Ease of farming a must for ushering in inclusive growth: Niti Aayog

The report, 'From Green Revolution to Amrit Kaal: lessons & way forward...,' authored by NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand & consultant Jaspal Singh lists out steps to boost farm sector

Foodgrain production target

New Delhi: NITI Aayog in a report said that the competition should be fostered among states to improve ease of farming activities and allied businesses so that agriculture could play a key role in India’s journey to becoming a developed nation and achieve inclusive development, green growth and gainful employment.

The report published by the federal policy think tank under the title, ‘From Green Revolution to Amrit Kaal: lessons and way forward for Indian agriculture,’ has been authored by NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand and consultant Jaspal Singh. It lists out measures to boost the farm sector.

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The report, however, stated that the planet was grappling with two biggest challenges—climate change and overexploitation and degradation of natural resources. The type and methods of farming have a significant bearing on these. The authors made a strong case for ushering in fresh investments into the sector and for greater role for the private sector.

Offering a roadmap for agriculture to put India on growth trajectory, the report said that significant and sustained increase in farmers’ income and transformation of agriculture requires a paradigm shift in the approach towards the sector.

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“Changes in old regulations and liberalisation of the sector are necessary for creating an enabling environment for a modern and vibrant agriculture during Amrit Kaal,” the report said, referring to the next 25 years.

The report emphasised in engagement of private sector in both pre and post-harvest phases, liberalised output markets, an active land lease market, and to bring out efficiency in the agriculture to address the challenges of the 21st century and contribute towards India’s goal of becoming a developed economy. “Competition among states to improve ‘ease of doing farming and farm business’ needs to be promoted,” the report said.

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The sustainable growth of agriculture requires action on several fronts involving central and state governments. A well-coordinated action and strategy between the two levels of government is needed to ensure that agriculture marches to the next stage of development, along with other sectors, the report said.

The authored further stressed for modernisation of agriculture by introducing and promoting knowledge and skill intensive practices within the sector, private and corporate sector investments in agriculture, new institutions of producers, integrated food system-based mechanisms, and new types of linkages between producers and end users.

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These changes, in turn, require liberalization of the agriculture sector in the form of providing a facilitating regulatory environment and responsible public and private investments, the report said.

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