Dr Sardara Singh Johl is one of the most prominent agricultural economists in India | Urjita Bhardwaj | ThePrint
Dr Sardara Singh Johl is one of the most prominent agricultural economists in India | Urjita Bhardwaj | ThePrint
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Ludhiana: If Punjab’s march towards desertification is to be stopped, the best way is to move the cultivation of wheat and paddy out to 50 lakh hectares of land in the Gangetic plains of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, according to Dr Sardara Singh Johl, one of the most prominent agricultural economists in India.

In an interview to ThePrint, Dr Johl, who turns 93 next month, spoke about a wide range of issues related to agriculture in Punjab, especially the agrarian crisis prevalent in the state for the last decade or so.

Johl, a Padma Bhushan awardee, is currently the first chancellor of the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, and has also been recognised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research as a professor of eminence in economics. The alumnus of Panjab University has previously served as vice-chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, and Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. 

He has also been chairman of the Government of India’s Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, a member of the Economic Advisory Council for four prime ministers, and also held the posts of director, Central Governing Board, Reserve Bank of India, and vice-chairman, Punjab State Planning Board, among others. He was also president of the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Economics Research Association and Indian Society for Agricultural Marketing.

Among his many contributions on the global stage, Johl served as a consultant to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank and Economic Commission for West Asia in many countries.

While Johl stated he has “no views” on the three farm Acts, he did talk in detail about the problems affecting agriculture in Punjab, and how it can return to prosperity. Excerpts:


Also Read: MSP, subsidies are at root of Punjab’s farm crises but its farmers are fighting to keep them


On what Green Revolution brought to India

In the mid-1960s, we didn’t get food grains even when we were ready to pay in international markets. We used to get wheat from the USA under a scheme named PL-40. India used to pay in rupees, but the price of grains and deposition was determined by the USA.

In the 1960s, the short-duration dwarf wheat seed was introduced in India and distributed across the country. But the research was strong at state agricultural universities in Punjab, Haryana and IARI, Delhi. So we improvised it, and our yield and quality increased according to our conditions. We even turned it into amber colour from the original red one. As yield increased, the input of chemicals also increased, but still, wheat cultivation remained profitable.

Then, in the early 1970s, short-duration dwarf rice was introduced in India from the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. This created a pattern of both crops. By the middle of the 1970s, we went from a shortage of foodgrains to a surplus, barring a few drought-affected seasons.

In the early 1980s, rice production was more than storage and purchase capacity of the central government. Our current food grain production is four times that of the buffer stock norms. Disposing of these stocks is a problem, as due to MSP, our crop is more expensive than international crops, which cost just 70-80 per cent of our rice and wheat.

The central government has to dispose of the stocks internationally, sometimes even lower than the PDS price of Rs 2-3 per kg, but that too is rejected on the ground of high chemical content in crops. We have moved from a problem of deficit to a problem of surplus.

On why farmers are stressed

Alongside an increase in yield, the landholding has decreased across generations to a very small unit per person. In India, average landholding is 2 acre, and in Punjab, it’s around 2.5 acres. In India, 80 per cent of farmers are small farmers, while in Punjab, the number is 25-30 per cent.

With smaller landholdings and higher cost of input, the MSP could not match the cost of cultivation over the period. And with the increase in MSP, demand remains stagnant at the current price.

Farmers are in stress because no matter how much surplus they produce on a small piece of land, the returns are not able to cover his daily agricultural and livelihood needs.

As a result of the MSP not being able to fulfil the farmers’ livelihood expenses, they have to resort to loans, often informal ones, because there are some urgent needs such as health and family emergencies. Bank loans take time, so farmers take loans on higher interest from the landlord, moneylender or commission agent. Then, they are not able to repay the loans. As a result, the farmers have to sell their assets such as land and machinery such as tractors to repay just the interest on informal loans.

In Punjab, farmers and farm labour have a debt of Rs 80,000-87,000 crore. This has led to stress in the rural economy.


Also Read: Neither ‘udta’ nor ‘padhta’ Punjab. Question is how India’s no. 1 state in 2003 fell to 13


On the paddy-wheat monoculture leading to desertification of Punjab

For paddy and wheat, on the one hand, there is assured price of MSP, and on the other, there is free electricity. This has made paddy and wheat unbeatable as the most profitable crops.

