Farmers commit suicide only in India, says agriculture expert R. Haley. Speaking at the first state-level workshop for 1,200 agricultural officers held in Thiruvanathapuram, Haley, pointed that India is the only country where farmers commit suicide though the nation became self-sufficient in foodgrain production in 1977.
According to Haley, setting up a farmers’ welfare board will be more far-reaching than the Land Reforms Bill of 1957. By forming the board, the state can increase food production and attract youth to farming, Haley told the agriculture minister V.S. Sunil Kumar.
He also told Sunil Kumar that the pending Bill should be discussed with experts in all sectors. Forming a farmers’ welfare board was the recommendation in a draft agricultural policy structured by a seven-member sub-committee set up by the former UDF government in which Haley was a member.
“Agriculture production and farmers welfare are like two sides of the coin,” said Mr Haley. “Health sector is getting strengthened day by day. But the Krishi Bhavans have not achieved their true potential. If the agriculture ministry ignores them, the Karshaka Sabhas announced by Sunil Kumar will boomerang,” he added.