| (From left) Water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary, former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and former head of Patna University’s economics department NK Choudhary inaugurate the workshop in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary on Sunday said the government would take measures to start cultivation on seven lakh hectares of land damaged during Kosi floods by March 2013.
“Besides, repair work of Sone canal embankment would be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs 120 crore,” Choudhary said, adding that the National Water Development Agency was in favour of the river interlinking scheme (Budhi Gandak via Ganga) and work was in progress.
The minister was addressing a seminar at LN Mishra Institute of Economic Development and Social Change.
The event jointly organised by Bihar Institute of Economic Studies and Manawadhikar Sanrakshan Pratishthan focused on green revolution for increase in agriculture productivity.
Former chief minister Jagannath Mishra said: “In the past two decades, the contribution of agriculture has reduced from 30 per cent to 14.5 per cent. Agriculture is continuously witnessing loss.”
“ According to a survey, 40 per cent of farmers feel they are helpless but no have no other option than to to take up the job,” he added.
T. Haque, the former chairperson of the commission for agriculture costs and prices, said: “If the schemes by the state government are implemented properly, green revolution will be witnessed in two to three years. The biggest problems are flood and drought.”
Former IAS officer Gore Lal Yadav said: “Total agriculture production has reduced from 135 lakh tonnes to 115 lakh tonnes in the past few years whereas the population has increased by 25 per cent. It will take time to fill the productivity gap.”
Yadav stressed on liberalised economic system. He said: “The present situation is such that the farmers prefer their son to be a peon rather than take up tilling. This is because there is no investment in becoming a peon and the income too is more.”
Asian Development Research Institute founder secretary Shaibal Gupta said irrigation and agriculture together would bring green revolution in the state. Gupta said: “Power is a big factor. Since the cost of production is high, energy should be developed.”
The other things, which he stressed on were food security and nutrition security, increase in income of farmers, employment generation and control of migration, inclusive human base for agriculture development and institutional reforms.