Incompetent governments and lack of agriculture policies lead to India’s dependency on other countries for agro-based products: Harpal Cheema
Said, it is high time to ensure marketing and MSP of all crops to promote diversification
Punjab has enough potential to fulfill India’s demand of edible oils, governments should incentivise farmers to grow oil seeds
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) senior leader and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema said it is the high time that India should rethink about its dependency for edible oils on other countries. Harpal Cheema said that India imports such large amount of edible oils when our country is perfectly capable of producing it on our own if only union governments and state governments were serious about making India self-dependent in this sector. He emphasized that in real sense only self-dependency in agro sector can make India ‘atmanirbhar’ (self-dependent).
AAP leader said that India imports 1,371 million dollars worth sunflower oil (cooking oil) from Ukraine every year and when this demand can be easily met if only Punjab’s two districts start farming of sunflowers. Cheema said that people don’t diversify the crops and produce oil seeds due to lack of proper marketing and no MSP on crops. He said that imagine spending 1,371 million dollars on sunflower farming here in our country instead of spending it to import cooking oil. He said that today our dependency on other countries is directly proportional to incompetence of Congress and BJP governments.
Cheema said that export-import deficiency of India in agriculture sector can be solved with solid policies and agro based industries since India is an agriculture dominant country. He said that India can become a surplus country in agro-based products if marketing and MSP, of other crops along with wheat and rice, can be ensured. He added that Punjab has high potential to fulfill our country’s demand of edible oils and governments should incentivise farmers to grow more oil seeds.
Harpal Cheema asked why after green revolution India’s farming sector has not seen any other revolution that can sustain India’s self-dependency in agriculture sector and improve the financial condition of India as well as its farmers. He said that Congress-BJP governments lacked vision and intention when it comes to agriculture sector that is why even after being agriculture dominant country; today India is dependent on other countries for agro based products when it should be the opposite.
He added, in India including Punjab, the need of the hour is visionary and solid policies for agriculture sector, pro-development and pro-farmers government and agro-based and food processing industries so that our state and our country can move forward and grow in the right direction and at the same time can become self-dependent in as many sectors as possible.