritional/under-nutritional/anaemic/under wait. All these factors have terrible impact on the future of the country as the children and youth account for over 70 % of the total population in India and these maladies lead to under developed body, under developed brain, less intelligence, less stamina, all resulting in less work output, resulting in reduction in the GDP and again the repetition of vicious circle. It is mainly due to the fact that inequalities in food distribution in India, cost of food is high as compared to production cost due to high costs of inputs for cultivation and lack of proper pest management and lack of proper storage facilities all these leading to over 45 % of the agriculture output is getting wasted, in addition to lack of proper marketing system leading to high cost of food grains which leading to majority of the people in India are not able to have nutritious food. Even though there is a considerable rise in the per capta income of people it is certainly not the real purchase power of the majority people as it is fact that nearly over 70 % of India’s families dependent on rural incomes, all these leading that 1/3 of the population living in poverty and over 1/3 of the population are low income group and low middle income group, whose income not sufficient to have a balanced diet (nutritional food). As such agricultural productivity must grow along with new opportunities for non-farm incomes, also to ensure that all sections in the society will get food at affordable prices, which is possible only by government bring the agriculture produce costs under control by controlling the supply of the agriculture inputs, in addition to ensure producing more cereal crops, increase its production of fruits, vegetables, and milk to meet the demands of a growing population, which will enable to control food inflation to ensure the quality food with nutrient values is available to all sections of the country at an affordable price.
The general climatic conditions in India are very ideal for the production of numerous crops in abundance being a tropical monsoon country with vide verities of soils. In India there are two main cropping seasons, namely “Kharif” (April–September) and “Rabi” (October–March). The major Kharif crops include rice, sorghum, pearl millet, maize, cotton, sugar cane, soybean and groundnut, and the Rabi crops are wheat, barley, gram, linseed, rapeseed and mustard. Also due to good soils being a tropical monsoon type climate, India has a good potential for growing a wide range of horticultural crops such as fruits, vegetables, potato, tropical tuber crops, mushrooms, ornamental crops, medicinal and aromatic crops, spices and plantation crops. The large acerage of cultivation is mainly due to regular cycle of effective rains, moderate temperatures at almost all the places with few exceptions, majority of the rivers are perennial rivers in India, having plenty of plain land and delta areas are ideal for crop production. But unfortunately due to lack of adequate planning in agriculture sector agriculture production output is not taking place to the quantities it is supposed to be, coupled with lack of adequate storage facilities for the agriculture produce and lack of proper distribution mechanisms are the hindrance for food supply at affordable prices to the masses. As such there should be an ideal plan to address various issues, like the improvement of cost effective production of food grains, storage of food grains to make it available at all times catering the demand at all times, proper distribution mechanisms to ensure that prices are affordable &stable at all times.
The main stapled food in India is Rice followed by wheat. Majority of the southern belt in India are Rice produces and consumers where as majority of the Northern belt are consumers of Wheat. The total Rice production in India is around 103 millon tonnes and the total wheat production in India is around 88 million tonnes, where as cereals about 42 million tonnes and pulses are about 17 million tonnes (decline from the previous year as far as pulses are concerned) In terms of cultivatable land the cereals pulses and oil seeds account for near about 60 % followed by rice/paddy around 24% then the cotton 5 % vegetable and fruits 3%, plantation crops 3% and sugarcane 2% of the total cultivatable land in India. Various measures for achieving the food for all in an organized, systematic manner of farming through collective cultivation in villages, needed for constant coordination between farmers and agriculture experts and through proper care by the government for supply of inputs like water, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and also proper procurement and marketing of the agriculture produce and creation of the back end infrastructure for agriculture produce to minimize the wastages and maximize the availability of the food grains in the market and methods to keeping the prices under control and uniform price throughout the year at all places is discussed in the following for achieving ”Food for All”.
MEASURES TO REGULATE PRICES OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE
VILLAGE AGRICULTURE CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION -(VACA)
The first most important thing in the process of agriculture reforms to bring the prices of agriculture produce under control is the formation of Village Agriculture Co-operative Association (VACA) for better cooperation and coordination in cultivation among the farmers. All the VACA should possess various divisions as per major agriculture products that can be cultivatable in the area. The VACA should comprise of all the farmers in the village and all the farmers should mandatory be the members of the VACA in order to perform cultivation for commercial sale of the agriculture produce. The members should provide the details of the land holding; the details of the owner, lease, the income source; the soil test reports and the crops raid in the last 6 seasons, the source of water, the methods of cultivation, the pest management, the average consumption of fertilizers etc. All the farmers are provided with separate number of identity card with separate number.
The second most important thing is to obtain the data from all Gram Panchayats about the water bodies in the villages, there condition of operation, the cultivatable area in the Gram Panchayat. The cultivation methods, the process of cultivation, the soil conditions, and the crops raised and the crop rotation system if any, the consumption of fertilizers, the availability of chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers and bio fertilizers and supply the data for the agriculture experts for analysis of the data for suggesting farmers.
Also the third most important thing is to educate the farmers in the VACA about the suitable crop for the soil and area and the verity of the seeds and the use of organic & bio fertilizers and reduction of chemical NPK use to generate NPK naturally through organic manure and crop rotation, optimal use of water, use of Bio pesticides, reduction in use of chemical pesticides, application of integrated pest management and also no pesticide management, soil conservation, rain water storage etc. Also should be thought about the preparation of seeds for better yield and resistance from the pests etc, thought about development of traditional seeds, rather than use of Genetically Modified Seeds, safety measures while administering the fertilizers and the pesticides and first aid in case of reactions due to chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
The fourth most important thing is to ensure the supply of inputs for agriculture; adequate water supply and adequate power to have water and the availability of fertilizers and pesticides to all farmers in the required quantities in quality in-time to have the best output.
The fifth most important thing is the creation of storage and transport of the farm produce. The government must create storage facilities in each mandal in the first phase and each GP in the second phase the storage facilities for both the fertilizers as well as agriculture produce.
The sixth most important thing is to have markets for the agriculture produce and the minimum support price for the agriculture produce, the minimum support price should not be fixed but it should be as per the cost of inputs locally and also based soil conditions the availability of agriculture inputs like water, fertilizers etc locally.
The seventh most important thing is computerisation of storage and transport facilities with optimization of storage and transportation costs, establishment of transparent supply chain management; in order to possess the accurate information of the quantity of agriculture production from each individual farmer to the quantity of stock at the storage godowans and the stock in transit to the stock at the retailer. This will ensure that control of artificial shortage creation to raise the prices of agriculture produce.
The final thing is to ensure that the fair price for the farmers and the consumers for the agriculture produce is available by maximum eliminating the middle men in the system by fixing the variable minimum support price depending up on the local conditions, with total agriculture produce of the VACA is totally procured by the government at minimum support price, also integrating the markets and government must put the stock in market for traders to procure from the government to do retailing, with fixing the maximum limit on the profit of the trader and the retailer as far as the raw agriculture (including the segregation, removing the quality less grains by sewing, polishing, removal of husk etc, other than converted material such as grinding, baking etc) produce is concerned. Also government must fix the minimum sale price for the agriculture produce at the retail stores in order to ensure fair trade practices at all places in addition indirectly making the traders to procure the raw agriculture produce from the nearby market areas. This will ensure that all raw food prices are under control all the times.
All the farmers who wish to avail the social benefits along with price protection for the farm produce with minimum support price for the agriculture produce and the crop risk management, the compensation by the government directly for the failure of the crop are possible only by registering in the VACA and in turn the VACA with the government. This means all advice on the cultivation methods from the soil testing to the seed supply to the fertilizer supply to the water supply to the procurement of the agriculture produce output by the government at the minimum support price in accordance to the local conditions can be availed by the farmers only on becoming members in the VACA. This will ensure that farming is more or less very ideal and smooth profession and attract many in addition to retention of the existing farmers in the profession without migration for urban areas leaving the agriculture cultivation, as all the drawbacks in agriculture is covered by the government.
NEED FOR ACCREDITED AGRICULTURE COORDINATOR (AACor) TO ACT AS BRIDGE BETWEEN THE FARMERS AND THE AGRICULTURE EXPERTS
Since agriculture is a continuous process and needs constant guidance from the experts, but due to the acute shortage of experts in agriculture monitoring of all villages and all fields is not possible as such there should be some persons who are trained in basic agriculture procedures should exist in villages to coordinate between the agriculture experts and the farmers in the village. As such government must recruit and train people in agriculture related activities (in the lines of ASHA of the health sector) the Accredited agriculture Coordinators (AACor) for coordination and assisting the VACA. The AACor will collect the data from the farmers regarding the farming, the soil samples for testing, observe the farms, the procedures of the farming, guiding the farmers as per the advice of the agriculture scientists and are basically act as the communicating link between the Mandal agriculture centres and the VACA and the individual farmers. The AACor’s are necessary as the advertisement regarding the agriculture procedure etc in the television may not reach all the farmers as only 30 % of the rural India has televisions and the programmes of the television will reach to 60 % of the total rural population. The AACor Should be trained mostly the graduates from the agriculture or micro biology or botany. Also the government must provide special certification course for becoming AACor with minimum qualification should be at least 10th standard or a farmer who left the profession for their family members to cultivate their land or the land less farmers who left cultivation previously done on the leased land. The salaries for the AACor should dependent on the educational qualifications. The degree holders should get more pay than the certified holders. But all the AACor should mandatorily go through the same training procedure for getting the better results.
NEED FOR SEED DISTRIBUTION BY GOVERNMENT THROUGH GRAM PANCHAYAT
As we all knew that seed is the primary thing for the agriculture, quality and quantity of the agriculture output depends up on the quality of the seed. Since there are many incidences that the seed purchased in the market are not the quality seed to provide the desired output resulting in huge loss to the farmer as well as the nation, as such government should procure the seed from the seed producers and distribute it to the farmers, banning direct sale of the seed in open market. It should be made mandatory that all the supply of the seed should be done by the government. All the private seed developers have to sell the entire seed developed to the government with guarantee to the government for the quality of the seed. The government should distribute the seed to the farmers (as in the case of fair price shops). The seed developers need to provide guarantee to the government regarding the output of the seed, in case of seed failure due to the defective germination of seed, the government must invoke the bank guarantee provided by the seed suppliers to pay the loss to the farmers.
The government must distribute the seed through the GP for the VACA to be supplied to the individual farmers. This method will ensure that the seed provided to each farmer in the required quantity and quality which can absolutely deliver the quantity of output in all normal circumstances. In case the seed is failed the farmer will get the compensation from the government.
MEASURES TO ENSURE WATER AVAILABILITY FOR CULTIVATION
As we all knew that the majority of the crops require plenty of fresh water especially during the initial stages and once in the mid of the crop it is most ideal is to have controlled condition of the water either through the storage in the tank and released as and when required. In order to have more water through rivers for irrigation, irrigation projects need to be constructed and the irrigation projects takes lot of investment as such the government must prepare plan to construct the irrigation projects under BOOT bases by the private construction companies to construct the irrigation projects and supply water to the irrigation at a fixed price. Similarly government must provide funds for every former to construct the Rain water storage tanks near the farms individually or each village adequate number of Rain water storage tanks. The data of the rain in the areas (village wise/mandal wise) can be collected from the met-department of the government and accordingly where ever the irrigation is dependent on the Rain water, rain water pits should be digged in the villages at the suitable location to collect maximum water in the slope and ideal connecting location in the village in the initial stage and in each farm in the second stage. Also the government must identify the water tables in the areas through the remote sensing satellite mapping and guide the famers accordingly for cultivation under the ground water irrigation. Also government must on war foot priority bases to identify the lakes and water bodies in the villages and clean up the lakes and removal of the silt formed over a period of time, to ensure maximum water is stored in these fresh water bodies. Also government must completely ban the fish and prawn cultivation through fresh water supply to the ponds. Also most importantly all the water bodies near the industrial zones should be protected from the untreated discharges of the industrial effluents, government must save these water bodies from the pollutants for effective use of water for cultivation. Also the cultivatable lands near the industrial zones should be protected from the discharge of effluents to the ground that will pollute the soil and change the neutral soils as well as ground water to alkaline/acidic. Also it should be ideal that all the thermal power stations should be far away from the cultivation zones as it has terrible impact on the cultivation due to the acidic rains arises in the vicinity of the thermal plants due to the emission of gases as well the emission of ash dust of the burnt coal i.e the ashes and the transportation of the ashes. As such there should be ancillaries within the compound or the zone of the thermal plants to covert the ash residues in to fly ash bricks etc. Also government must not allocate the cultivatable land or the land near the cultivatable zone for the industries which cause severe pollution threat to agriculture like power, chemicals etc and also for the SEZ’s for industrial production.