Even though there’s MSP on other crops such as maize, pulses and oilseed, they aren’t procured. The MSP for maize this year was Rs 1,850/quintal, but it was sold at Rs 700-1,100/quintal. This is because despite MSP, the government procures only paddy and wheat, plus a little cotton.

There’s a problem of production, production size, production cost and market, leading to farm stress despite high MSP.

The MSP system has led to a cropping pattern out of sync with the consumption pattern. Other foodgrains’ production has crashed, as has fruit and milk production.

The biggest problem in Punjab is the fall in water level, and its pollution. Punjab has the highest use of fertiliser per unit of land in the country, and the water table is decreasing 25-30cm every year. With the Bhakra Dam, a lot of water was diverted to Delhi and Haryana, and Punjab’s allocation fulfils just 20 per cent of its agricultural needs, so groundwater accounts for the rest.

With increasing urbanisation, rainwater is also not absorbed into the ground, as everything is concrete now. But the water that is absorbed from farm lands is high in pesticides and fertilisers, polluting the groundwater. Drinking water in Punjab can only be found at 350-500 feet with a deep tubewell.

In two or three decades, groundwater for drinking might not be available. Punjab will become a desert if this continues.

On mandis in Punjab

Mandis in Punjab are regulated under the APMC Act of 1936, which has been amended a bit subsequently. The mandi board conducts an auction so that farmers know what price they’re getting for their crops.

No crop can be purchased outside mandis, except in a few cases. The farmer has to mandatorily bring crops to the mandis, where there is an auction of his produce and commission agents take their share and then their crop is sold. With an increase in paddy-wheat production, there is at least one market sub-yard in every village. The market committee takes fees for maintaining infrastructure in the mandi yards and sub-yards, and for keeping these villages linked with roads.

However, these roads are not maintained by mandis due to lack of funds, as the money is often not used for what it’s supposed to be for. The money collected by the market committee is not a part of the state budget, but is extra-budgetary income at the discretion of the mandi board chairman and the chief minister. The previous Akali Dal government, for example, took a loan against three years’ worth of future market committee collections. This is a misuse of the funds.

The commission of arhatiyas was earlier just 1 per cent, which has been increased on their demand to 2.5 per cent now. Their argument for further increase remains that inflation has increased, so should their commission. But their commission is a percent of MSP, which is already revised every year according to inflation.


Also Read: Easy money, cycle of debt — why Punjab’s farmers can’t get out of the clutches of arhatiyas


On solution to Punjab’s agrarian crisis

Economic diversification of crops is necessary. I’ve given two reports, in 1986 and 2002, proposing to maintain the water balance of Punjab. In 2002, 16 of my fellow committee members proposed to bring at least 10-15 lakh hectares of land out from under paddy cultivation, and to compensate farmers for growing other crops.

At that time, India imported Rs 14,000 crore worth of oilseeds and pulses. Instead, we proposed utilising Rs 1,600 crore for compensating farmers for growing pulses and oilseeds on 10 lakh hectares of land. The funds were subsequently released by the finance ministry to the agriculture ministry, but didn’t move thereafter. Now, the government can give Rs 10,000 per hectare to farmers to encourage the diversification of crops

MSP and procurement should be provided to other crops such as maize, cotton, oilseed and pulses. Punjab alone imports 2 million tonnes of maize for poultry feed; this money can instead be a subsidy for growing maize.

On the future of agriculture subsidies

No farm sector in the world can survive without subsidy. The USA, Japan and European countries provide billions of dollars to their farmers. They get subsidy even with farms as big as 1,000-1,500 acres.

But Punjab’s free electricity subsidy is wrong; it’s misused. Farmers will not do this if they are made to pay for it. The government can divert the current electricity subsidy of Rs 5,500-10,000 crore to the farmer on a ‘per-acre under cultivation’ basis. Then, they should be made to pay for electricity. If I have Rs 100 of electricity subsidy in my account, I will spend less than Rs 100, leading to judicious use of water. I will even cultivate a less-water consuming crop.

