Business Standard

BS Manthan panel: Viksit Bharat can't thrive without nourishing farm policy

Business Standard Manthan 2024: Agriculture has a key role in making India developed by 2047, including building a nourished workforce, panelists highlighted at the key event

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Key panelists during a dicussion on 'role of agriculture in a developed India of 2047' at the BS Manthan 2024,

Nisha Anand New Delhi

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In order to make India "Viksit Bharat" by 2047, it needs to focus on building human capacity before prioritising infrastructure-led development, Ajay Vir Jakhar, the chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj, said on Thursday.

Jakhar remarked during a panel discussion on the 'role of agriculture in a developed India of 2047' at the Business Standard Manthan 2024. The panel, which also included Ramesh Chand, member, agriculture at the NITI Aayog and agri economist Ashok Gulati, was moderated by Sanjeeb Mukherjee, who is the agriculture editor at Business Standard.

Watch Business Standard Manthan 2024 here:

Revision needed in agri policy

Jhakhar called for the revision of India's current agriculture policy and the need to address issues such as the trust deficit between farmers and the government, filling vacancies in agriculture universities, and addressing climate change disruptions.

In addition, Gulati said that without a strong and quality agricultural output, the Vikisit Bharat workforce will be affected. "People have to be fed and fed well. 35 per cent of Indian children below the age of five are stunted. They will become the new workforce." Gulati noted that this could have an impact on their earning capacity, which will be a roadblock for India's economy.

He added that the kids are stunted due to many factors, including food quality, which is affected by soil quality. The panelists pointed out that these issues can be addressed by investing in more research and development in the field of agriculture.

20% cannot drive economy alone

Gulati noted that the top 20 per cent of Indians cannot run the economy alone for much longer. Focusing on the low-income groups, he also said, "...When the income of 80 per cent of people goes up, they will demand more and better food. This will require agriculture research and development. Without research, our productivity level won't go up."

He added that India needs a policy beyond just the "food security concept" and move towards "nutritional security concept."

Agriculture reduces poverty

In addition, Chand highlighted agriculture as a key instrument in reducing poverty. He also said that the roadmap of 'Viksit Bharat' cannot be achieved without keeping agriculture in focus. "Agriculture has 18 per cent share in the economy and due to its weight, it needs to be in focus. Agriculture is much more powerful in reducing poverty. Thus, it is important for inclusive growth."

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First Published: Mar 28 2024 | 4:44 PM IST

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