METHODS FOR BETTER WATER SUPPLY IN DRY AND NON RAIN SHADOW AREAS OF CULTIVATION
Also the government must ensure the adequate and uniform water supply to all the VACA in the mandal either through the ground water, or through the cannel water or through the cloud seeding in case of the cultivation in dependent on the rain water. The government must make a plan after collecting the data of the water tables where cultivation is made on the ground water or completely on the rain, to dig the bore wells and lift the water through the solar power where ever the water table is available at lower heads (heights from the ground of the field) Also it will be ideal that government must ensure the water supply to the irrigation to the private players to dig the large bore wells and install power generators to lift the water and supply in the required quantities at an appropriate cost and the government must pay the cost of water supply and the cost will be added by the government before agriculture produce is procured from the farmers to determine the minimum support price to the farmer produce. Also similarly government must allow the private players to construct irrigation dams and the water for irrigation can be played by the government also the government must allow the private players to do the cloud seeding at the instance of the agriculture and the weather experts from the government and the private jointly and the government must pay to the private cloud seed developer as per the rain water collected the This will ensure the cost of production of the agriculture at uniform price and the sale of the agriculture product at uniform price. Also the government must provide the funds for the Gram Pnchayats in the first phase and to the VACA in the second phase for digging of the large pits for collecting the rain water in the villages, the pit location should be designed scientifically by having the data of the topography of the GP and the Village and most ideally the place where maximum water can be collected based on the slop of the village and ideal location for transport to all the individual farms. This will certainly save lot of expenditure on the power motors and power to lift the water from the bore wells as well as from long distances. Also the government must provide the mobile Diesel pump sets to all VACA to lift the water from the water bodies. Also government must encourage the bio ethanol plantation in the rural waste lands and the Bio ethanol is used to run the power generators and the lift pumps are operated in the Villages.
ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY BY THE GOVERNMENT
As we all knew that electric power supply is necessary for the cultivation for the supply of water pumping either from the underground or from the sum or from the tank. Since almost all the states in India are suffering with acute shortage of power due to less production of power due to several reasons and huge demand due to rapid urbanization, as such majority of the state governments are not able to supply for the farmers even for three hours in a day during the peak agriculture season especially during the kariff season, As such government must make a plan that based the requirement of power should be assed as per the cropping of the cultivation land as per the village and transformer wise; advise the VACA to operate the motors on different allotted timings within the members of the VACA to ensure there will not be much load at a time. Also this variable timings for set of farmers within the VACA and variable timings among the VACA’s in the GP and and the variable timings among the GP’s in the mandal will certainly improve the power situation (will prevent overdrawing of power and not lead to blackout as was happened recently). Also all the motors should be of standard companies with economic power consumption which are fitted with energy saving devices available , also it is more ideal that government must built separate dedicated transmission lines for the agriculture to ensure the minimum power supply (quality power without any load fluctuations ) is assured for all the farmers. Also government must encourage having solar power operated community power pumps for the lifting of water from the rain water pits and the low ground water available areas. But since majority of the states are supplying power for agriculture either free or at concessional rate, it will be more ideal that government must provide the contract to the private investors to supply water to the farmers at a fixed rate through the their own source of power generated either through solar, wind or bio mass or through generators operated through ethanol or diesel.
FERTILIZER SUPPLY BY GOVERNMENT THROUGH GRAM PANCHAYATS FOR THE VACA
As fertilizer is essential for the growth of the plant, it is the energy booster in the process of production of the output as it provides the required nutrients for the plant for the growth. As we all knew that every year majority of the farmers are facing the acute shortage of the fertilizers and are buying the fertilizers at a higher price in the black market which is mainly due to the artificial blockage of the supply of the material by the vested interests, all these leading to scope for sub standard fertilizers, high cost of fertilizers etc leading the raise in the cost of production and government fixing the minimum support price on the average actual cost of agriculture inputs mostly the fertilizer cost, which will be far less than the actual spent by the farmer for purchasing the fertilizer at much higher price than the normal price and also most of the times fertilizers are sub standard resulting in less output in addition to high cost resulting in loss for the farmers. In order to overcome this situation government must make it mandatory that all the fertilizer produced by the manufactures in India and the imported fertilizers should be procured by the government and government distribute the fertilizers to the farmers through the VACA. The government must ban the open market sale of the fertilizers (may permit small quantities for the horticulture in the individual homes and private nurseries in very small quantities). It is more appropriate and ideal and necessary that the distribution of fertilizers should be made through Gram Panchayats.
In order to ensure that the proper supply of the fertilizers is made the government must construct fertilizer storage godwans in each mandal (Mandal Fertilizer Storage Centres - MFSC) and procure adequate stock of the fertilizers material and store for future as buffer stock in the lines of FCA procuring the agriculture outputs and stores for future requirement. The stock of the fertilizers should be sufficient for at least one crop season (storage of stock for two seasons is ideal) in case of failure of the physical supply of the stock during that period.
The supply of the stock should be fully computerised and the farmers are should mandatorily to plan for the next crop in advance and inform to the VACA the requirement of the fertilizers during the next season at least 100 days before the start of next season. Accordingly the VACA’s will inform the Gram Panchayat regarding the same as per the requirement as per the individual, as per the village the total requirement of different fertilizers 95 days before the start of the season. The GP will put forward there intend to the Mandal level Fertilizer Stock Centre (MFSC) authority for the release of the stock to the GP at the particular date. The Mandal level Fertilizer stock godowands should feed into the system that will automatically up loaded to the system at the district level as well as the state and national level. The state and national level will start procuring the material as per the requirement from the external agencies and suppliers. But will actually the fertilizers as per the intend is issue from the stock which is already available in the fertilizer godowans at the mandals. But should ensure that the stock issued is replaced before the start of the second season to ensure that ready stock is available at all times. All the VACA should clearly mention the contact number preferably the mobile number of the farmer to ensure that soon the stock moved from the district fertilizer godowan of the mandal fertilizer godowan to the GP intern inform to the farmers that the stock is being dispatched and the stock will be arriving and will be issued the same to them on so and so date and time. This will ensure that most of the mal-practices can be prevented as people knew the vehicle number and the stock number of the individual farmer the quantity of stock reaching the GP and the time of reaching the GP and the unlocking of the electronic lock should be in the presence of the GP or gram sabha to ensure that the stock is properly distributed in quantity and quality.
NEED FOR QUALITY CHECKS FOR FERTILIZERS
As we all knew that fertilizers are basically the chemicals and the also mostly in short supply as such there is always possibility of sub standard and quality less fertilisers are supplied either by the private manufactures are being adulterated in the transit resulting in loss of agriculture production, this can be prevented by having extensive quality checks at all stages. As such apart from having stringent quality checks from the raw material stage to till the package stage in the factory, in addition government must also establish the quality check laboratories at each of the stock points, especially at the mandal level fertilizer stock centers - MFSC to have random quality checks at multiple levels to ensure the quality is same at all times. The quality checking instruments and laboratories should be uniform throughout the country to ensure all the parameters are almost equal as in the time of packing.
METHODS ENSURING QUALITY FERTILIZERS SUPPLY
In order to ensure the fertilizers are in quality and quantity all the fertilizer manufacturers should mandatorily adopt the RFID tagging of the product of each bag, batch, quality certification data of manufacture etc. This seal can be opened and read at the stock points from the manufacturers end till it reaches the VACA. All the imported fertilizers should be asked to provide BG which will be released only after the stock quality checked at all places in addition only after the stock is consumed by the farmers (in the next season) and after the satisfactory results ensuring the quality and quantity checks.
Also it should be ideal that all the fertilizer transport wagons and the lorries should be hard covered with a locking system coupled with GPRS, electronic coded locking system should be maintained from the factory, the unlocking code should be provided to the place of un loading on the arrival of the wagon or the lorry to ensure the quality and quantity is maintained. Also it should be mandatory that the manufacturing points the loading and unloading at various stock points should be under the surveillance of the cameras to ensure the electronic locks are made under the surveillance system and the vehicle movements are monitored through GPRS. This will certainly ensure that standard quality and quantity is maintained as far as possible. Also the government must ask the importers to do the same i.e the same quality checks and RFID tagging of the bags, the Indian government officials along traders and the local Indian embassy officials in that country where the government is importing should be present during the quality certifications, quantity certifications and during the loading of the material in the ships with the ship insurance that will ensure the breakage of the RFID seals is the responsibility of the transporter to bear the loss. This will ensure that products imported is as per the quality and quantity not repeating the famous “ UREA scam” which majority of the urea supplied is either second, third grade or the salt is supplied instead of urea. Even now we cannot certify that all the urea and other fertilizers imported are absolute quality, when the pharmacy products are duplicate and sub standard which are manufactured in in India account for over 10 % of the total supply which is endangering the life of the individuals, we cannot rule out the sub standard quality of the fertilizers, especially the imported fertilizers as quality checks are not made at every stage.
All the above method will have multiple advantages.
Since the requirement of the farmers individually is known, can be easily identify and guide the individual farmer or the farmers in the area collectively about the optimum quantity of the fertilizer required for the crop based on the soil conditions in the area and the size of the cultivation. This will certainly eliminate the excess/ waste of the fertilizers.
Also since the stock is procured and stored in advance the farmers has to pay the actual price of the fertiliser (instead of paying as high as 100 % of the original cost in black market), the quality and quantity of the stock of the farmers is guaranteed by the government.
Also since the management of issue of the stock to the individual village and as per the individual farmer requirement is the responsibility of the Gram Panchayat and the Gram Sabha. So the delivery of the fertilizers to the individual in the required quality and quantity is the duty of the Gram Panchayat.
In order to ensure the transparency in the system, all the farmers should be provided with the farmer identity card with bio metric data chip. All the Gram Panchayats should be provided with the Biometric farm card readers which will ensure that the small and marginal farmers are not neglected/ cheated by the elite sarpanches as it is a fact that over 70 % of the farmers are small and marginal which holds less than 50 % of the total land cultivated and the sarpanches usually the land lords have huge land banks and are having greed to get more output in their farm, also has lesser view to the small and marginal farmers majority of them belong to SC,ST and other BC. The data of the fertilizer issue of each GP should be submitted to the Mandal Fertiliser stock unit for record and verification. Also the stock should be issued to the farmers in the presence of the Village Agriculture office or village revenue authority.
Also the data of the stock procurement indent and the data of the stock issue must tally unless otherwise the stock left without issue due to the non cultivation of the crop by any individual farmer due to any personal reason, which should be authenticated by the farmer as well as the GS and the GP. Any stock irregularities found in the MFSC should order the enquiry in the presence of the MRO and ensure that stock issues are settled else the GP should be barred to issue the fertilizers in the next season.
Also it will be ideal that while planning the intended about the required stock by the village cooperative federation of agriculture the same should be made through bio metric manner. As such all the VCCA should be supplied with smart card readers and the bio metric readers which will enable them to place as intend the computerised way. Reflecting the details of the farmer, the extend of land, the soil condition data, the crop planning to rise, the extent of crop, the seed likely to procure, the quantity of the fertilizer likely to procure all will be reflected in the requisite form of the fertilizer that was submitted to the GP, which will be forwarded to the MFSC. This will ensure that the MFSC have the information of the end user. The delivery of the stock to the end user can be ascertained by the delivery note supplied by the GP to the MFSC.
In order to ensure the godowans are constructed at the earliest cost effective way the government must provide appropriate standard designs of the MFSC in each mandal based on the geographical conditions. The godowans construction should be made on BOOT bases with the land supplied by the government and the construction and maintenance of the godowan by the private investor with Bank Guarantee for over 30 years till the life time of the godowan in a dimishing rate as per the depreciation value of the godown (to prevent sub standard construction of the godowan), this will ensure that financial burden on the government is almost zero as plenty of land is available with the government and the initial maintenance is done by the private operator. Also it is ideal that government must allow FDI in this back-end infrastructure development of the agriculture sector, with provides guaranteed recovery of the investment. Also the MFSC should be constructed in a very strategic location in the mandal that should be ideally near the railway lines and also strategically located that can be ideal for the optimal/ equidistance to almost all the villages in the mandal. Also it should be ideal that the private godown operator should be made it mandatory the distribution of fertilizers to each GP as per the requirement as approved & authorised by concerned authority from the government based on the request of the each GP in the mandal.
STORAGE FACILITIES FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCE
Also government should construct the storage facilities for agriculture produce in every mandal i.e Mandal agriculture produce storage centers (MAPSC) based on the the quantity of the agriculture produce by the VACA’s in that mandal. The MAPSC should be preferably near the railway lines for minimizing the transport by constructing the railway sidings. This will ensure the transport and handling can be minimized. Also it should more ideal to construct the silos (modern gogowans) with direct loading to the wagons will be more ideal.
Also there should be market yards attached to the MAPSC as it will be of great use. All the agriculture produce should be brought to each GP head quarters by the VACA’s and the quality and quantity of the product will be certified at the GP by the Village Agriculture Official, the same data should be forwarded by the GP to MAPSC for procurement and storage by the government the entire agriculture produce of the VACA. All the mandal agriculture produce collection centres should collect the data of the total agriculture output in the mandal as per the statistics and ensure the auction takes place appropriate manner in the markets.
SUPPLY OF LABOUR FOR AGRICULTURE BY GOVERNMENT
As it is a fact that labours for agriculture is scarcity during the seasons and the farmers are getting the labour at much higher rates than the normal from faraway places. Also it is most important and ideal that the government must fix the labour rates for the agriculture at a fixed rate for the labour contractors. The supply of labour to the agriculture should be the responsibility of the government (like dockyard labour boards supplying the hamalies for the harbour shipment loading and un loading) the government must use the MREGA registered workers in the respective areas. In order to ensure the registered workers utilised optimally the government must make it mandatory that all the VACA should submit the near date of harvest to ensure the labour supply in different dates of harvest as well as seeding for different members based on the extent cultivatable and cultivated land. Also the government will maintain the coordination of labour of MNREGA from the nearby villages to ensure that all VACA will get adequate number of labour in time, in addition should supply labour to all VACA are in the mandal in the specified time of say 10 days. Also the government must ask the labour organisations to register themselves for the supply of labour to the agriculture purpose as it is very seasonal, to get supplied to the VACA through the government. This will ensure labour will be supplied to all the individual farmers at a fixed cost to ensure the uniform costs for all farmers in the VACA to produce the agriculture output. Also it is ideal that banks will release the loan amount only after the confirmation of the labour supply the part either for seeding or harvesting and the remaining payments for the seed, the fertilizers and the pesticides water, electricity bank will directly pay the supplier on the advice of the government since government is procuring/routing the supply through it.
