Will the poor policies of the Indian governments soon invite the end of farming in India?

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No, thankfully that's not going to happen. On the contrary, farming in India will get redefined before long. However, it's true that governments have done very little to improve living conditions in rural India ever since independence. Almost 70% of our population still lives in villages and that itself indicates how economically backward we still are.

Need to Generate New Options for Livelihood

In any other middle-income economy, that percentage would just be the opposite, with 70% of the population living in urban and suburban areas, which indicates an industrial economy. To be honest, our farmlands are overpopulated and there is a need to provide alternate means of livelihood for at least half the rural population. Farming can't sustain the population that depends on it.

Policies Need to Serve their Purpose

The policies of the government on paper are quite good and therefore it would be wrong to blame the government at least on policy formulation. The problem is with the implementation which happens at the state and district level where civil service officers like DC (district collectors), SDO (sub-divisional officers) and BDO (block development officers) operate with very little accountability. Not all of them are irresponsible but the few that are good can't be expected to swim against the tide. Some of them have had to pay the ultimate price for opposing the forces of corruption and graft.

The Sense of Accountability Should Come

The poorest of the poor in the deep countryside don't even have concrete houses to live in, let alone electricity and gas connections. The government of the day is trying to plug these gaps and has achieved partial success in this objective but unless there is accountability in the executive authority in these neglected rural areas, this mass of poverty-stricken rural folks will remain deprived of the fruits of development.

The executive authorities should be elected representatives from the local level legislatures to which they must be accountable. The role of the civil servants should be that of a regulator and overseer who will keep an eye on the conduct of the elected executive authorities. Once that happens, the pace of development will surely increase.

Updated on 27-Jun-2020 07:56:40