Call to use infotech for hiking farm production
Our New Delhi Bureau
E-COMMERCE can bring the farmer closer to the consumer, but fresh investments in agriculture is necessary if Indian agriculture is to match the competition in the post-WTO order, chemicals and fertiliser minister Suresh Prabhu said.
In fact, India can become a net-exporter of agricultural products, but corporatisation is not the answer in the emerging new economic order. Infotech will make agricultural information systems far more valuable for the farmer. E-commerce had ensured a shrinking market, closing the gap between the farmer and the consumer, he said.
Speaking at the Agriculture Summit 00, the minister said, agriculture which depends on water will have to increasingly compete with dwindling water sources. He said it would be a good idea to explore the possibility of co-operatives serving as selling points for the small farmer. He expressed the importance of devising a survival model for the small farmer in the new order, so that his survival is not threatened.
The growing population however, must get the full attention of the government, the minister observed. While agri and food scientists have done a brilliant job doubling food grain production since 69 to 200m tonne, the pressing question was whether scientists and farmers will be able to continually produce more food, he said.
Source : The Economic Times. March 16, 2000