NEED FOR GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHING THE MARKETS FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCE.
Also the government should establish the markets at the appropriate locations, most ideal is adjacent to the MAPSC. The total VACA produce should be sold in consolidation rather than the individual farmer wise. The government must procure the entire agriculture produce at the minimum support price mostly non perishable produce and store it in the MAPSC, also the government must trade the produce for the traders with fixing the maximum profit limit for the traders as well as the retail sale. Also government must ensure that the markets are integrated and the Video Conference of the online market facility with the larger markets should be made to have the appropriate price for the agriculture product, the government will supply the stock to all the traders as the government mandatorily procure the entire agriculture produce from the VACA. The government must fix the maximum profit margin for all the different agriculture products produced by the VACA ( the ideal profit should be 20 % of the total cost of production after the addition of all the input costs), at the same time the markets should be fixed to have a profit margin not more than 30 % (on the price sold by the government which is the slightly above the minimum support price for investment & storage by the government which should not exceed 3% of the cost of the minimum support price) including the addition of actual transport and handling charges when it reaches the individual customer through the retailers i.e the retail price of the agriculture produce should not have the margin of more than 35 % of the minimum support price paid to the farmers. Also the government while fixing the minimum support price should ensure that the farmers will get at least 20 % margin on the cost of production for his hardship on the average. Also government must provide incentives to VACA for excessive production than average and also for maintain the quality from the profit margin earned by the government from the trading. This method of government procuring the entire produce of the agriculture output can be justified as the maximum amount that will be paid back to the bank will be only book entries and the burden on the farmer as well as the government will be minimal. Since the profit margins are fixed which will enable more procurement from the local MAPSC as the maximum cost of profit is fixed at 30 % as such there will be stock movement from all the points in all mandals by traders, as in case of long distance transport cost will be increases substantially, this will ensure that priority for the nearby VACA when procuring the stock by the market, which will minimizing the middle men margin, which will enable the commodities available at the cheaper price to the consumers. In addition
MANDATORY PURCHASE OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT BY THE PRIVATE SELLERS
Also the government must make it mandatory that all the purchase of the agriculture product by the private parties should be from the government only and traders or millers should be restricted not to buy from the VACA directly. This will ensure that private traders will not cheat the farmers. Also the government must sell the product to the traders with a condition that the end product is sold to the individual customer not more than 35 % of the total cost of the agriculture product paid to the VACA. To ensure this government must fix the profit margins for the agriculture products like in the case of essential pharmacy products like the margin for the packaging and transport, the margin for the dealer, the margin for the retailer etc. This will ensure that all the agriculture raw products as well as the finished products are available at constant prices throughout the year at all places appropriately based on the local conditions.
MANDATORY PROCUREMENT OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE FROM GOVERNMENT FOR EXPORT
Also the government must make it mandatory that the procurement of the agriculture output for export should be through the government only delivery through MAPSC and the difference of the cost of procurement by government at minimum support price and the cost of the sale for the purpose of export by the government should be shared with the VACA.
ADVANTAGES FOR FARMERS AND PEOPLE BY GOVERNMENT DIRECT PURCHASE FROM THE FARMERS AND MARKETING
Since the government is supplying the agriculture inputs the costs of the agriculture output at all places are known to the government. In this case government also ensuring fair margin for the farmers (20 % of the minimum sale price from the farmers on the bases of quantity of the output, so the farmers naturally try to produce more output to get more profit, in addition government must provide incentives for production on more than average production), the procurement of entire produce by the government will ensure no losses to the farmers on farmers side due to the cheating of the middle men, traders and retail giants through “contract farming”. Also the government is marketing the stock it was procured from the farmers the government will get more sales tax, as not even a single kilogram of the raw agriculture produce is not able to sold in the market without governments concerned. The sales collection alone will be more than 50 % of the present collection, which means lot of revenue to the government, as it completely eliminate the “zero bill” sale & “under invoice” sale which is a common practice in the agriculture produce trade & retailing. Which means more revenues for development activities like agriculture related back end infrastructure creation, more other infrastructure creation like roads, power etc. The advantages for the people are that not only get the commodities at economic rates, but also almost uniform throughout the year, no fear of cheating from the traders or retailers.
MARKETING OF VEGETABLES & FRUITS
Also the government must fix the minimum support price for the vegetables and procure it mandatorily from the VACA and sell it to the trades with fixed margins and fixing the maximum retail price from depending up on the shelf life (fast perishable goods like tomato, leafy vegetables some verities of fruits like bananas etc have more margins, while long shelf life products like onions, potato, etc will have shorter margins) and the distance of transport. In case the VACA wishes to sell the products directly to the consumer’s government must create the facilities for doing so.
Also the government must have the storage facilities for the fruits and vegetables in case of excess crop through the cold storage by encouraging the private investment in the PPP mode by providing the minimum storage price for the cold storage facility and government must procure the produce of the vegetables and fruits from the VACA and store it in the Cold storage and pay the minimum price to ensure the investment of the cold storage is recovered, the government must add the cost of storage when it is fixing the maximum retail price for the vegetables and fruits when selling through the traders.
Also the government must encourage the Food processing industries near the bulk agriculture produce areas of the fruits and vegetables and government must supply the vegetables and fruits to these processing units at the fixed price
NEED FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF SSI IN THE FOOD PROCESSING; ESPECIALLY THE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Since many times due to the excess crop of the fruits and vegetables, due to lack of storage facilities like clod storages to increase their shelf life are getting wasted, as even the the transport costs are not getting to the farmers. The wastage is as high as over 30 % on the average. As such it is most ideal that the government must provide the training and loan facilities for the SHG i.e the self help groups and other farmers etc. This will not only useful in saving the wastage but also provide substantial income for the SHG and the farmers. The food processing like making dry onion flakes, dry potato chips, dry mango, dry tomato etc made through the solar dryers, mango pulp making, pickle making (in hygienic conditions) etc etc. for this government must provide the solar dryers and other equipment without any bank interest.
ADVISE FOR CROP ROTATION FOR ENHANCING SOIL FERTILITY
Also the government should possess the data of the general soil conditions, the water table, the rain fall etc all the village wise the same should be analysed to advise the VACA to rise the suitable crops in accordance to the climatic conditions and the verity of the crop that suits the particular climate condition.
Also the government must make the VACA data analysed from time to time for testing the soil conditions in each farm holding, general climatic conditions and advice the VACA members to have the suitable crop the verity of the crop and also the crop rotation based on the soil conditions to improve the fertility soil for better yield of the crops. The crop rotation, suitable verity of crop and the suitable seed verity is based on the local conditions as it may vary from one VACA to other VACA, which is not universal, all this is to ensure balance of the agriculture output products in the mandals thus the country.
REGULAR INCOME GENERATION FOR FARMERS, MANDATORY TO GROW VEGETABLES & FRUITS IN 1/4 OF THE CULTIVATABLE LAND
Also the government must make it mandatory that all the VACA members should mandatory rise ¼ of their individual land holding for the fruits and vegetables. As of now only vegetable and fruit in India is only 3 % of the total cultivatable land in India. By this method the cultivatable area of the vegetables and fruits will be enhanced substantially. Also the VACA’s are advised to grow all possible verities that suits the soil and the climate in that area with different VACA’s will plant different verities to ensure balanced output of all verities of vegetables and fruits in the mandal. The mandatory cultivation of V & F will not only provide the adequate supporting income for the farmers but also ensure the maximum availability of the products in the market, leading to availability at affordable cost to all sections of the people. This method will certainly benefit all the small and marginal farmers as they account for near about 70 % of the total farmers in the country. Similarly the fruits and vegetables should be shared among the VACA in the mandal to ensure the availability of all verities of vegetables and fruits at the basic costs in the villages, which will enable over 70 % of population will certainly have nutritional food.
Also the government must provide all small and marginal farmers with appropriate number of cattle for the purpose of milk, which will certainly enhance the income for the farmers for the day to day needs as the statistics of the milk production in India shoes that over 30 % of the total milk produced is consumed locally either by the families or the in the village only, this will certainly provide the family of the farmers with adequate nutritional suppliant through the consumption of the milk.
CROP INSURANCE AND PROTECTION OF FARMERS IN CASE OF FAILURE OF CROP DUE TO SEED FAILURE OR SUB STANDARD FERTILIZERS OR SUB STANDARD PESTICIDES OR LACK OF SUPPLY OF WATER FOR CULTIVATION.
In this method of government supplying the seeds, fertilizer and pesticides and the agriculture labour which will lead to a great reduction of the burden on the farmers as quality and quantity of supply in the required time will reach the farmers, also due to the directly credit of the amount equivalent to the supplies to the banks by the government on behalf of farmer through the VACA. Also most important thing is government must make it mandatory that all insurance companies provide crop insurance and the crop insurance is the mandatory for the farmers to perform agriculture by paying an appropriate amount to the insurance company. The crop insurance should only cover the crop failure due to natural calamities alone. In the case of crop failure due to the seed failure or sub standard pesticides or crop output reduction due to sub standard fertilizers, the farmers will be compensated by the government fully and the loans availed by the farmers from the banks should be paid by the government on behalf of the farmer as the government is supplying it to the farmers on obtaining the guarantee from the supplier to the quality (by invoking the BG provided by the bulk supplier). Also since the government is procuring the crop for minimum support price from the farmer the government should repay the loan availed by the farmer to the bank before paying to the farmer. The government must pay incentives for farmers for producing the farm output more than the standard output to ensure all farmers will work more dedicatedly by applying all the techniques as suggested by the agriculture experts for obtaining maximum production. This method will certainly reduce the farmer’s committing suicides as majority of the burdens are nullified by the government. The condition of the farmer’s family and the children will improve due to less tension; the children can go for education, better health care for the family through the farmer family health care card provided by the government a true justice to the provider of the food for country.
NEED FOR ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF CULTIVATION
As we all knew that every day new methods of agriculture is being developed in the world, but some methods are tested and proved successful over. Since India is basically agrarian country and being a tropical climate majority of the methods of agriculture yields good in India. As such the methods like SIRI rice cultivation, the Hydro phonics methods of the fruits and vegetables growing in controlled conditions should be adopted in India and should expand this methods throughout the country for better results and high yields in low cost using less water and fertilizers. Also in order to reduce the use of pesticides and for more production of the agriculture, the ideal solution to encourage “Hydroponics” (soil less culture) which uses the less water, less space more output as all the process is done in a controlled atmosphere especially for the vegetables and other spices production, may be initial capital expenditure is slightly on the upper side but has enormous benefits and most cost effective agriculture techniques which is a grand success in the countries like “Israel” and other places. Also to extensively promote the production of paddy in (SRI) System Of Rice Intensification method of cultivation which the paddy is grown in with 90 % less seeds, 50 % less water, higher yields, less labour, more income to the tune of 60 % more than conventional yield income. Also should encourage drip irrigation for all plantation crops. The food produced from SRI, drip irrigation, hydroponics and the use of bio fertilizers and bio pesticides is really good yields.
NEED FOR GOVERNMENT TO PRODUCE SEED FOR SUPPLY TO FARMERS, PROMOTE TRADITIONAL SEEDS RESTRICT/BAN GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEEDS
Also the government must make a plan to set up seed development centres for production of seed in large scale by the government itself by making a separate department of cultivation in the agriculture ministry primarily the production of seeds is for supply to the VACA. The government must encourage the indigenously produced seeds and the traditional seeds over the genetically modified (GM) seeds. As the genetically modified seeds need to be purchased every time of harvest, as the GM seeds are terminator seeds which cannot be used for reproduction. The farmer is losing the seed production on his own due to change of characteristics in the seed to reproduce. This will be additional burden on the farmer and also the farmer is entirely depended on the seed availability as all the GM Seeds are completely imported which leaves our agriculture is slowly going in the hands of the developed nations, if they enhance the seed cost, or if they don’t supply the seed for the season or they modify the seed which will develop certain pest in certain stage of growth of the plant to promote their manufactured pesticides to terminate the pest (that particular pests will be controlled only through the particular form of pesticide which will be patented and monopoly of the foreign nations and the cost of the pesticide is very high; the ideal example is the computer printers as the cost of the particular make of the printer is only certain amount but the printers need to purchase original refill from the manufacturers of the printers to suit the printers and the cost of the printer cartridges is much more compared to local refill, if used local refilled cartridges, over a period of time the printer develop several issues) all this will make our country virtually a puppet in the hands of the western seed suppliers, out 70 % of the population who are in the agriculture sector is entirely on the mercy of the western countries, there are lot of incidences that GM seeds are failed many times with no compensation for the farmers , leaving the farmers to take extreme steps and committing the suicides due to the acute debt that was due the failure of the crop due to the failure of the GM seeds, especially seen in the cotton, maize, etc. This is totally due to the total failure of the governments to curtail the GM entry into the Indian soil due to the vested interests of the some top politicians, officials and agriculture scientists who are acting more or less as the agents of these foreign Genetically modified seeds subordinating the interest of over 120 crores for a few individuals, which is more heinous crime than any other crime in the earth, as it the fact that the select few individuals should think that after certain period the GM seed suppliers act at their will & wish, as such the fate of the over 120 core people is the hands of the few select foreign companies, those companies who might be paying a penny (the size of a mustered seed for the select few individuals to take away the pumkin from the country being one of the largest agrarian country, as once the GM seeds are used the soil become totally non fertile and not usable for cultivation of other traditional seeds as the GM seeds, it is due to the fact that while dying the GM plants will inject bacteria into the soil killing the entire fertility of the soil) The best example for this system of GM/GE of the foreign companies is almost similar the Black berry operations of the mobile phone operated by the Research In Motion having the total control of the operations in the abroad, (not providing the details of the callers and users due the servers are located outside the purview of India, but government ultimately got the access of the RIM data). In case government still wants to promote the GM seeds for what so ever reason, the government must frame stringent Quadra party agreement with the GM seed manufacturer (foreign company in the foreign nation), the Indian supplier and the foreign government / foreign bank of the seed manufacturer and the Indian government for the compensation in case of the seed failure. The maximum quantities of pesticides are used by the GM/GE crops. It is evident if we observe the cotton crop raised in India is mainly Bt (genetically engineered to produce the natural insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis) which is witnessed maximum use of the total pesticides volumes in India in the Bt cotton as compared to traditional varieties of cotton. It is ideal to encourage the natural Indigenous verities of crops and also the HT varieties (herbicide tolerant). Recently the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture advised the government to stop all field trials and sought a bar on GM food crops (such as Bt. brinjal).
