ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Not by Inputs Alone

There is probably in the country no critic of the Government, left, right or centre, who will challenge the correctness of according first priority to agriculture. The concrete measures suggested, e g intensive area development programmes, and the physical targets for the production of fertilisers, irrigation, electricity for tubewells, etc, would also be well taken. These targets, however, aim towards providing certain necessary conditions for promoting growth in agriculture, but surely they are not by themselves sufficient conditions for ensuring growth.

There is probably in the country no critic of the Government, left, right or centre, who will challenge the correctness of according first priority to agriculture. The concrete measures suggested, e g intensive area development programmes, and the physical targets for the production of fertilisers, irrigation, electricity for tubewells, etc, would also be well taken. These targets, however, aim towards providing certain necessary conditions for promoting growth in agriculture, but surely they are not by themselves sufficient conditions for ensuring growth.

The idea of intensive development is good no doubt but there is something dubious about trying to sell the idea as if it represents a new and final answer to the problem that has been Indian agriculture. After all, package programmes incorporated the same idea. The Japanese method of cultivation and the Chinese method of cultivation, each of which was held up as the panacea during certain phases, were also means for concentrated application of effort and resources. Was not the very programme of Community Development Blocks based on the idea that for promoting rural development in general and agricultural growth in particular, it is better to make intensive use of developmental measures in limited areas rather than broadcasting them in an uncorrelated manner all over the country? Experience, however, has amply shown that merely supply of physical inputs even in adequate doses do not suffice to ensure coordinated and intensive application. The right farmer has not done the right thing. He has obviously not found the economic means or the economic incentives to engage in the concentrated application of inputs expected of him. If this was so in the past, what assures us today that in the future very many more farmers would find it possible and profitable to engage in intensive cultivation with much higher doses of inputs? 

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