Published: 13th February 2019
ThinkEdu Conclave: India needs to concentrate on Agriculture to become Incredible
Anbumani Ramadoss blamed the government's calculation of the minimum support price and production costs for farmer woes.
“India needs to allow farmers to grow,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, while speaking at TNIE's ThinkEdu Conclave in the city on Wednesday.
Taking part in a panel discussion with former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss which quickly shifted to India's biggest strength — Agriculture — Kant observed that the markets don't work in the agricultural sector in our country.
“We have constrained our farmers,” said Kant, calling to open up the agricultural sector to the market so that the farmer can get his due.
Anbumani Ramadoss, on the other hand, blamed the government's calculation of the minimum support price and production costs for farmer woes. However, Kant pushed for the integration of technology in agriculture to maximize yield.
Responding to a question from a delegate on why India lags behind in produce per hectare when compared to a country like Israel, Kant said that technology is essential to increase the yield per hectare. “The first Green Revolution was because of a spurt of technology in agriculture and that must increase for another revolution,” he said.
Anbumani Ramadoss also pointed out how, despite high levels of produce, farmers barely benefit from it. “India produces the second highest amount of milk in the world, but less than 1 per cent is exported,” he said, pointing out how lack of storage facilities mars the high production of fruits and vegetables.
Pointing out that Tamil Nadu's tag of ‘most urbanised State in the country’ is because of high migration to the cities in search of jobs, Anbumani said that he would not consider it a sign of development.
“Reverse migration is a sign of development for me,” he said, claiming that it would be possible only if the government trains its eyes on the rural areas and makes agriculture a viable profession.