18 Jun 2018, 12:50 — 4 min read
Summary: India, with its growing population, is going to have to find a way to feed its vast population while balancing the need for development. Blaise Costabir, explains how the indiscriminate construction of roads and buildings on arable land is not a sustainable course of development. What needs to be done is to incentivise farming with a range of measures to ensure the best yield and best return on produce cultivated.
We need to seriously relook at our step-motherly treatment of agriculture because we have to realise that we can not ‘eat’ roads and buildings. Neither can we grow sufficient food in the balconies of the new constructions. Our need for food is growing, and arable land used for cultivation is fast being used for other purposes.
In my native state Goa, we are allowing our fields to be ravaged and converted so that people from the world over can have a piece of this beautiful land. However if we continue at this pace we will actually kill the goose laying the golden eggs.
What we can do for starters, is to take over all the fallow land and give it to people who are willing to farm it, train all the farmers to use new technology to get better yields, create greenhouses and use drip irrigation or crop rotation. There has to be a renewed focus on getting the farmers a better price for their produce. This is essential as currently due to non-availability of better distribution methods, middlemen make the most money in transactions involving produce.
Conversions of fields should not be easily allowed. Google Images (using Google timeline) will show when the fields were last cultivated. If it was recently stopped, then action should be taken to ensure it remains a field that is used for cultivation. The government must use available technology to protect fields. All those who illegally convert fields into marble shops or garages should be acted upon immediately.
The government should look at ensuring access to fields that are landlocked so that mechanisation becomes possible. Mechanisation is a more productive way of farming than using manual labour.
The government should work out some way of buying carbon credits from farmers and selling the same to big corporation who need the credits to neutralise their carbon footprint. This will add a revenue stream for the farmers and make farming that much more viable.
We must focus on farmers in a way we have never done because if they become extinct there is no way the rest of us will survive. Remember, people do not live on love and fresh air alone. They need food.
I have mentioned Goa specifically as that is where I am from, but this holds true for all of India. Action is required.
Think about it and act now.
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Posted byBlaise L Costabir
As head of the Goa based Company with a second factory in Pune, It is my responsibility to ensure that we live up to our mission "superior by design". The company...