Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that measures like loan waiver and providing free power supply are not going to help farmers in the long run as they only provide short term relief.
Addressing a gathering at Vaikunth Mehta National Institute for Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM), he said, "I have always been stating that populist measures like loan waiver and providing free power supply are not going to help farmers in the long run. They provide only short term relief. A farmer does not need freebies but proper marketing conditions to sell his produce."
The Vice President advocated that officials and students of agriculture should spend time with farmers and visit the fields as well.
"The extension officials should be made to spend at least half their time with the farmers. Similarly, it should be made mandatory for students of agriculture to visit fields and stay with families of agriculturists to understand firsthand the problems of farmers," he added.
Emphasising on the measures that need to be taken for the welfare of farmers, he said, "We have to double the income of the farmers by making agriculture resilient, sustainable and profitable. We need to introduce structural changes in our agriculture and efforts are required from every stakeholder to ensure that there is no agrarian distress."
He also stressed the importance of creating a second source of income so that the farmers are not solely dependent on agriculture.
"We need to have a positive bias in allocating resources to rural areas and help in developing a second income source such as animal husbandry for those who are solely dependent on agriculture income," he said.
Elaborating upon the role of cooperative societies, Naidu said, "Cooperative societies play a crucial role in strengthening rural economy and ensuring socio-economic development, inclusive growth and sustainable development. Cooperative Movement acts as an enabler to unify local human resources and channelise energies for the growth of rural India. Cooperatives can help the small and marginal farmers who are in need of support in the form of inputs, harvesting, storage facilities, distribution channels and a network of the market information systems." (ANI)