Big farmers with their dozens of tubewells squeeze the subsidy, whereas small farmers who don’t even have one tubewell don’t get any. So, switching to a per-acre basis will benefit small farmers too, while big farmers shouldn’t get any beyond 25 acres.

This direct income subsidy is also perfect as it will make India match World Trade Organization standards, unlike the current one.


Also Read: Why the farmers’ protest is led by Sikhs of Punjab


On increasing farmers’ income

The problem of farmers’ income cannot be solved in the farm sector alone. Small farmers should be encouraged to switch to a part-time model, and should be given subsidies to move them towards dairy and other sectors, like it’s done in Japan.

Like in Himachal Pradesh, industry should be introduced in Punjab with a mandate/preference to fill at least 70-80 per cent jobs with local youth, with the other 20 per cent being technical staff from other states. The other profits they earn can be invested in agriculture.

On the new contract farming law

Contract farming initially failed in Punjab in 2002-03, as the farmer was not insured against any losses caused in the course of agriculture production. The new contract law introduced by the central government is a copy of Punjab government Act of 2013.

It has excellent provisions like no mortgage, stricture etc. The farmer can also take a loan against probable profit. All inputs and machinery are to be provided for by the contractor. Risks such as flooding or pests will also be shared with the contractor. The farmer and the field are safe.

But the Punjab act failed because no one practised it.

On the new farm laws

I’m at a stage where my extended family and I are farmers with eight acres of land. We cultivate 50-60 acres on lease. My children are farmers. My situation is like Arjun in Mahabharata — these farmers are my children, elders and brothers. They are on the way to disaster and I want to turn them around.

I’m 93; I don’t have to do anything with any other political party. I’ve worked on agriculture policy for 60 years, including in China, USSR, central Africa, West Asia, and they have all implemented it. In Iran, they implemented my 25-page report a day after my presentation to their parliament.

I have given two reports to solve the farm crisis in Punjab, but no one has taken a page out of it. Umpteen times, I have asked to be allowed to give a half-hour presentation and answer questions before the council of ministers, but that has never happened.


Also Read: Punjab’s frustration & anger is rooted in its steep decline, now visible in farmers’ protests


 

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64 COMMENTS

  1. agitation is due to vote bank politics of Kejriwal, Congress dynasty, leftist unions, Lutyen media, and leftist leaders like Yogendra Yadav. for them, defeating Modi on reform is more important than welfare of farmers. 30 years from now, same farmres would be pleading government for reform as there would be no water

  2. Finally a well researched, neutral article with concrete policy insights & solutions. Dire need for this article in the current scenario, when the actual deep rooted problem is not being spoken about. The writers of this article have done an excellent piece of writing, by encompassing Dr Johl’s views. More such neutral articles , well researched on the agrarian crisis should be encouraged.

  3. A very learned person who has deep knowledge of the disease. Yes, I will call it a disease which needs to be treated urgently. Unfortunately, nobody will listen to him.

    It is mainly for the State Government to help the farmers, but they won’t do anything other than pouring oil in the ongoing agitation for the sake of votes.

    Now, isn’t agriculture a State subject? Isn’t it the prime responsibility of the State to take care of the farmers? More than centre, it is the local government that has to hand- hold the farmers to change the crops and cultivation patterns. If the parliament is not empowered to legislate on agriculture, why is central government responsible for farmer suicides? Why do farmers routinely hold dharna in Delhi?

    The problem starts with FCI. Corrupt FCI babus in collusion with Punjab elements are denying MSP benefits to other states. MSP should be distributed among all states and all crops evenly so that this problem will end.

  4. 1. Contract farming : This is a pandora box and must be kept out from farming.
    2. Procurement of produce: If all producers have been able to fix price as MRP then farmers demand Is only MSP which is worked out by the government.
    3. Optimal utilization of national resources for sustainable growth:This must be dealt by the constitutional authorities like states and Central government.
    Privatization of land resources: Farming is one profession where majority of people have been involved and it is the national interest movement from this should be halted so that our towns, cities and metropolitan don’t turn into slums and rural areas also get their due share of development like rural development centers.

