Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi on said India is food grain surplus but the corresponding benefit of it has not gone to the farmers majority of who are subsistence and small. Delivering the 42nd Convocation address of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) here, he said a paradoxical situation where the gross food production in the country was surplus and yet the bulk of food producers were poor has arisen due to decades of distorted agriculture policies which though benefited a small number of big farmers, but did not help the overwhelming majority who are small and marginal.
Pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a mission to improve the economic lot and overall well being of the small and marginal farmers, Mr Ravi said numerous initiatives have been taken in this regard including financial inclusion through Jan Dhan Yojana, Direct Benefit Transfer and enhanced MSP for farm products.
“The Soil Health Cards are intended to enhance the productivity of the farm and ensure higher return to the farmers”, he said. Noting that India’s agriculture scientists have made the country proud by making it food surplus, the Governor now the challenge was to make agriculture innovative, competitive and diversified while ensuring that it was sustainable.
“Today almost every State in our country has an agriculture University. The country has expectation that each of these Universities should be able to help the farmers of the respective State and region in overcoming agriculture related problems and also help them with technical know-how. It is expected of them to do hand-holding to an extent, to nudge them towards appropriate agriculture”, he added.