The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for promoting zero-budget natural in agriculture to make farming viable and sustainable. He was interacting, here today, with the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Acharya Devvrat, the agricultural expert, Shri Subhash Palekar and the Advisor (Agriculture) to Government of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Vijay Kumar as part of National Consultations to make to double the farmers’ incomes and make agriculture profitable and sustainable.
Shri Acharya Devvrat briefed the Vice President on the best agri-practices adopted in Himachal Pradesh to improve the income of farmers. Shri Subhash Palekar and Shri Vijay Kumar briefed the Vice President on the role Zero-budget farming in bringing down the input costs and promoting natural farming.
The Vice President held extensive discussions on various issues relating to agriculture and also shared the outcomes of National Consultation on Agriculture held in Pune, Maharashtra recently. He said that a series of National Consultations were being held across to seek realistic solutions to make agriculture sustainable and profitable. The Vice President called for innovative solutions to make farming profitable and the scaling up of such solutions.
Unlike in the past, the farmers were facing the problem of plenty and there is a need to streamline the procurement methods. Expressing his concern over increasing input costs and the lack of remunerative prices to farmers, he complimented the Union Government for steeply increasing the MSP for paddy and other kharif crops.
During the interaction, the Vice President complimented the Himachal Pradesh Government for promoting natural farming. He said that other States should emulate Himachal Pradesh as part of mitigating agrarian crisis.
Shri Naidu said farming should be climate-resilient in the wake increasing problems due to climate change. He also stressed the need for eliminating the role of middlemen burden in agriculture and allied activities. Referring to the exorbitant cost of fertilizers and pesticides, he advised the state governments to come out with farmer-friendly policies. There is a greater need for all stakeholders to adopt a balanced approach in protecting the interests of farmers and consumers.
While commending NITI Aayog for consultation on ‘Zero- Budgeting Natural Farming’, the Vice President said that NITI Aayog must play a bigger role in disseminating research outcomes to farmers.
The Vice President said that he would again hold discussions with them after receiving the recommendations of the national consultations to be held at Chennai and Delhi.