AGARTALA, May 23 � Launching a scathing attack on the BJP-led NDA Government�s approach towards the agriculture sector, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Saturday said the country would not prosper unless and until agriculture and its allied sectors are developed.
He was speaking at a meeting of ICAR Regional Committee in presence of Mizoram FisheriesMinister Dr BD Chakma and a number of agriculture scientists and researchers at Prajna Bhavan here.
He asked, �In our country, around 70 per cent of the population directly or indirectly depends on agriculture and its allied sectors even 68 years after independence but what is the state of affairs today?
�A total of 6,000 farmers have committed suicide during the 100 days of Narendra Modi-led government while 59,000 farmers have deserted farming to earn their livelihood elsewhere�, he mentioned.
Why is this happening? Sarkar explained, �Basically farming community is poor. Farmers are not getting support price when they go to the market. The country is lagging behind in terms of irrigation. Farmers can�t buy fertiliser due to high rate. They can�t even get high quality seeds�.
Still on the hardships of farmers, he said, marginal farmers are not getting loan from the banks despite all efforts. �Farmers often could not take loan due to high rate of interest because of poor financial condition�, he pointed out.
�Unless these problems are addressed properly, the country will not prosper in true sense. Side by side, discovery of new seeds and techniques will not be translated into reality unless farmers� concerns are not addressed�, he said.
Noting that there has not been any change in the policies of UPA and BJP-led NDA, Sarkar called upon scientists and researchers to put pressure on the Union Government to adopt a pro-farmer policy for betterment of agriculture.
On the impasse of Land Acquisition Bill, Sarkar said the Centre must resolve the issue immediately or else the country as a whole will suffer in the years to come.
State�s Agriculture Minister Aghore Debbarma, Fisheries Minister Khagendra Jamatia and Director General of ICAR Dr S Ayyappan also spoke in the regional conference.