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

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Incomplete Plan for Agriculture

The National Development Council (NDC) meeting that was held on May 29, 2007 to deliberate on the strategy for agriculture in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan was the culmination of an elaborate preparatory process, but the resolution that was finally adopted at the meeting does not inspire much confidence that a turnaround in the farm sector will soon take place.

The NDC resolution calls for reorienting the agricultural development strategy to meet the needs of farmers and reaffirms its commitment to achieve a 4 per cent annual growth rate in the sector. There seems to be a strong belief in the Planning Commission that this target is achievable, and doing so would address almost all the problems of the agricultural sector. Both these beliefs are not well founded. Given technology fatigue, degradation of natural resources, especially land and water during last two decades, and diminishing interest in farming, achieving the targeted growth rate during the Eleventh Plan is a remote possibility. This growth rate would also not be desirable in itself as it would put tremendous pressure on already strained natural resources.

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