'Agri Growth Can End Poverty'
-The New Indian Express
BHUBANESWAR: Eminent agricultural economist Ashok Gulati on Monday emphasised on higher growth in agriculture sector for faster reduction of poverty.
Addressing the second Odisha Knowledge Hub (OKH) lecture series on ‘Getting agriculture back on track in the growth agenda of the Nation and State’ at the Secretariat here, Gulati said the agriculture sector has the potential to grow at five per cent per annum as against the present growth rate of 3.6 per cent in real terms.
Comparing nation’s economy with a pyramid, the Infosys chair professor for Agriculture at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) put agriculture sector at the base, manufacturing at the middle and service sector at the top of the pyramid. Such an approach would lead to sustainable development, he maintained.
Though agriculture is a State subject, the Central Government needs to trigger and engineer the reform agenda in the sector. Gulati cited the example of the impact of Centrally engineered ‘Green’ and ‘White’ revolution on Indian economy and strongly advocated for Centrally sponsored active agenda for reform in this basic sector of the economy that caters to food and nutrition security.
In Odisha context, Gulati said frequent natural calamities and erratic rains are the main factors for slow agricultural growth rate. He suggested to focus on infrastructural development like irrigation, rural roads, higher consumption of electricity in agriculture sector and establishment of value chain for cereal and fruit-products for achieving higher growth in agriculture.
Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan said this lecture series has been launched to update the State functionaries with the emerging ideas and best practices at national and international levels in the matters of public policy and developmental administration.
The New Indian Express, 15 March, 2016, http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/Agri-Growth-Can-End-Poverty/2016/03/15/article3327552.ece