Farm Loan Waivers A Necessity But Not A Solution, Says Father Of India’s Green Revolution
Eternal vigilance on pricing is needed in states like Madhya Pradesh
Farm loan waivers are only a “temporary necessity” to address the agricultural crisis in the country and not a permanent solution to the problem, according to MS Swaminathan, agriculture scientist and the architect of India’s Green Revolution in the 1960s.
Three Indian states have waived farm loans so far – Uttar Pradesh, Telengana and most recently, Maharashtra – while protests have been raging in Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu over similar demands. Already, the the Madhya Pradesh government has announced a crop-loan settlement scheme which proposes waiving off interest for those cultivators who have defaulted.
Swaminathan, who chaired the National Commission of Farmers in 2006, which recommended a minimum support price for grains at 50 percent more than the production cost, told BloombergQuint that farmers are only demanding fair prices.
Poor economics of farming, he pointed out, has hurt the sector which is a source of livelihood for about 60 percent of the country’s population.
They will get back to farming only if we waive their loans already due. Loan waiver is not a solution, but is an indication of poor economics of farming and ability of the farmers to make their occupation certainly their own.MS Swaminathan, Agriculture Scientist