INCENTIVES FOR USE OF TRADITIONAL SEEDS AND BEST OUTPUTS
Also the government must ensure the VACA should be given incentives for using the indigenously developed seeds, the traditional seeds certified by the agriculture scientists and also using the indigenously manufactured hybrid seeds supplied by the government and more organic and bio fertilizers adopting the integrated nutrient supply system (INSS) and also adopting the Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and No Pesticide Management (NPM)
NEED FOR ENHANCING THE FERTILIZER PRODUCTION AND GOVERNMENT CONTROLLING THE SUPPLY AND PRICING
Also it should be ideal that government must enhance the production of the fertilizers by setting up of the manufacturing units in PPP mode and at strategic location as per the demand (as of now over 85 % of the fertilizers are transported with distances more than 250 to 300 km, the cost of transport per tonne alone is over 600 Rs) for consumption by reducing the transport costs of the fertilizers in next 5 years to reduce the imports by at least 50 % in the coming 5 years. Also the government must set up manufacturing of the bio fertilizers and organic fertilizers indigenously in the mandals near the cities from the garbage (the urban waste alone can produce near about 6 to 7 million tonnes of organic fertilizers if properly managed to covert), from the forest waste collection, from the waste of sugar cane pulp and mainly from the crop residues, and supply to the VACA for increased use of organic fertilizers, and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. Also government must encourage villagers to use goober gas instead of firewood for cooking purpose as the statistics shoes more than 85 % of the families, are using fire wood for cooking, which resulting in respiratory problems and other health issues. All these can be avoided by using the community goober gas centres using the cow/buffalo manure and the slurry of the cow dung in the villages should be used to reduce the fertilizer use considerable extent. Also the VACA should be thought of enhancing the natural way of increasing the fertility of the soil by crop rotation in the agriculture fields by raising inter crops appropriately (mostly belong to the leguminous verity for replenishing the nitrogen content and other micro nutrients in the soil naturally) Also the government must fix a target for the VACA to reduce the total chemical fertilizer use at least 30 % in five years by increasing use of the organic fertilizers and bio fertilizer which will be the true spirit of Integrated nutrient supply system (INSS) programme of government, which is mainly meant for integration of use of chemical fertilizers, the organic fertilizers and the bio fertilizers in appropriate ratio for enhancing the fertility of the soil as well as providing the balanced nutritional supplement to the crop for full growth and full yield. Similarly government must provide the mandatory regulation for the VACA to reduce the chemical pesticides use by 50 % in the five years by encouraging the bio pesticides prepared with naturally available chemicals
The government must provide the incentives for manufacturers of the bio fertilizers & organic fertilizers in the country and the testing of the quality of the bio fertilizers should be tested at the standard laboratories should be procured by the government and supplied it the GP through the Mandal fertilizer stock centres.
NEED FOR CAPTIVE POWER IN FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRIES
Also government must make it mandatory that select the food processing industries should have a captive power generation from the processed waste. The industries include the rice mills and the sugar crushing units and the pulses mills etc where the husk, the pulp is used to generate power to the capacities ranging from 100 Kv to 2000 Kv i.e 0.10 MW to 2 Mw depending up on the capacity of the plant. This will certainly reduce the power requirement in that village or mandal which can be used for the lifting/pumping of water for cultivation. In case of excess power generated by these units then than individual unit use the same should be able to supply t the local power grid for better supply to the village. Also all other food processing units should mandatorily use at least 5 % of their total energy in the form of solar energy. Also based on the data of the wind in the villages government must advise investors to install the high capacity wind mills which is of no disturbance to the cultivation with long lease agreements from the VACA for installation of the wind power generators as well the supply of the wind power to the VACA. This will be more economical as the land costs are very minimal due to the lease land for long run. The only investment is on the wind power generator and the tower and the storage battery. Also to encourage the farmers provide the small piece of land say 200 Sq Yards for on long lease at nominal price for the construction of tower the farmer should also get the a concession in the power tariff.
PESTICIDES USE IN INDIA
Also as per the reports of the pesticides used in India covers only 25 % of the arable land, which means lot of scope for the government to develop and encourage Integrated Pest Management (IPM) & No pesticide Management (NPM) and also lot of scope for the bio pesticides in India to enhance the production. Since the average estimates shows that the loss of agriculture due to lack of pest management is as high as 30 to 35 % of the total agriculture output, which is a huge loss.
Also it is fact that the use of the pesticides in India are as follows.
Cotton with a total area of cultivation in India is 5 % of the total cultivated land in India accounts for near about 60 % of the total consumption of the pesticides manufacture in India. Next highest use of pesticides in India is paddy/rice which a cultivated area of 25 % of the total cultivated area in India which accounts for near about 18 % of the total pesticide consumption in India followed by the fruit and vegetable cultivation to the extent of 14 percentage of the pesticide for a small cultivated land of only 3 % of the total cultivated land in India. Whereas cereals/ pulses/ oil seeds occupy near about 58 % of the cultivatable land in India with a consumption of pesticides of about 8 % of the total pesticides consumed.
NEED FOR ENHANCING THE INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM) AND THE INTEGRATING THE NON PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT (NPM) WITH IPM FOR BETTER RESULTS.
The “Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as it was defined by FAO in 1968, means a pest management system that, in the context of the associated environment and the population dynamics of the pest species, utilizes all suitable techniques and methods in as compatible manner as possible and maintains the pest populations at levels below those causing economically unacceptable damage or loss” IPM is producing substantial results. The IPM is basically crop rotation, crop trapping, inter cropping, resistant varieties, etc. However the results of the IPM can be achieved to the fullest extent only if there exists a collective and cooperative efforts of the farmers, which is possible only if there exists an association of farmers in the villeg like the VACA which will certainly act in accordance to the principle if the IPM to the fullest extent as the cooperative team efforts of all farmers is necessary for the success of IPM. Also IPM will save provide substantial reduction in the use of pesticides which will not only improve the quality of the agriculture product more naturally, but also increases the revenues to the farmers due to saving the cost on the pesticides and the cost of workers to spray. Also the farmers i.e the members of VACA should be well thought about the safety measures to be practised while administering the chemical pesticides and also the safe methods of cleaning after the administration of the pesticides and safe disposal of the empty containers of the pesticides and the necessary first aid required in case of any accidents that occur during the administration of the pesticides. All the AACoAs should observe and monitor and coordinate with farmers in VACA in this regard. Also government must integrate the non pesticide management (NPM ) with IPM to get better results, as NPM is more cost effective and also uses local techniques and ensure non reach of the pest/ spread of the pest by identifying the pest and pruning the pest in the initial stages, which saves lot of money as well as agriculture output. Also the NPM will save most of the 30 million farmers and the agriculture labour who are prone to the poison side effects on them while administering the pesticides.
NEED TO PROMOTE TRADITIONAL SEEDS OVER HYBRID & GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEEDS
Also government must encourage the indigenous traditional seeds to be continued for farming as the hybrid varieties are more costly and the difference of output is marginal as compared to the initial costs. As it is evident from the failure of the Bt Cotton cultivation the government without proper procedure of tests allowed the Genetically Engineered/ Genetically Modified seeds. (Bt cotton field trials were a sham. The GEAC (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, ministry of environment & forests) had approved the results just in three years of research trials, the experiments were not conducted as per scientific norms. In fact the government must issue the approvals for the Bt/GE/GM seeds based on the local conditions only after extensive field trails and experiments of near out 25 years before commercializing the GM Seeds as that was practiced by the United States of America through US Recombinant Advisory Committee (RCA) for genetically engineered drugs. RCA makes it mandatory for companies to provide a list of negative and harmful impacts and minimizes that impact before approving for commercial sale. As a result, the approval process takes 25 years. As such GEAC should emphasize biological risk assessment. GEAC should regulate genetic technology as was followed in USA.
Since the procedure of US RCA is not followed in India by the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee of India (GEAC) of Ministry of Environment and Forests, gave conditional clearance on the 26th of March 2002, to ‘Monsanto’ & ‘Mahyco’ for commercial planting of the genetically engineered Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt.) cotton in four states of southern and central India. The Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. Ltd Mahyco is one of the largest and most trusted seed companies in India. In 1998, Monsanto became a 50% shareholder in the company and received approval to conduct countrywide field trials. The data compiled was never made public. In June 2002, near about 55,000 cotton farmers decided to grow Bt cotton as per the claims of the company which are very lucrative as the claim says that the GE/GM Bt Cotton provides 4 times more yield and more pest resistance, which was developed by inserting a gene of bacteria into the plant's genome to enable it to resist bollworm, a major pest for cotton. As per the reports in the first few months the farmers were delighted with the crop since it grew fast and looked healthy. Most satisfying was that the leaves were not being eaten by worms. Unfortunately, in the fourth month, the Bt cotton stopped growing and producing new buds while the existing cotton bolls did not get any bigger. The crop then wilted and dried up at the peak bolling stage. This was accompanied by leaf drooping and shedding. There was also bursting of immature bolls and heavy infestation of bollworm. Results have clearly shown that the BT cotton crop was devastated by pest attacks. When the BT toxin in the crop proved ineffective in 90 days the farmers used pesticides bought from Monsanto only. The spraying of these expensive pesticides had an adverse affect on the crop. The plants developed the leaf curl virus and the root rot disease and were destroyed. Monsanto took no responsibility.
As a result of failure of the Bt Cotton seeds of In the state of Andhra Pradesh over 3/4 of the crop was lost. In Madhya Pradesh almost the entire crop was lost. In Maharastra, the Bt crop has failed across 30,000 hectares. In Gujarat, it was completely destroyed by the bollworm. Subsequently, near about three hundred farmers committed suicide. The Bt. cotton failure has cost the farming industry heavily as the Bt crop was raided in over a lack of acers in one cropping season which lead several thousands of farmers in the Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat which shown that maximum of the crop failed to yield even on par with the conventional seeds and also did not have the potential for the pest resistant and the crops failed in at the fruit stage which lead many hundreds of farmers commit suicide. The very surprising fact is that the seed company declined to pay the compensation for the failure of the seeds. In this circumstances the government must ensure that all the GM are allowed in India only after following the standard procedure followed as existence in the USA the largest Producer and Consumer of the GE/GM seeds and also the government must Enter a Quadra party agreement with the GE/GM seed producer/seller and the government of that country and the Indian partner of the foreign company and the Indian government to ensure the compensation twice the value of the output of the crop in case of crops failed due to faulty seeds.
Even though there are plenty of advantages of the GE/GM of seeds such as improved agriculture yield with less labour due to less inputs, the pest resistant and draught resistance verities can be developed which can sustain the consequences of the global warming, soil salinity /alkalinity, more nutritional values, reduced wastes but at the same time has terrible lot of disadvantages
But the studies carried out by various organisations, it has been found that GM/GE crops transfer their genes to soil fungi and bacteria. The affected fungi and bacteria then behave in abnormal ways and diminish their function in breaking down organic material, which makes nutrients available to plants. The soil will become progressively less fertile. After a few seasons of planting the GM crop the soil will not be able to host any other conventional crop. If farmers wish to switch back to conventional crops it could take a whole season to rehabilitate the soil. The economic consequences of which are clearly unfavourable. There is also the added cost of nutrients and fertilizers necessary to regenerate the soil. However the most dangerous threat is that after many seasons it could be impossible to revert back to the planting of any conventional crop. It is because by then the soil could be completely infertile. GM crops are genetically manipulated so that they die after one season and cannot reproduce. This is referred to as the terminator gene in the plant. Also causes un known allergies as the protein sequence in the product is changed due to the addition of organisms that are resistant to pests, also chances of intoxication is Prior to its inclusion in GE/GM crops, Bt has been used as a biological insecticide, however residual toxins resulting from introduced genes of bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis are unlikely to harm humans as the toxin produced by the bacteria is highly specific to certain types of insects.
The above GE/GM experiment only showed that such products are not suitable for Indian conditions. Also it clearly shows that Indian Agriculture should be protected from being going into the control of foreign nations and looted by the western seed companies which are introducing the GE/GM with characteristics of the pests that will be nullified only by their own patented pesticides which means that the there exists an huge danger of entire Agriculture in India as it is totally controlled by the few select companies of the west and they will ensure that the entire Indian economy will be at danger for the interest of the few select foreign companies who are producing the GE/GM. As of now copies of the gene of the spices of around 1,50,000 varieties of agriculture as already in the possession of US Agriculture department which means all the GE/GM and the Pesticides will be monopolised by the western countries as per the patent acts. Hence the government of India should give utmost attention on sustainable farming systems preserving our traditional seeding and farming techniques rather than going after and promoting the GE/GM seeds (as of now most of the bio tech companies are funded by the west to promote the GE/GM seeds or managed by vested interests), India would be able to create its own model of agriculture where farmers are not forced to commit suicide, where the land is not polluted, and where water is not poisoned. GM crops experiments show that the country is fast moving into an unforeseen era of biological pollution, which will be more unsustainable and also destructive to human health and environment.
