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Biblioteca India’s national agricultural policy: a critique

India’s national agricultural policy: a critique

India’s national agricultural policy: a critique

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Date of publication
Dezembro 2003
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The National Agricultural Policy (NAP) document released by the Government of Indian in 2000 aimed to attain an agricultural output growth rate in excess of 4 percent per annum, based on efficient use of resources, and sought to achieve this growth in a sustainable and equitable manner.This paper argues that (by 2004) no serious action had been initiated on most of the NAP’s proposals, and blames this inaction on the lack of a concrete and time bound action plan to complement the policy. It highlights the failings of the policy document, drawing on agricultural data from 1950 to 2001 including output, area cultivated, irrigation, and land use.Its criticisms of the NAP include that: the document does not stress the need for improved irrigation as a precondition to higher growth creating the required magnitude of irrigation would require trebling of public investment in real terms the NAP proposes to put India’s 79.5 million hectares of wasteland to use for agriculture and afforestation, but does not elaborate any strategy to do so; most of this land requires heavy capital investments in order to make it productivethe importance and implications of the increasing strain on India’s limited water resources are not adequately recognised by the NAP NAP is silent on important institutional issues such as participatory management of irrigation, water, forest and common lands.The paper’s specific recommendations for future agricultural policy include: care is needed to ensure that enough common property wasteland remains around inhabited areas to serve the needs of resource-poor rural communities who live there awareness about the value of water and its sustainable use needs to be raised water conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting should be put in place Panchayati Raj institutions should be given guidelines on taking care of healthy breeding practices for livestock technology policy needs to ensure both that appropriate technologies are generated and that they are effectively disseminated to end users interactions of Indian National Agricultural Research System scientists with science institutions in the west need to be strengthened competition should be promoted in the seed sector by encouraging large scale private sector participation in the seeds business area specific agricultural development strategies should be devised, taking into account groundwater status, soil health and other characteristics.

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R. Chand

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