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Paddy puzzle: Talks with farmers must

The Centre and state governments make their own policy decisions on crop diversification without feeling the pulse of grassroots level farmers.

The editorial ‘Diverse expectations’ (November 29) has rightly pointed out that spurred by the central government’s focus on feeding the increasing national population, the water-guzzling crop is proving to be like a ‘steroid’ for the state. It yields greater money, so the farmers stick to growing paddy. Punjab and Haryana’s contribution to the central pool can not be taken lightly. Rice has been continuously on everybody’s platter, be it a home or hotel.

The acceptance of crop diversification by paddy growers might not be easy, so long as the production cost, distribution chain, marketing network, buying assurance, crop insurance from state-owned agencies for alternate crop is wholly ensured by the Centre and state governments.

The enhancement in MSP of maize is very rightly demanded by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to encourage maize production. The nutritional value of maize cannot outdo the taste of rice, combination of ‘makki ki roti’ and ‘sarson ka saag’ being just one of the examples. Before the respective governments finalise crop diversification, it would be better to take into account the views of growers and common populace. 



The need of the hour is that both the Centre and the Punjab government should come together to save the fertile land of Punjab from water-guzzling crops like paddy which are responsible for the depleting water level in Punjab (editorial “Diverse expectations”, November 29). Both should evolve a consensus to switch over to crop diversification in Punjab.

They must ensure MSP for the alternative crops and prepare an ‘action plan’ to set up agro based industries in the state. Private-public participation can be helpful. The media, farmers’ associations, progressive farmers and progressive politicians must do their best to bring the Centre and the state government nearer to each other to save Punjab’s land and water. If we fail today, future generations will never forgive us for our criminal silence.

For necessary research the matter should be immediately referred to a committee of agricultural scientists and other specialists at Punjab Agriculture University. There should be no place for any type of politics.




Sustainable development is the talk of the town around the world, but it seems that farmers in Punjab are blindly involved in making money by growing paddy, unfettered by the dwindling quality of soil. The idea mooted by President Pranab Mukherjee of encouraging other crops to be grown in the state is indeed a welcome step. To take up the matter, a meeting of all stakeholders including farmers, ministers, and local administrators should be organised to discuss crops that could suitably substitute paddy.

The demand raised by the Punjab CM of fixing a MSP for maize could be considered and discussed in the meeting. Not so long ago, India witnessed ‘green revolution’ which was limited to certain states like Haryana, Punjab and parts of Uttar Pradesh, what the nation needs now is an ‘evergreen revolution’ that would cover the entire nation.


Golden opportunity

Monish Tourangbam’s article “Growing clout of non-whites in US” (November 28) mentions about US political and economic scenario with emphasis on the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ and the shifting focus of the world power on Asia. It has given an opening to India, which has chosen to have close relations with the US. The deeper the feel of this relationship, the faster will be the improvements in democratising different systems in India.

India should make the best use of this historic association and realise the Indian vision being followed by successive political dispensations since 1999.

The states in India need to adjust their policies and functioning to be more in congruence with the national objective at the international level. The states are expected to push their population towards advancement by cutting down procedures, practices and policies which have not yielded desired results over the decades.


A good start

The launching of “Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)” party by Arvind Kejriwal is a welcome step (editorial ‘In the name of aam aadmi’, November 27). This is a very good start as the name itself represents the common man. Whether Kejriwal will be able to fulfill the big promises he makes to the ‘aam aadmi’ only time will tell. The Congress Party promised much to the common man in the past but delivered nothing. Leaders like Sukh Ram, Shibu Soren, Robert Vadra, A Raja and Kalmadi were apart of the same party  AAP which is  a result of unrelenting efforts of Kejriwal and his team will have to stay clear of dirty politics and  carry on its policies with the same determination and energy that inspired the its inception.




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