Bunch of crops per inch of land

Dr CV Ananda Bose 

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India is ready to reboot and recoup. The path is long, and the goal is far, but the march is on and we will reach our goal. As Swami Vivekananda said, “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached”. We have a vision which Gandhi Ji sums up as, “One nation, one vision, one identity. Meri pehchan, mera India”. We do not want a diffident India; we want an India which is ready to act when action is called for.

India is ready for the pursuit of excellence. We have before us the prophetic prophecy of Arnold Toynbee, ‘At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation to mankind is the Indian way'.

We believe in ‘Loka samastha sukhino bhavanthu’. A united and buoyant India can and will act as a catalyst enthusing the world to close differences and come together to work for the betterment of mankind.
India should be a hunger-free nation when we reach the 75th anniversary of our independence. It is said that- “On every grain of food is written the name of the person who will eat it”. India should bring the right grain to the right mouth and ensure that all mouths are full.

Farming is the most ennobling, enriching and exciting occupation. Mankind’s sustenance and sustainability will depend on the right farming in the right manner and in the right measure. ‘Back to the soil’ and ‘back to the roots' should be central to the development priorities of India. We salute our farmer brothers and sisters who kept the nation above starvation during the pandemic. Our buffer stock of grain has hit an all-time high and our granaries are brimming with plenty, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our farmers. They sow hope and reap happiness We owe it to our farmer brothers that their spirit is kept high and their services are realised and rewarded. Post covid reconstruction and development of India should necessarily be centred around a strategy which will ensure a quantum jump in agricultural production and a buoyant happiness index of the farming community. Technology and traditional knowledge should be blended seamlessly with the inherent wisdom of our great masters in farming who led us through centuries of agrarian upswing. Farming should be rediscovered, reoriented, re-engineered and rejuvenated to ensure a hitherto unparalleled spurt in agrarian prosperity. From sowing to post-harvest management, the wholesome chain of the ‘farm to mouth’ process should be streamlined and perfected for the benefit and happiness of the farming community.

New India should wake up to a new agricultural dawn where the newest and the best practices in farming and allied activities should lead to a farm-centric and prosperous economy. With a commitment to double the farm income, India should launch the seminal project, a ‘bunch of crop per inch of land’. Every known method in agriculture practices in India and the best practices anywhere else in the world should be brought to bear upon India’s accelerated march to agricultural prosperity. Farm to home, an innovative marketing strategy for agricultural production needs to be launched at the national level, online and offline, avoiding middlemen.

Kissan Himsagar, refrigerated trains to provide a pan India 24/7 mobile market for agricultural produce, should be launched crisscrossing the entire nation. ‘Farm while you learn’ should be introduced in the schools to inculcate among the new generation, affinity and respect for farming through project work in agriculture which will be awarded academic credit and marks. A chain of state-of-the-art, logistic parks and cold storage may be set up in various parts of the country to help ensure uninterrupted maintenance of the supply chain. Concerted efforts may be made to promote agripreneurship and encourage agribusiness with a focus on post-harvest management. Though horticultural production in India has reached enviable levels, a substantial portion of the produce is lost and wasted for want of food processing ventures. Vigorous efforts need to be made to promote food processing, with an accent on horticulture and value-added agriculture products.

Animals, wild and domestic, are a part and parcel of the ecosystem and the nation should continue its tradition of caring for the animals and treating them with compassion and kindness. A special package may be drawn up and implemented for the betterment of the animal husbandry and dairy sector.

The blue revolution is making progress and all efforts should be made to keep the fisheries sector vibrant and dynamic. Production, marketing, processing and export need to be encouraged with innovative inputs and substantial financial support. The ‘janimrithi insurance scheme’ needs to be introduced to provide Rs 50 lakhs to the family of the fisherman who die in harness. Ayushman Sagar Yojana may be introduced to provide health insurance for up to one million rupees to the workforce in the fisheries sector. Employment should be provided to the dependants of fishermen who become incapacitated. An assured basic income needs to be directly transferred to the workforce in the fisheries sector in situations of disaster. Coastal corridors and Fish Processing Zones may be set up along the vast coast of India. Concerted efforts should be made to develop coastal rivieras along the shores of the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal. A special package may be launched for the development of inland fisheries in the country. A risk fund needs to be constituted to provide emergency relief to the workers in the fishing sector in times of distress.

The spirit of Gandhiji is there to guide us. It is high time we act upon his revelation, ‘India lives in her villages’. Back to the soil is the unmistakable axiom for the development of an agrarian society, that is India. Sita came from the earth and returned to earth. Our primary moorings are with Mother and Mother Earth.

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