Taskforce on Maha agrarian crisis submits report to govt
Mumbai : A Maharashtra government-appointed taskforce on tackling the agrarian crisis has mooted a two-pronged strategy of having a distress management relief plan and restoration of agriculture extension services.
Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) headed by Kishor Tiwari was constituted by the state government for redressal of farmers’ grievances and was asked to submit a report on measures needed to tackle agrarian crisis in the 14 drought-prone districts of Maharashtra.
In the report submitted to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently, Tiwari has proposed laying out a distress management relief plan that covers food security, health services improvement, providing 100 per cent fresh farm credit and crop insurance cover to every farmer.
It also includes improving educational facilities in distress farm suicide area, zero pendency and corruption free local governance, livelihood management as well as job creation under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Mudra scheme.
The second of suggestions includes restoration of agriculture extension services, participation of Krishi Vikas Kendras (KVKs) in agro-counselling, reintroduction of food, edible oil and pulses crop, soil moisture management, long term farm credit policy and income based resource mobilisation in rural economy.
The activist also proposed that farmers of the 14 districts be made to shift from rain sensitive crops to cultivating edible oil seeds abd pulses while nalas, rivers that were dead be revived under the Jalyukt Shivar project.
He also suggested that the government create post- harvest processing facilities, health care and educational facilities for farmers and their children and ensure hundred per cent fresh farm credit and crop insurance cover to every farmer.
The other suggestions include covering seven million families, farm labourers and landless farmers in the 14 districts under the National Food Security Act, which will give average annual relief of Rs 6,000 to every family.
“There is urgent need to improve the public education system that shall reduce the dependence of farmers on costly private educational facilities,” Tiwari, who has been accorded the status of MoS by state government, told PTI.
“VNSSM has planned to provide free health care to every farm family and improving the existing rural public health care system,” he said.
Tiwari stressed on the government’s commitment towards zero pendency and corruption free local governance and proper programme implementation.
Besides, he said the mission’s agenda is to create more livelihood opportunities in distressed areas with focus on skill training.
Apart from changing crop patterns, it is also laying emphasis on use of non-chemical, organic fertilisers, soil moisture management and reviving dead water bodies.
Tiwari said that a drive has begun to make both the agriculture ministry and agriculture universities give farmers friendly conservative accountable programmes.
Also effirts are on to revive the agriculture universities’ involvement in own seeds and agronomy practices which are paralysed due to lack of experienced staff and poor functioning.