  5. This is a good report. Unfortunate he is not given audience despite multiple requests. It leads us to believe that politicians across parties pan India are power hungry with no primary focus on practical welfare of Indians down to the last detail in implementation n efficacy.
    Is it because we have had a long history of suppression, conquest n colonisation, our minds are skewed when we get power?

  6. MSP itself is a injustice to Farmers if you calculate the cost of production of food grains. Don’t spread false information. Every day modi government increase price of diesel which is a inevitable input in Farming. Again prices of fertiliser are also increased every day by modi government. Same is the situation for pesticides.
    Modi government import food grains to reduce the price of food grains in the market.
    They keep looting the hard work of Farmers.

    The reason for depletion of water table is due to the diversion of river water to delhi and haryana by bakra dam .

    Many reason mentioned here are in support of modiji government only . FYI kaveri delta in tamil nadu is cultivating only paddy for more than 3000 years. And there is neither depletion of water table nor change in land quality.

    Please support Farmers by giving them with true price for their valueable produce. If we tax Farmers we will suffer food grains scarcity in the future.
    Jai kissan, jai kissan only will help us getting our food.

    If contradict Please post your views. Thank you.

  7. True and impartial view . People are now frustrated by their own failure and taking things random on other who are successful in life to satisfy their frustration. They should be guided by proper impartial people rather than political and mandis agent who are misusing sentiment of farmers for their own gain s. Now farmers are ball of game player are other those who in realty don’t want solutions and welfare of farmers actually.

  8. The cumulative farm crisis of Punjab is a very sad story . The root cause is Nehru’ partisan policy towards other states . Punjab and western U.P . were traditionally wheat producing areas , but Nehru and subsequent governments chose to give Punjab all the subsidies and shower it with all the modern infrastructures, resulting in Punjab growing c paddy which was the forte of Bengal and with the accompanying problem of stuble burning and other problems as the professor said. Had the same kind of subsidiary and infrastructure were provided to the Bengal farmers they would have fed India with more rice with less per capita input cost. The green revolution of Punjab was financed by the common man of rest of India and at the cost of farmers from the rest of India and in particular the farmers of Bengal.Though Bengal and Punjab faced the brunt of partition of 1947 but Nehru and rest of the governments chose to favour Punjab only.The reason was purely political.

  9. Regrettably no Punjab kisan today is willing to heed to Johl saab’s words of wisdom. They have been tutored/ coached to say “Kanoon Wapas Lao “bass, Koi doosri gull ni. Rab Da Vasta de ke kathey keetey Aaa bachey budhey.
    They care two hoots if Punjab land becomes desert after a decade down the line. Eh virodh de khatar virodh Aaa, God knows why Punjabis hate present govt. ..

  10. Very healthy writing.But who will take it.
    Some time I feel that 90%of the Punjab farmers are not aware of the real facts.10%are buisy in using these negligent and innocent farmers.If it is these laws are taken back then Delhi will become capital where everyone can invade like Khilji.

  11. Central Government should gave assured MSP to pulses and fruit crop. and state govt should take follow up of it every season and take strict action against those who are not purchase Farmer produce at MSP. Farmers are educated but they are bind to traditional farming. So the state govt should implant the new schemes for diversification of farmers from traditional farming and for improving water quality of whole Punjab state. If the central govt and state govt launch new scheme to divert the farmers from traditional farming to modern farming (fruit crop, flower, vegetable, polyhouse, organic farming etc.)then water pollution, air pollution and desertification of Punjab state automatically under control.

  12. Consolidation of land and common irrigation system Compost out of RDF are missing in report.Swamy Nathan report must be on input cost basis which cover manpower cost transportation OT for waiting hrs seed and manuare cost water and electricity and so many hidden things insurance premium loan cost safety from wild animals etc.Swaminathan has also missed many factors which are to be incorporated. Govt. plan is ok because we will get advantage of competition and free from middle man. pension of farmers to beenhansed in case of less than 2 acare.

