New Delhi : While there is an all round uproar demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, including from the Opposition parties, the 10-year old report and its far reaching recommendations made by the eminent agricultural scientist continued to gather dust under the UPA regime for close to seven-and-a-half years. It was under UPA government that the commission submitted its five reports, the last being in October 2006. The Modi government too has not much bothered about its implementation.
The agrarian crisis which has engulfed most of the states and has hugely added to Prime Minister’s worries, has shifted the focus on the report of National Commission on Farmers ( NCF) formed in 2004 as part of the national policy for farmers under the renowned geneticist.
In the national capital on Friday, more than 100 farmers organisations gathered at the Gandhi Peace Foundation, led by Raju Shetty, an MP from Maharashtra, to demand justice to the farmers community all over the country. They also announced to start a massive ‘Kisan Janjagruti Yatra’on July 6 from Mandsaur in MP to end on 2nd October at Champaran in Bihar. The idea is to draw attention to the burning issues of farmers and look for solutions, Shetty told FPJ after the meeting.
The Swaminathan panel, however, had addressed most of the issues that are now being raised from different fora, in its multi-volume report.
The highlights of the recommendations pertained to improving land reforms, modernising irrigation systems, adopting new approach to farm credits and insurance, productivity enhancement, food security issues, addressing the farmers suicides causes, and employment issues with strong recommendation on the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism. One of the major recommendations was to bring agriculture on the concurrent list of the Constitution from the state list.
Although PM Narendra Modi also had promised to implement the Swaminathan report, nothing concrete has happened on the front in the past three years, sources in the agriculture ministry told FPJ. The NITI Aayog, however, has done its homework to double the farmers income, under its three-year agenda for 2017-19.
The ageing hero of the ” Green Revolution in India” now lives more in Chennai and oversees his research foundation work but is said to be quite frail.
Sources in the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation told FPJ over phone that while a few of the recommendations have been picked up in bits and pieces, through policy announcements and budgetary provisions by Modi government, a lot is required to be done.