CLOUD SEEDING (WEATHER MODIFICATION); THE ULTIMATE GAME CHANGER OF AGRICULTURE SECTOR, OVER ALL ECONOMIC GROWTH BOOSTER OF THE COUNTRY DUE TO MORE HYDRO POWER, MORE INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT.
As we all knew that majority of the agriculture in India is either irrigated or rain fed As we all knew that water for irrigation, power generation drinking is coming from the water in the nature in the visible form of water bodies, lakes, rivers and sea but the un know fact to many people is that the water resource in the atmospheric clouds which contain about 10 times more water than that contained in all the rivers on earth (in more simple example if we observe the cloud bursts that will cause the dispense massive water which will have terrible impact in the vicinity of the cloud burst due to sudden downpour of enormous water from the clouds, more recent cloud bursts in India can be observed in “Ladak” in Jammu & Kashmir and also in the Uttarakand which substantiates the quantities of water stored). But due to rapid urbanization, massive industrialization and extensive deforestation lead to massive the environmental pollution and global warming, also due to the el-nino effects causes the change in the climate are causing delay in the monsoon and also all these factors are preventing the clouds from giving the natural normal rainfall, resulting in short fall in the rain which lead to shortfall of water in the rivers and less water, consequently drinking water supply and agriculture production, hydro power generation adversely effected all these lead to tremendous effect on the not only on agriculture and over all food availability but also in industrial growth due to less hydro power generation due to lack of water in reservoirs.
As the statistics shows that 30 % of cultivation in India is done in dry areas with rain fall less than 750 mm and medium rain fall areas 750 to 1150 mm has 42 % of the total cultivated area and high medium 1150 to 2000 mm of rain fall near about 20 % of the cultivation is being done where as only 8 % of the total cultivation in India done under assured rain fall of over 2000 mm per year. This situation due to lack of water in the rivers, water bodies can be improved to a great extent by “weather modification” i.e “cloud seeding” to infuse the huge quantities of water from the nature. Cloud seeding is nothing but converting the moisture in the clouds to rain drops using the chemical spaying on the clouds (silver iodide is sprayed on the clouds through aircrafts to precipitated to form water molecules to get converted to droplets and fall to earth as rain). As India being a tropical country with abundance of sun light which will ensure that water in the sea, rivers and lakes are heated up and get evaporated and form the clouds. The cloud seeding is more successful in the areas near the water bodies like rivers and the irrigation projects. As such cloud seeding operations should be conducted in areas of the catchment of the rivers and the reservoirs at higher elevations for better results and best utilisation of the operation. As cloud seeding will cause instant rain in that particular vicinity of the cloud only, this can increase the rain fall up to 40 % of the total rain fall in that period in that region, which is massive to fulfil all needs of irrigation as well as power generation. Also cloud seeding can provide such water that the local water disputes within the states of sharing of irrigation water (from upstream to the downstream) and all interstate water disputes can be resolved. Also cloud seeding enables the farmers to perform agriculture in all seasons as water in the reservoirs is full most of the time and also this enables farmers either owns the land or doing farming on lease from becoming labourers mainly due to the non availability of water for irrigation due to draught. This will not only provide lively hood for the farmers but also many other such as agriculture labour and others involved in the agriculture sector.
Also cloud seeding is very economical and the cost benefits are in the ratio of 1:25 i.e if Rs 1 is invested in the cloud seeding the benefit that may occur due to the success of cloud seeding is Rs 25. In fact the cost of one cubic meter of water estimated at US $0.02 making cloud seeding the most inexpensive method of making available more water. This is very ideal and profitable than any other activity which has been practicing in over 50 countries for the last 40 years and getting the benefits especially in countries like most populated countries like China. But it is very surprising to many water experts and weather experts that even though enormous benefits are going to come with the “weather modification” i.e cloud seeding is not done at the pace it is supposed to be done governments in India. As such government must take urgent initiatives to perform cloud seeding as a regular and routine continuous process Also it is ideal cloud seeding should be done on commercial bases by tie up with private operators with their private own investment in the areas which was specified by the government, and government paying to the private operators on the amount of rain fall received. This will certainly reduce the burden on the government as well as it will boost the economy in many ways. First the agriculture output will be more leading to affordable food for all leading to healthy population, leading to healthy industrial output and increased GDP. Also the water in the reservoirs will ensure that the hydro power plants operate at full capacity on par with the thermal power plants (with the plant load factor PF over 85 %) which means more power is generated and more power available for the industry to provide more output, at the same time reduction of coal burning in the thermal plants leading to reduction in environment pollution and thus reduction in global warming to a considerable extent which means the climatic changes are not adverse which means more natural rain fall over a period of time. Which means more economy will grow faster, leading to more better facilities for the people. Even though some state governments have adopted the cloud seeding which did not have that encouraging results, the success or failure of cloud seeding operations are not because of any lack of scientific foundation for the cloud seeding but it is based on the commitment and efficiency of the operators and the regional geographical, meteorological & topographical feature in a given area.
Keeping in view of the benefits governments must make it mandatory that cloud seeding is done in systematic and scientific manner. In order to ensure more clarity on the benefits of cloud seeding governments must send the technical teams & the ministerial teams of agriculture and water resources for study and understating the benefits of cloud seeding to the countries like China, Japan and other countries which are getting enormous benefits from the cloud seeding. Government must prepare a 5 year plan to cover all the areas in the country to be covered by weather modification. As the estimates of the FAO says that Indian population will tough over 140 Billion by 2050 and the food required is over 300 milion metric tonnes which is possible only through water supply by weather modification i.e cloud seeding.
Also the government must provide the cloud seeding for private parties to perform and the payments should be linked to the output of the rain from the cloud seeding. Otherwise there is lot of criticism that the cloud seeding is the money spinning activity for select politicians, the operators and some of the bureaucrats and the hardly the real benefits are not enjoyed by the farmers as the planning of the cloud seeding is done just before the rain forecast and the count of the natural rain will go to the cloud seed operator claiming that the rain fall is due to the cloud seeding. The privatisation of the cloud seeding coupled with statutory conditions and linked to the rain fall will certainly deliver best results in the places where the natural rain fall is delayed the due to the change in climate conditions.
Soil conservation is the primary basic requirement in Indian agriculture as in general our soils are moderately less in Nitrogen nutrient content; Also most of the sail analysis reports indicate majority of the soils in India are becoming pale due to excessive use mostly due to excessive use of chemical fertilizers making the soil losing it ability to hold the fertility resulting in less output requiring more inputs of fertilizers to boost up the production output which increases the cost of the output as well the danger of more chemicals present in the food products etc. It is a basic fact that top two inches of the soil is the soil having the fertility stored in it, but as per the geography to form 2 inches of the top layer it takes more than 600 million years. Also the soil erosion is the main cause which can be prevented by massive a forestation which will not only conserve the soil but also increases the water table level in the ground. Even through government is doing the IWDM Integrated waste land development to plant more trees to conserve the soil erosion as well to enhance the water table, it is the duty of the government and the people especially in the rural areas to take up the issue very seriously and ensure the soil erosion is reduced and the maximum water table is conserved. Also the soil management should focus on enhancing the fertility of the soils by reducing the use of GM/GE seeds to be used in the cultivation and enhancing the traditional seeds cultivation as GM/GE seeds consume lot of water as well as it extracts the fertility of the soil in much faster way and completely depleting the soil fertility over a period and the soil needs more and more fertilizers year after year and also the conventional seeds cannot be grown in the same soil after the GM/GE seeds are used for more than two cycles of agriculture. Also the government must do the preventive soil erosion management by collecting the data of all the villages and plan to plant the trees and other techniques in the up lands in the villages to ensure the soils are perfectly protected from the erosion due to heavy down pour of rain. Also the government must plan all the state and national highways and the roads in the villages which were either passing through the cultivatable fields are adjacent to the cultivatable fields (few lacks of acres fall under this category) to protect the water logging in the fields and safe passage of the water in a pit. Also the government must prepare the roads in such a manner that all the water will pass down in a particular direction and rain water will be collected at a particular point for a particular length of road say 500 mt. To have the water pits government must dig the water collection pits with the capacity of the pits to hold the rain water based on the average rain rain fall in that particular area and the quantity in that particular length of the road. This water can be used for irrigation; at the same time soil erosion can be prevented to protect the fertility of the soil. Also the government must provide the plants that should be planted along the road length of the road inside the cultivatable farm to prevent the slippage of water, also to ensure that the water is saved in the pit. Also the government must make a policy that All the state and National High ways should construct along the road sides a concrete passage either for the rain water to be collected at the pit which is constructed at the slop or the low point in the area to ensure easy passage of water due to natural gravity. All the existing highways must be up graded and all the upcoming and future highway constructed should be constructed with water passages. As the rain water collection by this method will be more easy and cost effective, not only this advantage but it will be more advantageous to the highways as the water logging may damage the section of road and to built that particular section is additional cost and more inconvenience.
NEED FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF SOIL TESTING LABORATORIES
Since the entire agriculture output depends on the soil condition it is necessary for all the farmers to obtain the soil testing done soon after the harvest of the crop, to obtain the soil fertility report and advice by the agriculture experts for the quantity of seed, verity of seed and the treatment of the soil before seeding and also quantity of the fertilizers need to be used based on the cultivatable area and the verity of the crop. This is necessary to suggest the appropriate fertilizers that are needed as per the soil condition in the required quantities which will certainly optimize the use of the fertilizers and maximize the agriculture output by providing the optimal nutrients to the plants. In order to ensure this there should be at least one soil testing laboratory in each mandal in the first phase and at each GP in the second phase. Also at the same time the government must introduce one year/ six months certification course for becoming the soil testing technicians for all the B.sc Graduates or at least intermediate with science subjects to become a soil testing assistant. All the data of the each farmer as per the VAF should be stored in the computer for future reference and analysis of the soil condition. The analysis of the soil conditions and the suggestions will be provided by the experts. To enhance the number of soil experts the government must make make mandatory provision for the agriculture universities have diploma/certificate course and all universities to have full course in the soil engineering.
FERTILIZER USE IN INDIA FOR AGRICULTURE
As we all knew that India has a total area of 320 million hectors with over 190 million hectors of area under cultivation. If we look into the soil conditions almost all types of soils in the world are present in India which can be classified into 8 major categories out of which 4 categories are more ideal for cultivation, are of agricultural importance: alluvial soils, black soils, red soils and lateritic soils. The four other broad soil groups that occur fairly extensively in India are: saline and sodic soils, desert soils, forest and hill soils, and peaty and marshy soils. If we analyze the soil for the nutrients
The alluvial soils cover about 75 million ha in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) and Brahmaputra Valley and are distributed in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and the coastal regions of India. These soils are deficient in nitrogen (N), phosphorus and organic matter. Similarly Black soils are very dark and have very high clay content, a vide verity of crops can be grown in these soils under proper soil management. They have a high moisture retention capacity. These soils cover an area of about 74 million ha, mainly in the central, western and southern states of India. The black soils are inherently very fertile. Under rainfed conditions, they are used for growing cotton, millets, soybean, sorghum, pigeon pea, etc. Under irrigated conditions, they can be used for a variety of other crops, such as sugar cane, wheat, tobacco and citrus crops. Similarly Red soils are found predominantly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Goa and in the north eastern states. They have limitations of soil depth, poor water and nutrient-holding capacity, excessive drainage, runoff and are generally poor in N, P, zinc (Zn), sulphur (S) and humus. Under good management, these soils can be used profitably for a variety of crops such as millets, rice, groundnut, maize, soybean, pigeon pea, green gram, jute, tea, cashew, cocoa, grapes, banana, papaya and mango. Lastly the ideal soil for cultivation in India is Laterite and lateritic soils which are deeply weathered soils with high clay content, having low base and silica owing to pronounced leaching. They are generally found in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the north eastern region, and occupy about 25 million ha. The major limitations posed by these soils include deficiency of P, potassium (K), calcium (Ca), Zn and boron (B), high acidity and toxicity of aluminium (Al) and manganese (Ma). The important crops grown on these soils are rice, banana, coconut, areca nut, cocoa, cashew, coffee, tea and rubber. All other soils like saline and sodic soils can be cultivated by using gypsum and also similarly peaty and marshy soils can be utilised by draining the water and proper fertilization.
On observing all types of soils in India, it is evident that Indian soils being a tropical, the organic carbon (C) content is very low. The deficiency of Nitrogen (N) is common in all soils throughout India. Most of the Indian soils are low to medium in Phosphorus (P). Over time, Potassium (K) deficiency has also become widespread. The deficiency of Sulphur (S) is increasing. Besides primary and secondary nutrients, the increasing deficiency of micronutrients is becoming a cause of concern. Among the micronutrients, the deficiency of Zn is the most acute. In general, the deficiency of at least five nutrients (N, P, K, S & Zn) has become fairly widespread. There is a need to promote the use of types of fertilizers required to correct the deficiency of all these nutrients. To improve the naturally low organic matter content of the soil, the application of sufficient quantities of organic manures is essential.
