Chief Minister demands assurance of land for farming community

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Agartala, Oct 3 (UNI) Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar urged scientists and agricultural research institutions to ensure promotion of self-sufficiency in food grain production by providing farmers with arable land.

Speaking on the three-day 2nd National Symposium on 'System of Rice Intensification(SRI) in India - Progress and Prospect' here today, Mr Sarkar lamented that efforts for development of agriculture still remained a distant dream for the country due to improper land holding.

''Due to inequitable distribution of land, the small and marginal farmers comprising almost 85-90 per cent of the total holdings have only about 60 per cent of the cultivable area, while the balance tne per cent large farmers hold as much as rest 40 per cent,'' Mr Sarkar pointed out.

Indian agriculture was passing through a transitional phase and the growth of agriculture sector in the last few years were wavering around two per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and has been declining continuously, he said.

Mr Sarkar also stated that in the 'name of industrialisation', the latest trend of earmarking tracts of cultivable land in different parts of country for Special Economic Zone had been inviting various complications.

As a result, the proposal of introducing corporate farming is likely to bring about reserve tenancy in which big farmers would take over land from the small and marginal farmers on lease and the arable lands get further marginalised, Mr Sarkar underlined.

He has suggested that Centre should come up with a broader outlook to intensify agricultural production through supplying good quality seeds to the states and help in the research with their institutions and announced remunerative price of the agricultural produces for the marginal farmers otherwise, incidences of farmers suicide would increase further.

UNI

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