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Indian farmers' visit America's biggest farm show

— Photo: M.J. Prabu

New experience: Some of the farmers who visited U.S. as part of the delegation.

Croplife International, Crop life Asia and the Association of Biotechnology led enterprises special Interest group of Agri Biotechnology (Able-sigab) invited a delegation of Indian farmers to participate in a farm progress show held in Iowa, U.S., recently.

The annual farm show being held for nearly last 55 years, holds a reputation as a U.S. premier farm show. Every year the show is held in different parts of America.

India lags behind

Mr. K.K. Agarwal, Divisional chairman from Bharat Krishak Samaj in Madhya Pradesh, says,, “Agriculture functions more as a business in the U.S. The rates of produce are decided day-to-day at the Chicago Board of Trade.

The American government offers several subsidies on acre basis to its farmers and the cost of land varies enormously according to rates of produce and yield.

“While American farmers are way ahead in GM Technologies and big machineries, India lags behind in food production and using machines. The gigantic harvestors and tillers that an American farmer uses, our state governments will think 10 times to buy.”

According to Dr. Chandra Kumar Mohanty, another member, from Orissa, “There is no land ceiling act in America and they have the concept of individual insurance. But sadly in our country there is still nothing like individual insurance. Though we grow a vast majority of crops we are still not able to get a good price for the produce inspite of a government-established price fixing committee.”

Unknown fact

“An interesting unknown fact about the committee is that no farmer has been or is a member of the committee. One cannot compare Indian agriculture with American agriculture, An American maize or soya farmer gets loan at 4 per cent interest and the government is taking a keen interest in them. Here the interest rates could be anything between 12-15 per cent,” adds Mr. Mohanty.

Mr. Andu Gowder from the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, who also attended the week long tour says, “The farmers with whom we interacted, said they get sufficient rain for their crops.

“In addition a good price is also ensured for their harvested produce.

“We saw how in a busy Chicago street, small plants and avenue trees were being grown on the platform and taken care of.

“If it was our country, we would have the plants removed, and trees felled to widen roads and hold meetings to prevent global warming sitting on the felled tree trunks and uprooted grass,” adds Mr. Mohanty bitterly.


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