  13. The article is valuable as johal Sab mentions the ground realities of water -Table going down ever year..even capt.Amrinder singh ‘s govt in 2003 tried it’s best to promote crop diversification but failed.The technical problems or Farmer’s apprehensions on marketing the crop must be addressed in … perhaps a new mechanism needs to be evolved…& free subsidy on water be withdrawn

  14. The crux of this whole suggestion is that all farmers should be promoted through subsidies to scientifically work out a cropping pattern that enriches the land and the farmer.Its clearly not in support of farm laws imposed on farmers but a need to make law taking the stakeholders in this case farmers into confidence and make a nuanced law and stick by it.The problem is that this government has lost credibility due to their bullying and dictatorial attitude and crony capitalism that they practice openly,unashamedly.

  15. I am also from punjab and think same because these fertilizers are polluting our water and spreading cancer in many districts of punjab i.e bathinda,firozpur,sangrur etc. People who have large chunk of farmland are sending their children to foreign countries. Government should take initiative by organizing workshops of agriculture experts on village levels to help these small farmers.

    • Your very right mam honourable ex cm of sikkim mr pawan chamling has done his work in a great way towards organic farming…but our govt don’t want to raise these healthy practices of organic farming with our farmers…🙏🙏🙏

    • Absolutely right mam. But the farmers have no other way to get more income that’s why they use more fertilizer to get more yield. So this polluted the ground water of whole Punjab state. This intake of water leads to cancer and other harmful diseases to human being. Rainfall is also less that’s why the ground water not get mixed with rainwater. So the pollution of water increased day by day.

  16. Why the cascading perils of present farming methods and the damage the farmers of Punjab inflicting to their own land, and total recklessness in aggravating pollution by stubble burning is not getting the attention of those who support the reckless attitude of Punjab farmers.Where all the green notaries, and warriors,conservationists, sustainable development warriors, and they are all naked without a fig leaf
    to cover and surrendered to the lobby of destructive farming.Delhi is the gas chamber of Asia due to stubble burning by Punjab farmers, What the environmentalists, and enforcing agencies doing??Thetre are already signs that citizens of Delhi and many parts of North have to surrender their freedom to feed the lust of MSP benefits, and Delhi and many cities would become worthless to live.the solutions can be to fully compensate Punjab farmers so that they can stop farming and does not convert Punjab and other states to deserts in their greed for MSP.That price is worth paying than convert one fourth of this country into a desert in the long run.The other message to those intellectuals and environmentalists, pl shut your mouth and stop writing and stop preaching, and stop sermonising

  17. Plant tall spreading shadows useful trees from the seeds flowers fruits of which provide daily needs ,such as ritha Shikekai, palash ,awala,mango. Lichy, karanj,jatropha, shamali, neem,babool, maulashri, penpal baobab, banyan peeple, umber etc,

  18. this is the only one article which I have went through and is true and very fair and based on facts and figures it should be e translated into Punjabi and Hindi and must be circulated again and again then only it will reach to to the farmers of India and we will get proper feedback and responses on this one English is a barrier which do not reach to that level one should accept it and I request whoever can do it please do it for the sake of Punjab for the sake of of environment and for the sake of unity of our nation

  19. You both are right.
    But the problem is: Majority of our farmers are uneducated and ther can be easily brainwashed. Only political leaders can influence their decisions but I don’t think any political outfit will do the job right.

  20. It’s a historical fact that researchers, scientists, academicians and intellectuals are ignored in modern India that’s why poverty is prospering here.

  21. Sri
    jail.has.given vivid.explanation on the nature of.farmers&agriculture condition prevailing in our country see.first scrap the 3 farm laws&create new one after consulting farmers&agri.expert

  22. Excellent analysis. No takers in politics. This is the crisis in India. Short term solutions to avoid long-term problems are always preferred. Even academecians write on party lines.

  23. Thanks Sir , You have explained the Problems in well manner . Persons like me from Non Agriculture Background can easily understand the agriculture crises prevailing in India and to pacify my curocity to understand agriculture related problems. Try to Share it to Others

  24. A well explained article. He expressed his restrictions also and same is happening to other same Punjabis. It has become compulsory for every Punjabi to support this ongoing agitation as one point or other they are related to farms. Although they understand this act and want to implement it they have to go with the agitating farmers otherwise have to face social boycott. Now onus is with the govt to voice these ultra qualified people rather then some actor turned politician(Ms Hema Malini) to explain the farm laws.

