Gram Swarajya: The Vice President of India, Mr. M. Venkaiah Naidu said that providing better prices for agriculuture produce and timely, affordable credit to farmers is crucial to sustain agriculture in the country. While villages and agriculture are intrinsically connected and we must address their issues holistically to bring ‘Gram Swarajya’ to our villages. Citing a UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report about an impending global food crisis, Mr. Naidu said that if we provide timely assistance to our farmers, India would not only remain self-sufficient but also feed the world in the years to come. He was speaking at a book release programme.
Praising the farmers in India for the increased food grain production last year despite the severe hardship caused by the pandemic, Mr. Naidu said there was a need to focus on increasing the storage capacities, remove restrictions on crop transportation and encourage food processing to make agriculture more remunerative. Besides, the farmers need to focus on cost-cutting along with increasing production. We also need to utilize our resources such as water and electricity more judiciously. He also suggested the creation of strong lab-farm links to ensure fruitful outcomes for the farmers. He urged scientists to develop climate and drought-resistant seed varieties.
Referring to the growing urban-rural divide, the Vice President said that villages should not be seen as mere ‘factories supplying food to the cities’. In order to achieve Gandhiji’s dream of ‘Gram Swarajya’, he called for a renewed national effort through the collaboration of civic society, agriculturalists, agronomists, students and researchers to make agriculture profitable and villages thriving economic hubs.
With rising costs of inputs in agriculture, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu suggested natural and organic farming offers great potential in cutting down costs and generating a steady income for farmers. He added that the increasing demand for organic products provided an opportunity for farmers to take up natural farming in a big way.