Venkaiah Naidu urges
Parliament, politicians and press to do more for improve rural
First Post, October
Venkaiah Naidu has pitched for more governmental investment in
agriculture, as he bemoaned that "not enough" was being done by
Parliament, politicians and the press to address the issues
related to farmers.
India is still an agriculture-dominated country but even after
70 years of Independence, about 18,000 villages do not have
electricity, he said while addressing a huge gathering of
farmers from Outer Delhi villages in the gardens of his
sprawling residence in New Delhi last evening.
"It is true people are drifting away from agriculture as it is
not proving profitable, weather due to vagaries of the nature,
i.e., sometimes less rain, sometimes excess rain. And, so the
biggest challenge today is how can farming be made profitable,"
The Vice President, mixing humour to deliver a social message,
said the media has not been paying as much attention to farmers
and the condition of villages as for urban areas and its
"The issue of bad roads, and power shortage gets attention in
the press but the condition in villages is not highlighted as
much as they should be," he rued.
Besides, the politicians and Parliament should also give more
attention, as enough was not being done.
"Parliament, the press and political parties, the three 'Ps', I
say, more focus is needed from them for the welfare of the
farmers," he added.
Naidu said by virtue of being the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha,
he would allow more opportunity to members to speak on agri-issues,
and "whatever forum I will go to, I will put forth farmers'
The vice-president said there was a need to expand investment in
agriculture both at the Centre and state government levels and a
"systemic and policy change" was required.
"The Centre, state governments, ministries, agriculture
universities, research bodies, ICAR (Indian Council of
Agricultural Research), and scientists, everyone should work for
the benefit of farmers," he said.
He also pitched for providing more cold storage and
refrigeration vans facilities for crops and vegetable products.
Naidu lamented that despite the Green Revolution and other
growth factors in the country, the earning of the farmers has
not increased. "So, some farmers want to give up agriculture,"
The farmers came from places as far as Kakrola, Najafgarh and
Chhawla. One of them also tied a ceremonial 'pagdi' on Naidu's
Naidu thanked the farmers for visiting him at his bungalow and
said it transported him to his childhood days in Andhra Pradesh.
"I am happy that the 'annadata' (food-providers) have come to
bless me. This place hosts foreign ambassadors, doctors
ministers and other dignitaries. By seeing this gathering you
made me recall my past. My mind is still in the villages," he
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