‘Govt only interested in favouring corporates’
Fri, 02 -Mar, 2012
By OUR STAFF REPORTER DEHRADUN, 1 Mar: A two day seminar on Food Security began in the state capital today. The seminar was attended by a large number of delegates from seven states (J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi). The purpose of the seminar is too make people awere of the bill and to give suggestions in order to bring about the much needed improvement in the food security bill. The seminar in Doon was the 4th to be held on the subject. Prior to this, similar seminars were organised in Patna on 30-31 January; Ahmedabad on 6-7 February, Anantpur (Andhra Pradesh) on 17-18 February. Next seminar will be organised in Guwahati on 4 and 5 March. The intellectuals present at the seminar are going to listen to the suggestions provided by the people and form a demand out of the suggestions, which will be presented at the National Seminar that will be organised in at Delhi on 20-21 March. Speaking on the occasion, Atul Singh from Haryana revealed that food security committees have been formed in seventeen states. But these were not able to help the general public in a big way because the prices of urea and fertilisers had just doubled. Despite the fact the Haryana government was providing various facilities to the farmers, but it is proving to be insufficient. Another problem was that this help was not reaching the needy. Instead, it was being availed of by some powerful people of the state. Singh further revealed that in the present scenario huge amount of productive land had been brought for the formation of special economic zones. Because of this, the amount of productive land had reduced and the small farmers were facing a major problem. He further revealed that another big problem was that the produce of the farmer was stored in old and outdated storehouses and as a result huge amounts rotted. He said that warehouse owners were not improving their storage places because they sold the rotten foodgrain for the production of liquor. He said that the food security problem would end if people have sufficient amount of foodgrain at home. But, unless and until, government thought about taking necessary steps and took a micro view in this regard, food security could not come into being. Bharat Dogra said that food security implied providing cheap food, but in contrast, production techniques were expensive. Government was more concerned about the cooperate sector than the small scale farmers. It ought to form related agriculture policies that keep in mind the low cost of production methods that are based on local resources. Government should adopt policies which are helpful to the poor farmers. Manish from Uttar Pradesh revealed that, in the present scenario, there was a huge amount of malnourished children in the state. He alleged that government purposely brought a bill with a large amount of loopholes because then time would go into improving the bill and as a result it would not take the form of a movement. He asked that, if food security was not reaching the poor, then what was the utility of such a bill. It would be like the PDS that had failed to deliver in the last fifty years.