Priority to farmers in policy-making: Agriculture Minister

Priority to farmers in policy-making: Agriculture Minister

December 22, 2005, Hindustan Times

Government agreements, policies and programmes at the national as well as at the international level should keep the farmers on top. State Government has taken initiative to ensure crop diversification, organic farming and contract farming. The state agriculture policy will follow a participatory approach and will involve the civil society organisations (CSOs) and the State Government has also introduced Krishi Yojna Aapke Dwar.

Above were the key points stated by the Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini in his inaugural speech delivered during a state-level workshop organised by the CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS-CART) and CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CUTS-CITEE), Jaipur with active support of NOVIB (Oxfam, The Netherlands) and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), New Delhi, at Patel Bhavan, Harish Chandra Mathur-Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration (HCM-RIPA), Jaipur. The event was organised as a part of ‘Grassroots Reachout & Networking in India on Trade & Economics (GRANITE)’ project being implemented by CUTS since January 2005 across eight states of India with an objective of studying the impact of globalisation and WTO on sectors of agriculture and textiles.

Addressing the workshop, faculty, Yagayavalkya Institute of Technology, Dr. Arbind Sinha gave a brief overview of globalisation and WTO at national as well as state levels. He said that collaboration, integration, competitiveness, quick decision and resourcefulness were the key issues to be addressed in globalisation era.

Shifting to the sectors of agriculture and handloom, he stated that both the sectors had a great significance in the Indian economy as the majority of population dependent on these sectors. The Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, Khemraj Choudhary mentioned that farmers choose the cropping pattern based on the price they got for production. He said value loss in post harvest technique should be minimised.

The in-charge, WTO cell, Industries Department L C Jain spoke about contemporary policies in agriculture sector vis-a-vis the recently concluded WTO Hong Kong Ministerial conference.

IPR consultant Manisha Gupta said that the handloom and handicraft sectors should stress on designing and labour intensive craft documentation, which was an urgent need to be addressed. She further said the role of government should be of strategy and policy maker, facilitator, implementer and enforcer.