If we analyze the plant biology apart from water all plants growth is dependent on the basic nutrients that exists in the soil which are mainly constitute N, P, K, S & Zn, since majority of the soils in India are primarily deficient in some of the basic nutrients the use of fertilizers arises in India to ensure the crops are grown as desired to provide the maximum output. Also since the extensive agriculture cultivation is being performing continuously for over decades makes the soil deplete in the nutrients as the crops has used the existing nutrients in the soil, the use of fertilizers is become a basic necessity in the agriculture. As such all farmers should administer fertilizers in appropriate quantities at appropriate time, based on the soil analysis and advise by the soil experts and agriculture experts only. The use of fertilizer quantities, and verities of fertilizers varies in different places varies as different plants extract the nutrients differently and also different soils have the different capacity to hold the nutrients. In India farmers uses many types of fertilizers, of which urea accounts for most of the consumption of Nitrogen (N) and DAP for most of that of P2O5. Urea accounts for 82 percent of the total consumption of fertilizers. The share of N through DAP and other complex fertilizers is about 16 percent. DAP accounts for 63 percent of total P2O5 consumption and other complex fertilizers for 27 percent. Single superphosphate (SSP) accounts for 10 percent of total P2O5 consumption.
NEED FOR FERTILIZER REGULATIONS FOR CONTROLLING THE PRICES, ENSURING AVAILABLE TO FARMERS AT STANDARD PRICE
As we all knew that the use of fertilizers become inevitable, become a primary substance in the cultivation, being the deciding factor of the output of the agriculture, the prices of the agriculture depends on the prices of the fertilizers. As such government must ensure that all the fertilizers especially the basic five nutrient suppliers of N, P, K, S, and Zn prices are under government control as these products are under government control till the decontrol of P, K in 1992 and decontrol of Urea in 2003. After the decontrol there is steep rise in the prices of agriculture output due to step rise in the fertilizer prices. As such government must bring back permanently the 1973 “Fertilizer Movement Control Order” to bring the distribution of fertilizers under government control ensuring the entire 100 % of the manufactured fertilizer is totally controlled by the government including the Urea (Which according to the New Fertilizer Policy of 2003 Government allowed 50 % of the Urea to sell as per the wish of the manufacturer). The government order can benefit only the private manufacturers of the fertilizers and the middlemen in the distribution system and undoubtedly this policy of the then government lead to rise in agriculture prices and rise in Inflation. As such government must put the prices of agriculture inputs under its control to ensure the food inflation is under control. Also the government must ensure the fertilizers are distributed through the Gram Panchayat from the existing distributors in the village or mandal (only the storage facility of the distributor should be used for temporarily till the construction of godowans in Mandals for storing the fertilizers and keeping the buffer stock of the fertilizers in the (Mandal Fertilizer Stock Centres - MFSC) on PPP bases either by group of fertilizer manufacturers or the private investors) since there exists over 2.8 lacks of distributors spread across the country of which ¾ are under the private distributors and the rest under the Cooperatives and the Institutions. Also government must utilise the Hamalies/ labour who are working in the private distributors to work at the Mandal Godowans of the fertilizers. This will ensure the balance of the employment.
NEED FOR INCREASE OF USAGE OF BOTH ORGANIC FERTILIZERS AND BIO FERTILIZERS
As per the traditional agriculture practices before the wide spread manufacturing and distribution of the chemical fertilizers the only fertilizer for the farmers to enhance the soil nutrients is the organic manure made out of the farm residues and the cattle manure. It is a fact before 1950 the majority of the agriculture in India is adopting the same utilising the organic manure for agriculture. The studies reveal that unlike growth of chemical fertilizers use, the use of organic material has not increased much in the last two to three decades. The estimated annual available nutrient (NPK) contribution through organic sources is about 5 million tonnes only. It is mainly due to the fact that even though the farm residues are as high as 300 milion tonnes of which 2/3 quantity is being utilised by the farmers for the cattle feed and the cattle manure is being used as fuel for cooking, which has drastically reduced the production of organic manure leading use of organic manure per hector. The ideal use of organic manure is 10 tonnes per hector but at present merely 2 tonnes/hector is in use on an average which another 2.5 million tonnes/year can be added on adding another 1/3 of the crop residues for recycling which is possible only by increasing the green feed to the cattle to that extent. The production of urban compost is around 6 million tonnes. In addition to improving soil physico-chemical properties, the use of organic manure also improves the efficiency of mineral fertilizer use. Also the bio fertilizers are playing important role in replenishing the chemical fertilizers for soil nutrition, Bio fertilizers consist of Nitrogen fixers (Rhizobium, Azotobacter, blue green algae, Azolla), phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) and fungi (lmycorrhizae). Even though Government is promoting the concept of the integrated nutrient supply system (INSS), i.e. the combined use of mineral fertilizers, organic manures and bio fertilizers the fruits of programme is achieved if and only if the ratio of the chemical : organic: bio fertilizers is almost equal to replenish the required nutrients then only farmers can be benefitted since the soil improves the fertility and holding capacity of nutrients resulting in high yield, Also since the organic fertilizer is manufactured locally and also the bio fertilizers are not that expensive the enhancement of these two in the INSS will be provide more benefit. Since farmers are aware of the advantage of INSS in improving soil health and crop productivity government must take all necessary measures to enhance the production of organic fertilizer and the bio fertilizers.
The government must have a proper plan increase the farm residues use for the manufacture of organic fertilizers by enhancing the natural fodder availability to the cattle by providing seeds and other amenities for the growth of high yielding short duration varieties of grass having maximum nutritional value for cattle feed. Also government must ensure all the VACA should adopt the community goober gas plants to reduce the use of cattle manure as a fuel for cooking, instead the goober gas should be utilised and the cow manure slurry should be used to nitrate the soil. Also government must provide more funds for the R&D in Bio technology for the production of naturally possible bio fertilizers rather than developing the GE/GM Bt crops. All this will ensure that INSS will be a successfully adopted in India for better food production.
NEED FOR FRAMING OF STRINGENT LAWS FOR FIXING SUB STANDARD OR ADULTERATED AGRICULTURE INPUTS AS WELL AS OUTPUTS.
Since the agriculture is very laborious process and very hard ship of the individuals is involved for providing food for many, the government must ensure the agriculture inputs are available to the farmers in absolute quality. As there is no quality checks and absolute checks and balances are available in the system many agriculture input providers are cheating the innocent farmers by selling the sub standard and adulterated agriculture inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. This damage occurred to the farmers can be minimized since the government itself procuring the agriculture input materials from the manufacturers with bank guarantees for the quality and distributing them to the farmers with provision for invoking the BG in case of failure of the crop. But the process is little combursm, even the government invoking the BG to repay to the farmers the hard ship of the farmers cannot be taken way and the reduction in the output leading to rise in the prices of the commodities. As such the government must frame stringent laws making this offence a non bail-able criminal offence to fix the sub standard manufacturers and suppliers and the adulterated supplies with minimum punishments not less than 5 years rigorous imprisonment. Also the government must punish the same way the officials who provided approvals for the quality and also the quality laboratory persons in case they provide faulty information about the quality of the material. Also government must ensure that the judgements in these cases will be delivered in a fixed time most ideal within 90 days after the case has been registered. This will certainly minimize such fraudulent activities by the agriculture input providers.
NEED FOR MODERN STORAGE FACILITIES FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCE
It is very said to know the truth that in the period of India having people dying with hunger and as many as 45% of the children are mal nutritional due to non availability of food grains, the country is losing over 30 % of the food grains that were obtained hue to heavy hard ship of the farmers and agriculture labour, only and only due to the lack of adequate storage facilities. The warehousing capacity available in India, in public, cooperative and private sector is about 108.75 million MTs. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) 32.05 MMT, Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) 10.07 MMT, State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs) 21.29 MMT, State Civil Supplies 11.30 MMT, Cooperative Sector 15.07 MMT and Private Sector 18.97 MMT. The statistics clearly indicates more private investment is required to invest to build the ware houses from each mandal in every district according to total cultivated area and according to total agriculture output. Also since there exists most modern methods of storage of food grains are available which are being use in the western countries which can save lot of wastage even in the storage. The silo bins are the best solution. As Silo Bins provide the advantage of over the conventional godowns like quicker handling of grain (The elevator is capable of handing about 180 tonnes per hour, for both the operations (Storage and Issue simultaneously), Simultaneous storage of different kinds of grain, such as wheat, paddy, gram, bajra, maize in the different bins at the same time. Mechanical Operation, All loading, unloading, weighing etc. are done mechanically, long storage without deterioration or loss. There is no access to insects or rodents. Aeration and fumigation can be done when necessary to preserve the condition of grain. Grain can be stored as long as five years. Space requirement is less. The area of land is required for Silo storage is only about one fifth that of conventional storage godown. Silo bins are ful-proof arrangement in respect of physical check of Food Grain stored silo in bins. Consumption of fumigant is very nominal. Also silo bins saves lot of sacks (Gunni bags) & also saving of Skilled handling labourers at the time of storage. As such government must encourage private players in establishing the storage silo bins by allowing FDI in the establishing the storage facilities for food grains.
NEED FOR ENHANCEMENT OF PULSES PRODUCTION
The pulses are the protein providers to the body to the extent of protein in the pulses range from 18% to 25 % which are essential for the body growth and the stamina providers, but there is a gradual decline in the per capta consumption of the pulses from 63 gm/day in 1960-61 to just 29 gm/day in 2006-07, but as per the world health organisation recommendations the average pulses consumption should be 88 gm/day, to achieve this India should enhance the production of pulses from the present 17 million tonnes to near about 35 million tonnes by 2017, but the pulses production in India is far below the world average yield per hector, as the world average yield of pulses stand at 800 kg/hector the Indian average is 622 kg/hector, which indicates the need for induction of modern techniques in the pulses production. The low yield is mainly due to cultivation of pulses in moisture stress areas, low fertility soil areas, lack of irrigation apart from adverse weathering and climatic changes and also due to non availability of high yielding short duration varieties of pulses all resulting in only 60 to 65 % of the capacity utilisation of the pluses processing units resulting in high costs for the consumers due the variation in demand and supply. Once an exporter of pulses, India is presently one of the largest importers of pulses. India has followed a liberal policy towards the import of pulses during the last two decades. The pulses import was placed under the Open General License in 1979, allowing anyone to import pulses in to India without any approval or restrictions. Because of our domestic production is short of demand, India is a regular importer of pulses. All these factors resulting in steep rise in pulses prices, there is four folds increase in the pulses rates from 2005 to 2009, as in 2005 the tur dal is 24-32 Rs per Kg was sold at Rs 100 per Kg in 2009. Also the GOI has brought pulses cultivation under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) brought all 437 districts in the 14 major pulses producing States under the scheme which will certainly useful in rise of pulses production in India. but government but encourage pulses production in non stressed areas and the in fertile soils to enhance the production to meet the deand over a period of time. Also government must supply seeds which were proved success in high yield such as in Bidar district of Karnataka State Krishi Vikas Kendra (KVK), Bidar has developed a technology of transplanting in Arhar/Tur for higher production, which has a yield potential of 12-14 quintals/acre under rain fed conditions and 16-18 quintals/acre under irrigated conditions. For higher yield this can be used by the farmers on experimental basis.
NEED FOR AGRICULTURE UNIVERSITIES IN ALL DISTRICTS
The government must establish more number of agriculture universities to produce more number of agriculture scientists. As the present ration of the acreage of cultivation to the ratio of agriculture experts very minimum, the ration need to be enhanced in order to get better output of the agriculture produce. As such government must ensure that all the districts should have at least one Agriculture University and one Vetarineity University operated by government with all modern laboratory facilities. Also government must establish one soil engineering training centres. The government must ensure all agriculture universities will establish at least one research / laboratory in each mandal comprising of agriculture scientists, Soil experts to constantly monitor and advise the VACA.
NEED FOR R&D FOR DRAUGHT PRONE AREAS
Also the government must encourage the R&D on the draught resistant verities of the seed and other inputs to enhance the production. Also the government must advise the draught affected areas to raise the draught resistant verities of crops that can be grown in the draught conditions in the short period should be advised the farm to minimize the damages due to draught, by advising them to adopt all other allied fields of agriculture like sericulture, rising of the birds like emu for birds for eggs, many other alternative income source to ensure that lively hood is not affected.
NEED FOR ENHANCEMENT OF BUDGET IN AGRICULTURE SECTOR
The government must enhance the budget for the agriculture sector especially for the R&D in the agriculture, and also the infrastructure building for the storage of agriculture output such as clod storages, godowans, silo bins etc, Rail sidings near the godowans and silo bins, as the country is mostly agrarian even though only the value of the agriculture output is 13.9% of the GDP but over 70 % of the population are getting lively hood through the agriculture sector. The estimates urban studies shows that near to the 50 % the people are going to migrate from rural to urban areas by 2050 endangering the agriculture production due to shift of the people from agriculture sector to non agriculture sector. As such government must encourage the agriculture by making agriculture as a profession, and also enhancing the facility, training centres for soil testing, R&D in agriculture, research in bio fertilizers, bio pesticides etc.
