Sunday, April 30, 2006

Agriculture

As an agrarian country we have always bestowed some kind of ‘wretched people’ status on our farmers. Poets and writers from all parts of the country never cease to chant their miseries. This has been the case for ages. As a nation we have always believed that challenges and hurdles confronting the farmers are of some mystical origin and have no reasoning and logic associated with them. We are forced to believe that their problems would be resolved only after some divine intervention. Do you remember innumerable images of farmers who keep looking at those blue sky with sun beating down them expecting that some person sitting up their may suddenly turn the blue backdrop into pitch black canvas. Are we fools?????

I think the real problem lies in we as a nation, which never wants to be proactive. It’s always been the reaction to a problem when it starts to cripple you and that too a nonchalant one. We can think of scores of example with our Independent Movement being a prominent and disappointing example.

For ages farmers have relied on monsoon showers on irrigation. This is like entrusting some important work to the most inconsistent player of the team. It took us ages to realize that there are scientific and hence, and definitely, more efficient ways of preserving water. And greatness of Dr. Swaminathan lies in the same domain. Besides hybrid seeds it was he who realized that these seeds require constant supply of water for nourishment. Why can’t we have proper ways of irrigation? The bureaucrats in the ‘Blocks’ in the Capital will never make ‘The National Water Grid’ to take place.

I have also heard that the current Five Year Plan is supposed to grant crores of rupees to any kind of project related to Agriculture. Why can’t all the Biochemists and University churning them in big numbers take a center stage? Why can’t our own Agriculture College in Pune take this responsibility? Try to attract bight students in this venture and don’t allow all the money to nourish the ever-undernourished pockets of the bureaucrats.

The western countries have flourished in Agro and Dairy industry only and I repeat only because they treated it as a business, which was backed with a diligent and vigilant scientific research. Monsanto – The Hybrid Seed Giant even roped in the support of James Watson.

And as Geoffrey Boycott would say “We behave as if we just don’t know the basics of the game”