Time For Second Green Revolution: Economists

London, April 26 | Updated: Apr 27 2004, 05:30am hrs
Two prominent economists and industry figures in India say the new government that would assume office next month should accord top priority to the agriculture sector, as it is time for the second green revolution and to improve the economic health of the worlds largest democracy.

I think the time for the second green revolution has come. The new government that assumes office in May should give top priority to this, Dr Amit Mitra, secretary-general, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said while participating in BBC Hindi special programme, aapki baat BBC ke saath broadcast on Sunday night.

He said welfare of farmers is important. Similarly, agro-processing and food processing, which would provide jobs to millions should be linked to agriculture sector.

Participating in the programme, Prof YK Alagh, former Union minister said: in the agriculture sector, there have been problems during the past four-five years. Our agricultural products, which were being sold in the international market, like cotton, have seen a decline in the demand, though the good crop of wheat and rice did allow a little bit of export.

But the diversification, which was being done during the last two decades has faced severe problems during the past three-four years. It is important that the reforms in agriculture are given priority, Prof Alagh, a former vice-chancellor of the JNU said.

Mr Mitra on the other hand said: in this age of reforms, despite all tall talk, let us admit that the agriculture revolution, the second green revolution could not be brought about. The major reforms required in the agriculture sector have been missing. Both the governments of the reforms era have not been able to do it. May be because they had to address the fundamental problems in macro economy, from fiscal deficit to licence raj, first.

He warned against the uneven development of the country. In India, there is a clearly defined geographical region - eastern up, Bihar, parts of Rajasthan and madhya Pradesh - which has not seen any significant development in comparison to states of West and South.