Food security bill, 2013


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Food security bill, 2013

  1. 1. On the eve of food security bill: Farmers’ perspective R P Singh, Ph.D. Associate Director Extension, G B PUAT, Pantnagar The population clock estimates the population of India is over 1.24 billions and increasing 29 persons per minute, 1768 persons per hour and 42431 persons per day. This rapid increase in population put a great pressure on food grain production of the country. On a rough reckoning it is an acceptable fact that India achieved a marvelous success in food production from a bare 50 million tons in 1951-52 to 257.3 million tons in 2011-12 is still hungry. The Indian economy has undergone structural changes overtime with the anticipated decline in the share of agriculture in the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) from 55 percent in 1950-51 to 12 per cent in 2011-12. Kanan and Sundaram (2011) from the Institute for Social and Economic changes, Benglore, revealed that ‘The cropping pattern has significant changes overtime. There is a marked shift from the cultivation of food grains to commercial crops. Among the food grains the area under coarse cereals is declined. The increase in crop yield has been a major factor for accelerating production in the country. The technological interventions in the cultivation of crops are increased. The use of modern varieties, irrigation, fertilizers, and measures of pest control were important factors that ensured higher growth in crop production. However, technological and institutional support for few crops like rice and wheat brought significant changes in crop area and output composition in some regions. The results of crop output growth model indicate that the enhanced capital formation, better irrigation facilities, normal rain fall and improved fertilizer consumption helped to improve crop out put in the country.’ The Food Security Bill is going to provide rice and wheat to 61 per cent population on cheapest rate. It will certainly affect the forming community as well as the developmental initiatives taken up by the government and to be taken in future. The farming community is running under a fatigue and the food grain production has stagnated since 1980s. The production cost of per kg food grain increasing day by day. Cheaper food grain availability through public distribution system will come in the market through corruption. It will check the price rate of the farmers produce and a vicious circle will take birth to hinder the agricultural and rural development. In this vicious circle, the subsidy on agriculture will siphon out to the corrupt market. At this juncture, there is need of life saving oxygen to the farmers by providing good quality fertilizers, new technological options of irrigation, pest control, processing and storage, marketing opportunity and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructures. Government should evolve policy to fund investment and attract private partners from national and multinational corporate to invest money in agricultural infrastructure development like fertilizer production, modernization of irrigation, processing, storage, transportation, marketing and ICT infrastructures. Need of hour is to make policy for harnessing the agricultural skills at national and international level by creating agriculture service centers. Youth must be in focus while creating agricultural policy because the agriculture is still labour intensive industry. It will provide job to the trained youth. Key words: Food security bill, population clock, agriculture development, ICT,