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Inadequate marketing, middlemen root of agrarian crisis: Niti Aayog member

The statement comes in the backdrop of the Aayog reportedly asking the Punjab government to ‘secure’ farmers’ income, even as the state sought Rs 1,800 crore for food procurement.

punjab Updated: Mar 11, 2018 13:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Longowal (Sangrur)
Niti Aayog,agrarian crisis,Punjab agriculture crisis
Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat in Sangrur on Saturday. (HT Photo)

Pinning the cause of agrarian crisis in Punjab and other states on inadequate marketing and the exploitation of farmers by middlemen, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Saraswat added that state governments had also contributed to the problem by using central funds to get political mileage.

The Padma Shri scientist, in town to award degrees at the 20th convocation of Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET) on Saturday, added, “Agrarian crisis is not only in Punjab. Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states also face the same problem. The agrarian crisis is everywhere even as there is both the produce and the market, because the middleman is exploiting farmers.”

The statement comes in the backdrop of the Aayog reportedly asking the Punjab government to ‘secure’ farmers’ income, even as the state sought Rs 1,800 crore for food procurement. Saraswat went on to add, “Marketing institutes have to come up with and encourage innovative practices like e-marketing.”

“Based on the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, there has been a change in the way funds are given to states. Yet, the Centre has provided 10 per cent more money, from 32% to 42%. If the state governments will not use this money for designated activities like agriculture, health and education and spent it for political mileage, they will always feel that the money was not sufficient,” he added.

“Scientists should ensure they work in research so that we can find innovative solutions to our problems,” he said, after awarding the degrees at the Deemed university.

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 13:40 IST