NEED FOR REGULAR INTERACTIVE SECESSIONS FOR FARMERS
As we all knew that seeing believes and also the experienced peoples words are believable, the same should be applied the cultivation also. Since some farmers who get better output of the agriculture produce due to certain practices which are either universal applicable or applicable to particular climatic and geographic conditions or for a particular location, the agriculture scientists should analyse these success stories and plan to make propaganda through the same farmers in the locations where the methods adopted by the successful farmer can hold good in case the methods have limited applicability in a particular situations, in case universal application the same should be spread to all the farmers in India who are growing the same crop. For this either the large screen television sets installed in the vans or vehicles which can move from one VACA to other VACA in the madal every day in the evening making the methods to be understood by the farmers and practice the same. For this purpose the government must provide the large screen television or projectors to every mandal agriculture office and a vehicle with appropriate staff to move from one village to other village every day in the evening. This will certainly ensure better education for the farmers about various new methods and techniques in cultivation from the seeding to use of fertilizers to use of water to pesticides to pest control methods etc. Also government must provide every month farmers interactive programme in mandal head quarters on weekends for better results.
STRENGTHENING OF PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
As we all knew that over 30 % of the population in India are living below poverty line (BPL) and over 1/3 of the population belong to lower income group and low middle income group for these sections to afford for the food at the market rate is very difficult. As such government is providing the required essential food grains through the public distribution system (PDS). But it is very fact that majority of the food grains meant for the PDS are being diverted by vested interests to the open market, the rotten food that was dis baneded by the FCI or other stoctists is being supplied to the poor. This system can be improved by using the technology.
All the goods that are designated to supply through the PDS need to be tagged with the Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) tags which hardly costs only maximum of 10 to 20 Rs. All the transport Lorries should be hard top like the containers, and on loading the material in the transport Lorries the Lorries should be sealed with electronic lock system and the Lorries should be fitted with GPRS system. And all the Lorries should be provided with specific root maps to go for the designated places. All the movement of the Lorries should be monitored automatically by the system and on waiting for more than 5 minutes will alert the authorities as well as the driver to find out the reason for non movement of the vehicle. Also the PDS offices for unloading should be sent the unlocking code of the electronic locking system on reaching the lorry to the designated location and on conformation through the GPRS system as well the conformation from the driver of the lorry as well as the PDS official at that location. On un-locking the system the material should be unloaded. The PDS location should have a computer system synchronise with the RFID decoder and all the bags should be read for decoding of the RFID tags. This will ensure that all the material is reached the PDS centre at that location. (alternatively in all mandals there should be packaging units to pack in the transparent permitted microns polyethylene covers in the designated quantities for each of the eligible beneficiary as per the village and transported to the PDS centres just to hand over the same packs to the beneficiaries) Also the the data will be automatically up loaded to the next levels till the state levels. Also it should be ideal that all the PDS beneficiaries should mandatorily provide the mobile phone numbers (majority of them might possess mobile phones, also the recent proposal of government to provide mobile phones to all the BPL families will certainly be of use). Soon the stock is unloaded at the PDS centre the automatically sends the sms to all the PDS beneficiaries of that centre about the arrival of the stock. Also the arrival of the stock should be communicated at the post office to display, also displayed the Village Revenue office and the GP office this will enable that all those who do not possess the mobile phones can get communicated. Now coming to the issue of the material all the PDS eligible family card people should be provided with a bio metric operated card or bio metric operated system with a pass book (like bank pass book, with printing in the regional language). The issue of the goods should be recorded automatically as and when they issue the martial to the individual PDS beneficiary and the same should be printed in the pass book of the individual beneficiary. Also the same should be automatically communicated to the next levels till the state level PDS system through the internet. Also the issue of goods should be mandatorily on the bio metric system linked to the computer system. Also it is ideal that CC cameras should be fixed at the entrance of the PDS centre and record the issue of the material to the individual PDS beneficiaries. All the material should be issued in a fixed time and the martial weighing should be electronic display, which should be clearly displayable to the individual PDS beneficiaries as well as in the CC Camera recording. This will ensure diversion of the PDS martial can be controlled to a maximum extent. Also the government must frame stringent laws for adulteration of PDS martial or otherwise diverting of the PDS material.
FIXING OF MINIMUM & MAXIMUM SALE PRICE OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE BY GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF SMALL RETAILERS/TRADERS AND ENSURING FAIR TRADE PRACTICES BY ALL RETAILERS & ALL TRADERS FROM KIRAN STORES TO MULTI BRAND GIANT RETAIL STORES.
Since in the above said methods the government itself is procuring the material at minimum procurement price from the farmers with providing a minimum of 20 % profit for the farmers and fixing the price for the traders and the retailers, in order to ensure fair trade practices the government must fix the minimum sale price for all the commodities in addition to fixing of maximum sale price. As otherwise since the fixing of the maximum sale price is based on the minimum support price paid to the farmer which is dependent up on the local conditions, the prices of the commodities may vary from place to place. In this connection the traders may procure in bulk from the other places or may sell adulterated food grains. To prevent all these and make fair competition among the traders and retailers at all the places the minimum sale price should be fixed in addition to the maximum price. To ensure all traders will sell at minimum sale price and not exceeding the maximum sale price all the traders and the all retailers should mandatorily maintain the electronic billing system for the sale of non processed raw agriculture products from kirana stores to hyper markets.
This system will ensure fair trade practices even in supermarkets and other hypermarkets. Also this will certainly eliminate the fears of many people as far as the retail food cost is concerned (as many fear that multi brand retail giants will procure the materials from the low cost production countries like China, Thailand, Indonesia and import in bulk and sell it at cheaper price than the agriculture raw output of India, killing many small retailers and many agriculture producers) in the light of FDI in retail allowing the multi brand giant retail chains in India. As such in order to prevent any such occurrences in future, it will be more ideal that government should make it mandatory that all the multi brand retail stores should procure at least 3/4 of the total raw agriculture produce sold in the stores should be procured from the Indian agriculture produce as long as they operate the store in Indian Territory, in addition the multi brand giant retail stores should sell 100 % sale of the agriculture raw produce (like rice, wheat, cereals, vegetables and fruits) at the minimum sale price fixed by the the government for the respective commodities as per the area as government fixes different rates for different areas of sale based on the local conditions. Also all these giant multi brand retail stores should mandatorily sale within the maximum price fixed by the government for the raw agriculture produce (even though they do the cleaning, sieving packing etc of the raw agriculture produce). This will certainly protect the sale of the agriculture produce as majority of the consumers are in the urban and semi urban areas as many middle class and upper class people live in these areas with more purchase power as they certainly possess more per capta income compared to the rural areas. Since the prices of the commodities for sale are fixed for minim sale price this will certainly force all the multi brand retailer giants procure the raw agriculture procure locally, otherwise there may be a danger of the damage to small retailers, of course which can be minimized through minimum sale price protection (even though it is a fact that majority of the small “kirana stores are surviving and can servive due to the credit facility provided by them to the purchasers, as majority of them are established for years in the same locality and majority of the purchasers are purchasing from the same kirana stores for several years, but still every individual purchaser look to save the money when it comes much cheaper at some other place like in the multi brand retail giant stores, as such it is very necessary to fix the minimum sale price of all the raw agriculture produce to protect the interest of many sections). Also this is necessary to protect the interest of the Indian farmers as well as the Indian small retailers. (the best & ideal example to understand the sensitivity of the issue is comparing with telecom sector which also involves crores of people as India has over 85 crore mobile connections; Even though it is very hard to digest but it is a fact that the some private telecom players literally made the BSNL got itself killed which is once the profit making prestigious organisation of India in Telecom and government, but the FDI in the telecom literally killed the BSNL as the government PSU could not able to compete with them in expanding the markets by pumping in the huge investments in the sector as was done by the private players who are competitive till they totally penetrated into the markets, this made once having a profit of over Rs 10,000 crores was now in a stage of closure with over Rs 13,000 crores loss just in less than a decade, this may certainly repeat in the FDI retail if stringent safe guard laws are not framed, even though the FDI in retail is a positive move in bring the standards in many areas, but there exists a danger that it may be like the terminator seeds of agriculture promoted by the foreign companies i.e the GM/GE genetically modified seeds which will have the long term impact on the fertility of the soil once they are seeded and the crop is raised, there is no other alternative that only the GM/GE seeds should be able to be cultivated (forcibly) otherwise the once fertile land will remain as barren wasteland, as the GE/GM seeds infuse the killer characteristics into the soil soon after the yielding of the crop before dying, to destroy the fertility and make the soil tune only to the GM/GE seeds in future, likewise also there is danger that multi brand foreign retails will bring food products (especially the cheap processed food) which do not have Indian FDA certification may have a negative impact on the youth as youth are mostly attracted to the foreign foods, with danger of every possibility to get addicted to those foods, as such government must make a policy to ensure that each and every food product either raw or processed which was imported or manufactured outside India should certainly get tested and get approval for each and every batch of the each product by the Indian FDA otherwise over a period of time India will become the dumping yard of foreign un-standard & un healthy foods resulting in not only killing the traditional foods but also there is every possibility of health hazards of different natures (the majority of the children and youth in the western countries who are being addicted to the junk foods like pizzas and burgers and others foods, are suffering from obesity and many other health complications as majority of the junk foods are manufactured from the agriculture produce of the GE/GM seeds and crops, almost the same is happing in urban India as even though there exits over 1/3 of the children are underweight in India due under nutrition, surprisingly there is an alarmingly high, over 11% of the children are suffering with obesity due to over nutrition, majority of them are urban middle class and high income group mainly due to addicted to the junk foods, so there is every danger that the sub standard foreign foods create an addiction in the children and youth which may have long term impact if there doesn’t exist stringent Indian FDA laws to test and allow the foreign processed foods), like the private telecom players provided much needed expansion of the services to common man which is appretiable, but at the same time the private operators are literally acting at their own whims & fancies even thought there exits Hon’ble Supreme Court of India made the mandatory bar of the un-wanted promotional calls, none of the private telecom operators followed even there are repeated requests by the individual customers, in addition at the same time most of the private operators are literally squeezing the money of the many millions of innocent customers with forced& un known to the customers offerings of unwanted offers of like caller tunes, film news, astrology, chatting, dating, etc deducting the money from the individual pre paid account holders without their knowledge in small amounts ranging from 10 Rs to 50 Rs with at least they are squeezing not less than 50 Rs on average from the customers per month in addition to earning of regular profits ( this additional income of all the private operators touches as high as over 1 billion rupees a month, as near about 83 crors mobile connections exist in India), the same kind of extortion in different manner may happen in the multi brand giant retail stores in case proper systems are not places at the initial stages with non application of stringent implementation of laws, Also even though the private telecom operators knew the consequences of radiation emission from the cell towers causing serious health hazards they did not bother to follow the rules as was followed in the western countries and installed high power cell towers everywhere to save money with a single motto to earn profit and recover very sppedy the investment at the earliest (instead of keeping many smaller frequency towers as operation costs will increase in case of more number of towers which reduces the profits marginally) as of now most of the private telecom operators are acting more or less like the media (even though TRAI telecom regulatory authority of India has full control over them), presuming that they only have to frame the self regulations, this kind of situation may arise in the case of multi brand giant retail stores, as they are big and mighty and can influence any section of governance in India as always the same government may not exists, unlike China which ever government in power the same communist principles will be applicable with stringent implementation of laws and stringent punishments, also the case is same with other western countries where the law implementation is stringent and the culprits are brought to justice very quickly, but the case is not the same is India being a socialist democratic country and mostly run by collation governments at till next few terms, and the laws implementations are not so stringent as compared to other countries of course the laws are very stringent in most of the areas, also there is certainly time taking activity as far as bring the culprits to justice, best example the Bhopal gas incidence) As such only fixing the minimum sale price and maximum sale price can ensure that fair trade practices occur in India at all times coupled with mandatory Indian FDI approval for each batch of each imported processed food sale in India as mandatory pre condition to sale in India to protect Indians from having healthier foods & good foods at all times.
NEED FOR BANNING CONTRACT FARMING; TO PREVENT FARMERS BECOME SLAVES/BONDED LABOUR TO MULTI BRAND RETAILERS, CONSERVING THE SOIL FROM OVER EXTRACTION & EXPLOITATION ENSURING LONGEVITY OF FERTILITY OF SOIL AS WELL AS FARMERS
It is indeed a As we all knew in the absence of the governments mandatory supply of the agriculture inputs, in the absence of farm produce procured by government, in the absence of storage facilities availability, and also due to the rise of the multi brand retail chains, Government allowed in 2003 the culture of “ contract farming” by amending the “Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee” (APMC) act in 2003, by allowing farmers to directly sell the agriculture produce to any private buyer in a private market yard other than government market yards, as such many farmers are showing interest to sell their agriculture produce to the private parties in which “contract farming one of the main methods of selling the entire agriculture produce to the private markets. The “contract farming” is an agreement with the private buyer (multi brand retailers or their suppliers) to have an agreement with farmers for continusally supply of the farm produce to them at a fixed uniform price (mostly uniform throughout the contract period of say 3 years to 5 years irrespective of monsoon, or other natural calamities or pests etc., in some instances the farmers are just providing the labour and the land and the remaining inputs are supplied by the private party) by getting some advance from the buyers for the purchase of the agriculture inputs. This will be only advantages to the private parties i.e multi brand retailers only, in no ware it will the helpful for the entire farm community as the retailers will have only agreement with some farmers and also the same farmers need to undergo stress over a period of time due to the pressures from the multi brand retailers or their representatives for more agriculture produce as was agreed to supply, Also the farmers use the seed and fertilizers as per the advice of the private party during the period of contract , which the private parties use maximum fertilizers and seeds like GE/GM Bt Seeds which for getting high yield, after the contract period is completed they may leave the farmer and make the contract with other farmer due to the need of excessive fertilizers due to over extraction of nutrients in the soil to reduce their input costs to maximize their produce and maximize their profits, with minimum fixed pay throughout to the contract to the farmers, resulting in after the expiry of the contract the farmer will left with no option to d farming with high use of fertilizers along with only to use the high cost same GM/GE seeds (as conventional seeds will not work in the GE/GM tuned soils) as a result the cost of production will increase, which he cannot sell it in the completion leading him to undergo loss, which may lead farmers to take extreme steps due to the debt recovery from these funders. Since the profit margins of the multi brand retailers will depend on the more agriculture output supplied by the contract farmers. Since naturally the multi brand retailers try to make more profit they will torcher the farmers to get more output.
