As reported, the government is going to implement public-private partnership agricultural projects in the ensuing Kharif season in 17 states including Andhra Pradesh. According to reports, the government investment, and seed and fertiliser subsidies will be routed through the corporate firms allowed to implement the pilot projects that include training of farmers, forming of farmers cooperatives, supply of fertilisers, etc. State government will only facilitate the infrastructure provision and see the necessary funds disbursement through respective government schemes. Farmers of the area of operation have little say on the choice of crop and they are simply wage earners. The results can be assessed after three to five year period of the pilot project. The concept of corporate farming is a new experiment and if it succeeds in increasing agricultural production and farmers reap advantage, it will be a positive developmental measure for the country. But on the World No Tobacco Day (May 31), it is pertinent to note that ITC, a tobacco company, got the sanction of Oriental tobacco farming in Andhra Pradesh. Encouraging tobacco farming is against the spirit of United Nations tobacco control convention, of which India is a signatory. The government should cancel such a measure in the interest of the country. Rather, corporate farming can include crops like pulses or other herbs.
Y Jagannatham, Vijayawada
The caution of the law ministry on Food Bill that Without putting in place a proper mechanism to distribute food grains, a law should not be implemented is well in time. Action in haste and hurry could lead to waste and worry as it would be like putting the cart before the horse. Some states are already having schemes to ensure food security. Hence, the Bill should take these also into account and come up with a comprehensive system that ensures food security to every one including the sick and weak, homeless and cashless who have no access to the mechanism. Politics, policy and practice should make people prosper.
Jacob Sahayam, Thiruvananthapuram