  25. People of such calibre and experience should be consultants to important policies like the one under question.
    How can such a scholar with such elaborate distinction be left out or ignored by the government or the courts?

  26. Good insight
    But Govt May come out with farmers friendly proposal for crop diversification subsidy and loan waiver like policy for small and medium farmers and rehabilitation of others dependants on farmers mandis

  27. The all problem lies in implementing these laws. The governments are not trustworthy. Direct subsidy will be ended soon like in lpg cylinders as proposed by Mr Singh. So how the solution may come out? 2ndly only msp will not do anything but govt will have to work seriously on ground. Private players do act only when they see the farmers have a choice of selling their produces in form of govt. This is the bitter reality in practice. One can see in cotton Mandis where they purchase when there is no CCI purchasing.

  28. This article need to be Shared more and more, so that farmers can understand reality & they don’t get further misled by political parties who are misleading them for just for their vote bank gains.

  29. I think Punjab farmers and govt should work together to communicate the right things to each other and take the help of experienced agriculturists to revive Punjab agriculture again. It feels bad to see the land of seven rivers became five and now 3 rivers post partition. I think no one from Punjab likes to see the desert-like situation in Punjab in near future. If farmers start producing other crops and get MSP then it will save many people in Punjab from getting cancer like disease especially in heavy paddy producing area. Also with the help of contract farming/godown they can get good rental income. The small farmers are poor and illiterate and they suffer the most every time in all states they should be guided properly.

  30. Good will prevail & Truth will prevail – only when there is Unity among us, but sadly the human minds are corrupted to the core with pure-selfishness.
    God bless & save India, Bharath.

  31. Dr. Johal’s views on desertification of Punjab and focus to change paddy-wheat crop pattern are valuable and urgently needed to apply but his understanding on new farm laws that these laws will improve condition of Punjab farmer is a misinterpretation of Punjab agriculture issue. He has not focused on Punjab agro industry which deliberately was not developed by centre, nor he focused on why the condition of Punjab farmer became worsen, how Punjab river water was sent to other states and why Punjab farmer gone to ground water? Why Punjab’s trade route to West Punjab keep stopped and why trade route of Mumbai-Karachi all time open even in wartime? It must be keep in mind expectations of a man could not stop at 100 too. New farm laws are hit to some remaining rights of states.

    • Punjab’s water? Please enlighten me which river are you talking about? Satluj, Beas, Ravi does not have origins in Punjab. They are rivers of himachalis.

  32. Well explained by an eminent scholar like Johal Sahib.
    It would have been better if the farmers were taken into confidence to save this great soil of India.

  33. Well explained by an eminent scholar like Johal Sahib.
    It would have been better if the farmers were taken into confidence to save this great soil of India.

  34. It is time , the honourable zcholar is heard and we gradually show that we are also sane persons. But as long as we, as indians , in somd way or other has contributed to this by not allowing/ supporting a sane voice. If only we can change that attitude , we can redeem ourselves . Jaihind

  35. Congratulate the learned author. Happy at least a learned person detailed out the truth. This is the truth.

  36. He has said the truth in today’s agriculture sector, all over India. There’s surplus of paddy, but many of the farmers don’t eat the variety that is grown by him.

    There should be concerted effort by all the stakeholders, the Government at the State and Centre to do away with subsidies and instead the amount is transferred to the farmer’s account.

    Encourage contract farming with the industry and all inputs should be charged, water, electricity included.

    Pulse cultivation should be encouraged on a bigger scale for India to be a net exporter of pulses.

    Jai Hind

  37. Dr. Johl needs to be heard and farmers of Punjab need more people like him.
    If this doesn’t happen even after 18 yrs of submitting a detailed report…this puts a question on all of us ….and firstly the government which is at fault

  38. Unless there’s political will, no report is going to change anything.
    In Punjabi there’s a saying- Aayi Janjj syao kann (Opting for ear piercings at the last moment when the wedding is about to commence)…
    This fits aptly with the people of Punjab. Here those who have power are blind by it. And those who have brains like Mr. Jail are looked down upon.
    If a person like him of international stature and repute feels helpless, imagine the plight of common men running behind MSP….
    It is not that we lack brains or technology. We lack the determination and will to practice the right thing.

