The NITI Aayog will discuss the agrarian crisis with representatives of farmer commissions of half a dozen states, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, on July 8, eminent farm activist Kishor Tiwari said today. The meeting will be held in New Delhi and besides UP and Maharashtra, representatives of farmer commissions from Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab and Haryana will discuss the issue of prevailing agrarian crisis with the government think-thank, he said in a release here.
“Issues related to agriculture input, output regulations and other serious issues that will serve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim of doubling farm income by 2022 will be discussed,” said Tiwari, who will also take part in the meeting.
The agriculture expert is head of the Maharashtra government-appointed special task force looking into ways to solve the prevailing agrarian crisis in the state, especially in suicide-prone Vidarbha and Marathwada regions. Tiwari said he will highlight the plight of the farmers of Vidarbha and Marathwada.
“When the RBI and NABARD have already shifted responsibility of farm loan waivers to states by asking them to bear the financial burden by mobilising resources, we will ask the NITI Aayog to suggest long-term sustainable solutions to curb farmer suicides and solve the crisis,” Tiwari said.
He said though there was a bumper crop production this year, farmers were not satisfied with the procurement price. Tiwari said farm loan waiver is a temporarily solution to solve the agrarian distress.
“Farm loan waivers, though temporarily necessary for revival of farming, do not provide conditions for a secure credit system in the long term. The waiver of loans implies banks will have to be compensated by the government for the amount involved.
“This means large sums of money, which could have otherwise gone to strengthen the agricultural infrastructure in irrigation, secondary support business in rural economy and research activities will not be available. Hence, we are asking for long-term farm credit system,” Tiwari said. “I will push for a package from the Centre for the farmers of Vidarbha and Marathwada,” he said.