Also it is a fact that due to contract farming theoretically, farmers stand to gain from contractual agreements that provide lower transaction costs, assured markets. On the other hand, contracting firms have the advantage of more assured supplies, and reasonable control over quality and other specifications. However, in practice, there are practical problems that emerge in agricultural contracting that can result in losses to both farmers and firms. Contracting agreements are often verbal or informal in nature, and even written contracts often do not provide the legal protection in India that may be observed other countries. Lack of enforceability of contractual provisions can result in breach of contracts by either party. In India, there have been instances of farmers refusing to sell to contracting firms when market prices exceed the contract price, and of firms refusing to purchase contracted quantities or pay contracted prices due to market conditions. Neither the contracting firm nor the farmers are keen to contest these issues in a court. Most often, it is mutual understanding and faith that drives contractual relationships and it takes a long time to win mutual trust and confidence, Also since still there exists the land lord system indirectly in the villages, the elite village elders (mostly the sarpunches are local elite belong to upper echelons) they will certainly come in between the farmers and the contractors, naturally favouring the multi brand retail giant contractors, may force the farmers to do agree for the terms of the contractors, also the surpanches may force other farmers in the villages to go for contract farming in accordance to the wish and will of the multi brand retail farmers, by acting as the representatives of the multi brand retail contractors who pay the mustards nut to them to take way pumpkin from the village farmers. Also there is a danger from the financers in the village who financed the farmers will force the farmers to go for contract farming for recovery of their money from the farmers in case the farmers not able to repay in time due to natural calamities or crop failure due to the seed failure or due to the pest attack etc. Also all other farmers who do not sign the contract farming in that village which is having a logistic, strategic location advantage for the multi brand retail giants, will be forced to sign the contract by ensuring non availability of buyers for their produce in the local market yards, ensuring the loss for the farmers for their produce in the market through the middle men, traders, as the village markets are mostly managed by the local elite. All these lead the contract farmers over a period of time literally like “slaves” / “bonded labour” of the multi brand retailers. As such government must make it mandatory to prevent the “contract farming” in Indian soil by scrapping the APMC Amendment Act of 2003 which is a “HISTORIC BLUNDER” done by the then government, as far as the farmers welfare is concerned, it is in fact sinical & criminal on the our part to make the food provider our country to be exploited by few select ‘capitalists” especially the foreign capitalists by making use of the farmers as “ cogs in the oil mills” and reducing the farmers literally to live at their mercy, reducing the farmers to be more or less like slaves / bonded labours to the multi brand retailer giant stores. The same was found in the studies, emphasized by various surveys conducted by many organisations like IIM Ahmadabad etc, As such the government must scrap the contract farming in the interest of the farmers of the country as well as the people of the country as our UPA government under the congress leader ship is always advocates for the welfare of the common man especially the farmers.
NEED FOR ENCOURAGING SMALL & MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SME) IN THE FOOD PROCESSING IN INDIA
It is fact the Indian food processing industry is over 250 billion currently and may touch 300 billion Rupees by 2015 as per the survey projections. In the event of the FDI in the retail allowing the as the FDI in retail will certainly bring quality atmosphere in the retail stores but also brings to certain extent the standard quality foods, as such all Indian companies mainly SME food processing industries face tough period as their quality of packing or other standards at present may not compete with the foreign manufactured foods, since the multi brand retail stores are mainly in the urban areas who are the maximum consumers for the proceed packaged foods, as such in order to protect the SME by competing with the imported foreign packaged food products government of India must provide appropriate training for the SME to have the latest quality control and packaging and preserving methods, in addition government must provide the total tax exemption for the import of the machinery for the SME’s to improve the quality standards, in addition government must provide the local Indian manufacturers of the machineries for the food processing to upgrade their manufacturing to provide the sophisticated quality machinery by providing tax concessions for them to import the raw material as well as the technology for manufacturing of the machinery.
NEED FOR PRIVATE INVESTMENT ESPECIALLY THE FDI IN AGRICULTURE SECTOR FOR PROVIDING CHEAPER INPUTS LIKE WATER, FERTILIZERS AND LARGER STORAGE FACILITIES GODOWNS FOR FERTILIZERS, SILO BINS FOR STORAGE OF FOOD GRAINS, COLD STORAGES FOR STORAGE OF VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
As we all knew that there exists a huge gap in the agriculture output and the storage capacity, processing capacity and also the inputs supply is not on par with the demand, as a result there is huge loss to the agriculture output it is as high as over 30 % of the agriculture produce is getting wasted and getting rotten without having the scope for use due to lack of storage facility and being exposed to atmosphere with draining in rains and cold winters making them to get rotten due to bacterial and fungal formation and many fruits and vegetables are rotten during the excessive crop yield due to lack of cold storages to enhance the shelf life and also lack of food processing industries in the vicinity of the massive cropping areas, all these leading to short supply in the food grains and vegetables leading to high costs for the consumers; all these indicates huge investments required to create the infrastructure for the agriculture sector like the storage godwans for fertilizers, storage godowans for food grains, silo storage bins (modern storage godowans), cold storages, rail sidings for the godowans, market yards, etc. And also the agriculture inputs like the, water for cultivation through irrigation projects, through cloud seeding, through solar power operated bore wells and power generation in agriculture fields through wind energy etc, fertilizers (both chemical and bio), bio pesticides etc require huge investments to produce and supply to the farmers. To make everything by the government investment as per the existing demand is next to impossible to achieve in the at least next few decades; the only alternative is to bring huge private investment, but it is not possible to bring such a huge investments by Indian private investors, as such government must open up these areas in the agriculture sector to foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 49 % only to ensure that Indian partner has more say; since there will not be any risk to the foreign investors in the agriculture sector once the government makes it a policy that all agriculture inputs and outputs are routed through government and government supplies the inputs by payment guarantees from the government and the output is procured by the government from the farmers, as such the government mandatorily store in the storage facility, this will ensure that the payments for the storage is paid by the governments. Also the the cloud seeding payments as per the total rain water collected, also the FDI in weather modification (cloud seeding) is more possible the ground was already prepared by government indirectly; since the governments has made a great move of allowing 49 % FDI in the aviation sector will boost the investors towards cloud seeding if government opens the windows for FDI in this sector, since the cloud seeding is mainly dependent on airplanes spilling the chemicals in the clouds to covert the moisture in the cloud to become water droplets and fall as rain water. Also similarly the ground water lifting through solar powered motors with payment on the bases of quantity of water dispensed will certainly the FDI as government is paying for the water. As such the FDI in agriculture sector will certainly boost the economy and economic growth are will certainly be in double digits; which means more jobs, better lively hood for the people in India.
COMMUNICATION OF THE PRICES OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCE TO GENERAL PUBLIC
Since government is procuring the material from the farmers and selling it to the traders by fixing the Maximum Retail Price including the transport based on the location, it is ideal that government must operate a web site in almost all the regional languages and keep the data of the MRP as per the location. Also since almost all the urban, semi urban and some rural population holds the mobile phones it is ideal that government must provide the information of the prices of the commodities as per the location based on the SMS request of the consumer. Also government must make a provision for the consumers to register permanently to receive the prices of the goods as and when it changes due to market fluctuations either through mobile registration or through the web registration. This will ensure that the traders and the retailers will not charge more for the material than the fixed designated by the government based on the quality and the distance of the procurement from the government and the marketing place etc. Also the same should be with the vegetables and fruits also. This will ensure stable prices of goods will be available to all sections of the people at all times.
Since the health statistics of India shows that majority of the illness is due to lack of proper nutritious balanced diet due to high cost of food grains and high cost of vegetables and fruits even though India is one of the highest cultivators of RICE, WHEAT etc. The high cost of food grains is mainly due to high cost of inputs for the cultivation, lack of proper pest management even though government is implementing the IPM, coupled with non availability of fertilizers with sub standard fertilizers due to lack of quality checks at grassroots, lack of storage facilities resulting huge loss of the agriculture produce, and also due the the extortion of the middle men, and lack of control over minimum and maximum sale price of the commodities by government; all resulted in huge costs of agriculture out puts and making the people to adjust with limited nutritional value foods ; in spite the high costs the farmer continue to remain in debts and even there are over two lacks of farmers committed suicide in last 20 years; while the middle men in the agriculture sector, also the input supplier are cherishing with enjoying the joy of profits earned by them; in order to improve the situation of the farmers and the ensuring the food sully will be at affordable prices to all sections of people to have a nutritious balanced diet which is the spirit of “FOOD FOR ALL” government must regulate the prices of agriculture inputs and also should ensure the agriculture inputs reach the farmers in time; to ensue this government must make it mandatory that all the seeds, fertilizers and pesticides are procured by the government with complete ban on the open market sale and supplied to farmers through the Gram Panchayat in the presence of the Gram sabha. Also government must supply water In order to achieve the better results in agriculture either through irrigation cannels or through the lifting of the ground water; to ensure proper water supply according to need of the crops the government must urgently implement the “CLOUD SEEDING’” near the river catchment areas and to ensure plenty of water supply in all seasons; coupled with solar powered/ wind powered water lifting and supply system in the non rain shadow areas where agriculture is purely on the rain water; also by providing the rain water collecting pits in the villages at strategic locations and also providing the soil conservation systems and also making the rain water collecting pits in the agriculture lands along the State and National highway roads; also advising the farmers about the better agriculture practices, Integrated pest management, adopting the Integrated Nutrient supply system; which is possible only through collective cooperation among the farmers in the area; as such making it mandatory that all the farmers who wish to perform cultivation for commercial purposes should mandatorily be a member of the village agriculture cooperative associations (VACA) which is necessary to be formed in each village to get proper guidance from the agriculture experts and success of the agriculture, the experts will provide the advise to the farmers on knowing the local conditions, as such government bust collect the data of the each villages about the general soil conditions, the weather data, the rain fall , the water tables, the general crops raised, their verity of seeds etc and supplied to the agriculture experts to analyse and suggest the farmers in the VACA, also government must encourage the traditional sees to raise the crops over the Genetically Modified seeds; in order to ensure the better communication between the farmers and the agriculture experts there should be a village level agriculture coordinators also ideal to call Accredited Agriculture Coordinators (AACor) who will be trained in basic agriculture procedures in all areas of agriculture; which will certainly communicate the farmers issues to the agriculture experts for better guidance for the better yield; in order to ensure better yield the soil fertility is the prime thing , the AACor will collect the samples of the soil in the farms and get tested in the soil laboratories; in order to ensure that testing take place in time with the volumes the government must establish soil testing laboratories in every mandal; likewise government must establish the fertilizer quality testing laboratories in each mandal; the fertilizer storage and supply godowans in every mandal Mandal Fertilizer Storage Centers MFSC; Also the government must go the marketing for the agriculture produce by making it mandatory that all the farmers to sell to the government at minimum support price (MSP) for the agriculture produce, MSP fixed depending up on the costs of the inputs that government supplying as different locations has different rates ensuring the farmers get a fixed profit of 20 % on the cost of government purchased at the MSP and government clearing the loans to the maximum extent as the supply of inputs and purchase of output by the governments even for the crop failures due to bad seed failure or sub standard fertilizers or sun standard pesticides as the government itself supplying them and in addition to mandatory crop insurance for all the crops for getting compensation in the case of natural calamities; which enables that banks will liberally fund to the farmers as they are guaranteed the repayment and chances of becoming NPA does not exist; in addition government should construct the storage godowans in every mandal and government do the marketing with the trades to do the bulk trading and the retail by fixing the minimum and maximum retail price for the agriculture raw food grains to ensure fair trade practices which will enable that the traders will be mostly confined to the regions due to the cost of transport in case of low price in some areas due to low cost of production of the agriculture output, also this minimum and maximum price ensure that all traders and all retailers from the “kirana shops “ to the “multi brand giant retailers” adopt and confined to the fair trade practices; to ensure minimum sale price practiced it should be made mandatory that all the retailers from “kirana stores to multi brand retail giants stores to provide the electronic billing for the sale; with the advantages for the government for minimizing the “zero bill trade” and maximizing the tax collection which again useful for the people only for development activities; Also completely banning the “contract farming” to protect the farmers as well as the land from over exploitation by the contracting agencies mostly the multi brand retail stores or their suppliers; communicating the prices of commodities as per location for minimum and maxium sale price in a locality. Also government must set up food processing industries in the areas of mass produce of the agriculture output and also make it mandatory that all the food processing units like rice mills, dal mills, sugar crushing units mandatorily have captive power generation and also all other food processing units will have at least 10 % of the energy consumption by what of alternative energy, all this ensure the reduced load on the electricity in the villages which the saved energy can be used for better water supply and also the government must set up agriculture universities in every district and the soil engineering courses in every district to produce the agriculture experts & soil experts to an appropriate proportionate ration as compared to the land cultivation of over 190 million hectares of land with over 115 million land holdings and the food production should be increased in such a way which enables the food prices are in control at all times in all places ensuring the nutritious food for all sections which makes people in India are more healthier at all times which leads to more & better work output which means better growth in the economy which leads to better lively hood for people of INDIA, in addition the surplus food after the buffer stock in INDIA can be supplied to the needy countries in the World which is the true spirit of “FOOD FOR ALL”.