Eminent Agriculture scientist and Chairman of National Commission on Farmers (NCF) MS Swaminathan on Tuesday said there must be a balance between short term gains like farm loan waivers and long term gains that include building up agricultural infrastructure.
“Due to the unfortunate erratic monsoon behaviour, farmers are facing problems of severe drought for the past few years. Though there’s a bumper crop this year, farmers are dissatisfied with procurement price and are unable to repay institutional and private loans. Without repaying debts, farmers won’t get fresh kharif credit. This is why they want loan waivers as well as remunerative procurement price,” Swaminathan tweeted, adding that though loan waivers are temporarily necessary, they don’t provide secure long-term credit system.
“Loan waivers mean that money which could have gone to strengthening agricultural infrastructure will not have adequate funds,” he cautioned.
Swaminathan also said that the Centre has implemented several recommendations of the Farmers’ Commission which intend to improvise the incumbent state of agricultural affairs in the nation. These include, he tweeted, providing improved seeds, soil health cards, farmers’ Commission recommendations on improved insurance, irrigated area increase and farmer’s welfare, among others.
“Rural women contribute 50 per cent agricultural work. Special efforts made to promote their market skills through agricultural universities and private sector,” Swaminathan added.