Dependency on agri must be reduced, says Deshmukh

New Delhi, May 29 | Updated: May 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
As farmers suicides continue in Maharashtra, chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Tuesday asked agriculturists to reduce dependency on farming and shift to other occupations, including industry and service sector.

Deshmukh also wanted the Centre to launch a programme to identify areas in which the rural youth from farm families can be trained so that they can either opt for self-employment or look for jobs in the industry or the services sector.

All our interventions to increase agriculture production and income may help in improving income but would not be good enough to guarantee a good living, he said in his speech at the 53rd meeting of the NDC here.

The chief minister contended that there were more people dependent on agriculture that it can reasonably take care of. The educated youth from farming family needs to be trained in various subsidiary occupations or be imparted with skills that would assure them employment in industry or service sector, he said.

Putting the onus of generating additional investment for agriculture on the Centre, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje said the Union government should announce a Rs 50,000-crore package as investment support to the states for farm and food sectors. The NDC Sub-Committee leaves far too much responsibility on states to find additional public investment for agriculture. This may not be easily forthcoming,

Following the financing pattern for macro-mode project, every rupees invested by the state government should be matched by nine rupees by the Central Government, demanded Bihar chief minister Nithis Kumar, whose speech was read in absentia by Bihar power minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav.