With food inflation hovering around 17 per cent, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Monday asked the nation to think “out of the box” to bring down prices with focus on farm productivity through a second Green Revolution.
“The world over, as also in our country, there is a rising demand for food-grains,” the President said in her televised address to the nation on the eve of the country’s 61st Republic Day that called the beginning of 2010 “the deciding decade, the decade of reckoning”.
“This foretells the need for an intense focus on increasing agriculture productivity to ensure food availability, particularly of agricultural produces that are in short supply to avoid spiralling food prices,” the President said.
“I call for urgent steps toward a second Green Revolution. There should be use of new technologies, better seeds, improved farming practices, effective water management, as well as more intense framework for connecting the farmer with the scientific community with lending institutions and with markets,” she said.
In her address that stressed on policies that promote growth to the bottom of the pyramid, Patil said, “With higher income levels, the rural economy will generate demand and provide impetus for growth in other sectors.”
She also called for exploring possibilities of partnerships between industry and agriculture and wanted the food processing and agro-based industry to be encouraged.
Patil also emphasised eradication of social malpractices, especially those related to discrimination against women.
She said, “A bottleneck and an impediment in bringing about the desired results... is weak implementation and corruption in the system.
“The causes of the chronic ailment of tardy implementation have to be treated. There should be accountability for lack of implementation of projects, programmes and schemes. This is critical for bringing about positive change.”