Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FOOD CRISIS INDIA 2008

The possiblity of food crisis in India affects millions of poor people. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) might help people find employment, but it may not be able to bail us from this ongoing food crisis, rather it might worsen the situation. The availability of labor for agriculture production, which has become costly or non-availability would not crontribute to food production, as many farmers are preferring to leave their land fallow. Such as phenomenon is mostly observable in the peri-urban areas and in some parts of rural areas. What is the use of that employment guarantee which does not ensure food security for the masses. The Government should prioritize its objectives and focus on how to improve the situation. One idea is that the same people under the NREGP scheme should be me made to work in the fields for food production and not just making roads or filling pits or digging trenches, etc.

The focus should be on reclaiming the lands, improving soil fertility, input support, advisories on best practices, marketing the produce, etc. I hope at least now "food" is recognized as a valuable product, which is the sweat and blood of the poor farmer and not just "a thing" to value as the consumer likes. Let us give right price to the farmers and honor them. I hope in this situation the Government would not bring new rules and regulations which would make the small and marginal farmers extinct. If at all the governments are interested, let all the land held by people for real estate speculation, should be put back to original activity.

FOOD CRISIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO RECOGNIZE AND STRENGTHEN AGRICULTURE SECTOR ALL OVER THE WORLD

- Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy
FOUNDER AND CEO
GEOECOLOGY ENERGY ORGANISATION [GEO]
http://www.e-geo.org

1 comment:

Shashi said...

Sai, thats a very interesting point you have raised. It may be a great idea to connect NREGA and food security. ALthough we have no data on what percentage of urban peripheral as well as some rural land is lying fallow due to real estate speculation, but that may be a very good piece of information that we could look for?

Another aspect of present food crisis may be the entry of retailers this year. Again, I dont have data at this stage that would validate my viewpoint, but if not the major cause, it certainly would be adding to the present crisis.

It is also shocking to know that, Mr Chidambaram a few days back said that Government can not play any role in controlling inflation, which really sounds like they are holding external conditions responsible for present crisis. Even if that be the case, where is the planning for controlling the real food security problem that may arise in future because of the realistic problems like rising population, urban migration, depletion of natural resources, climate change related issues, food-fuel issues etc.