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Financial exclusion has harmed Indian agriculturists, says Pratibha Patil

New Delhi , Wed, 15 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 15 (ANI): Emphasizing that agricultural development must be accompanied by measures to remove the debilities of the farmers and empower them through marketing, finances and organisations of farmers, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Wednesday financial exclusion has indeed been a bane for Indian agriculturists.


President Patil, who addressed the workshop 'Policy Initiatives for Promoting Partnership between Stakeholders in Agriculture with particular reference to Rainfed/Dryland Farming' at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today, said that in terms of approach she has been advocating a move away from an isolationist attitude whereby agriculture is considered as an activity that happens in distant rural areas.


"Without integrating agriculture with other sectors it will not benefit the farmers or nation. Industry can have a mutually beneficial symbiosis with agriculture. I have been speaking about industry-agriculture interface over the last two years. I am glad that some formats are emerging where the farmer is also a stakeholder and can also keep his land in his possession. We need to draw lessons from these and see how to further strengthen these models," said President Patil.


"Indian corporate houses have emerged as major investors in agriculture in other countries. Why then the hesitation to engage with the agriculture sector and rural areas within the country, which has huge potential? Finally, agriculture has to continue as an important activity in our country. To address the specific problems and to empower small farmers in RFDF, institutional changes are required," she emphasized.


The President highlighted the various issues that could be discussed, such as policy initiatives to remove factors impeding rapid development in Rainfed/Dryland Farming and to suggest measures to expedite growth.


"One of the most important factors in Rainfed/Dryland Farming is reaching water to the farmer and ensuring its optimal use. Maintaining soil health was another critical area, she said. Another issue is how to coordinate the allied sectors in Rainfed/Dryland Farming," said President Patil.


"Knowledge and technology is another activity in which the Workshop could suggest how institutions, scientists, agricultural universities can propagate and take initiatives to the doorsteps of farmers," she added.


President Patil further said the workshop was an attempt to bring all stakeholders on one platform so that they can put their heads together for a sort of convergence of various important aspects to make agriculture prosperous and productive. (ANI)


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