NITI Task Force on Agricultural Development held its third and last regional consultation with Northern, Eastern and North Eastern States, on Wednesday at NITI Aayog, New Delhi. The consultation was chaired by Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.
Today’s meeting was attended by the States namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Almost all the States and UTs represented in the consultation meetings. The States were represented by Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries of Agriculture and Allied Sectors, Directors and other Senior Officers’ of State Departments.
It may be encouraging to note that a consensus emerged on NITI Aayog preparing a model land leasing act. All States also appreciated the five critical areas identified by the Task Force and the issues and suggestions highlighted in the Occasional Paper. The States favoured rejuvenation of agriculture to provide relief to the vast population. The initiatives to address the issue of declining water tables, chronic water stresses in some parts of the country were also supported by the States. The special focus on Eastern and North Eastern States for bringing green revolution and agricultural diversification to horticulture and livestock in original green revolution was also appreciated by the States. States also favoured for higher efficiency in fertilizer use, improve soil health and addressing fertilizer subsidy. The States pitched favorably towards more investment and reforms in agricultural research to provide adequate opportunity and space to private sector and responding to users need. Reforms in agricultural marketing and encouraging farmers’ producer organizations (FPOs) were also emphasized.
Earlier, the Task Force conducted regional consultations with Central and Western states in Gandhinagar on 5th February, 2016 and with southern States on 12th February, 2016 at Bengaluru. The Task Force also prepared an occasional paper on ‘Raising Agricultural Productivity and Making Farming Remunerative for Farmers’ after consultations with experts, farmers & farmer’s representatives, scientists, activist and NGOs. The paper has been put in the public domain at the web-site of the NITI Aayog (www.niti.gov.in).