How do you think a Parliamentary majority will help the government to deliver more agricultural programmes?
Modi government version 2 has brought a new ray of hope for the Indian agriculturists who have been grappling with multiple issues. The Indian farmer is already facing a major attack by locusts who have their breeding grounds in Pakistan. Many other international developments are also not favouring India especially the on-going trade war between the US and China which has put the world on an extended economic stagnation. Another conflict triggered by the Trump Presidency in the Hormuz Strait has put pressure on Crude. Indian government should be prepared for the impending collateral damage to the economy. It is possible that the US will push India to import various agricultural commodities from the US like milk products, livestock, etc. especially as the duties on US agricultural products by China. Even the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership by India will require the country to become a gateway for Asian Agriculture Imports. Similar treaties also stand to be signed with EU. It is quite evident that the inflation-targeting by the government will pass the costs to the consumers. The problem of MSP procurement and the rising prices of fertilizers will further worsen the food prices. Although PM-KISAN is a laudable effort it is feared that the funding for it will drain resources from the existing programmes and initiatives on agriculture. The government should consider ring-fencing of imports to protect the interests of the farmers. The PM should use the majority in the Parliament more for delivery than disruptions. Many policies have fallen flat like the food-parks, investments in the value-chain for agriculture. There is no solution to the problem of surpluses and fluctuations. This has lead to many farmer protests and suicides. PM has to take the onus to make Indian farmers at ease and in line with the new vision.