  39. Wheat and rice consumption has become akin to consumption of beef in USA , even if it is a cause of high incidence of diabetes , we have completely ignored singnifance of CHANA , MILLET , BAJRA , BUCKWHEAT ETC , you need to grow 12 cereals to make mother earth healthy . Honest introspection is required in Punjab that why it 17th in percapita income , Andhra has overtaken it ,it has robust agricultural practices and is not richly endowed with irrigation etc..Arrogance that we are the best farmers needs change.

  40. Mr.Jail Singh is true, problem of water, Namamigange, Cleanninus started with big broom by Mr Modiji but broom has disappeared as Acche Din. Unfortunately foolish opposition is also not aware.

  41. I completely agree with Mr. Johl, punjab farmers should stop paddy and go for other alternative cash crop, for the future of punjab’s ground water

  42. Sorry to say,but monoculture farming resulting the land with diminishing fertility.
    The only solution now is, to absolutely stop Wheat farming and start mixed fruit tree farming. Here also to avoid monotype Tree plantation. Space between tree plantation to be used for multicrop or vegetables farming.

  43. Diversification is must to save punjab from desertification it is only possible with the help of central govt by giving farmer certain MSP guaranteed by ACT in those crops which vare in needs of country at some point of time

  44. UP too should shun high water intensive crops like paddy and cotton. Let these products be imported, we should not export our water. China despite being largest producer of rice till a few years back has smartly started importing it, now even from India. While we foolishly subsidize paddy!

  45. Not one comment till now! Show indifference of us Indians towards true scholarship! Wish someone could read this article to a small farmer sittng protesting near Delhi,about the deadly trap he is being led into. The one about the debt trap is same story of all the small farmers in India. Only farm laws, if properly implemented, can take them out the blind alley they all are in.

    • Mr. Gokhale, your three words “if properly implemented” says it all. The way these laws are written says it all whether they will benefit the farmers or not. Mr. Johl is absolutely correct the wheat and paddy needs to be moved away from Punjab and Haryana. But government has to ensure proper price for them for other crops to motivate them to move away from wheat and rice. With the privatization it will be all about money and profits. Nobody will think about environment. Like government is bothered about how these huge industries are dumping their wastes. Privatization is not the solution of this problem. The government should provide subsidies as other countries are giving and as Mr. Johl has already suggested.

    • These farmers don’t follow integrated farming practices & the state& central government doesn’t promote them as well .Skill India policy should incorporate them. The milk collection cooperatives should be formed .The previous governments only collected taxes & were not bothered to regulate cropping patterns , not ready to incentivise dairy & dairy processing practices .Now the same farmer is being subsidised at the cost of the taxpayer .The previous governments promoted frauds .They didn’t want a financially strong farmer Dairy & allied farming practices along with agro processing form the roots of agriculture which have been either cot off or were not been allowed to develop .Punjab is a sick agro state which burns the paralli unlike other southern & eastern states.They have not been able to convert it’s protein value into dairy proteins .

    • These farmers don’t follow integrated farming practices & the state& central government doesn’t promote them as well .Skill India policy should incorporate them. The milk collection cooperatives should be formed .The previous governments only collected taxes & were not bothered to regulate cropping patterns , not ready to incentivise dairy & dairy processing practices .Now the same farmer is being subsidised at the cost of the taxpayer .The previous governments promoted frauds .They didn’t want a financially strong farmer Dairy & allied farming practices along with agro processing form the roots of agriculture which have been either cot off or were not been allowed to develop .Punjab is a sick agro state which burns the paralli unlike other southern & eastern states.They have not been able to convert it’s protein value into dairy proteins .

  46. Sane voice is always lonely. I don’t think any Punjabi farmer, whether Sikh or not, will agree to diversify from wheat and rice becsuse they are certain they can sell it at MSP CERTAINLY . It is told that MSP is their SALARY and not thecost of the produce they sell. Hope the sake words of Mr. Jail is considered seriously and acted upon.

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