Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What is going on in Gujarat ?

What is going on in Gujarat ?

Remarkable Development Intiatives, Growth oriented Progressive measures

Smile on the face of Farmers

On the spot study by personal visit V Shanmuganathan

On the Invitation of the chief Minister of Gujarat I went to Gujarat towards the last week of May. I met the chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in his secretariat office and spent about 90 minutes and discussed about the people centric growth oriented efforts. He was immensely happy about the participation and cooperation of the common people in all his endeavours I told him that my visit is mainly to study about the state of farmers, agriculture, poor people, village development, eradication of poverty and improved conditions of the people of the state. He sent a team of very important people along with me in three vehicles. We went around various parts of Gujarat and met ordinary farmers, village youths, politicians, scholars and various sections of people. It was an illuminating experience. I remembered Pt. Deendayal ji's writing in his political diary. He used to write that our intention may be good. We may evolve a good policy and even give an effective plan of action. It will be successful only when all the participants conceive it in all its dimensions and execute it thoroughly, then only it can be accomplished in the real sense. Mr Narendra Modi and his team of people have created innovative ideas into new development models to all other states to follow their successful initiatives.

First, we went to a village called Fotiwada in Sabarkantha District to inaugurate a Krishi Mahotsav. It is a month long pre-mansoon campaign for encouraging scientific farming practices. Normally farmers travels upto Tehsil or District level agricultural officers to know about the government help in land and farm management where as in Gujarat, officers moves in the villages and makes themselves available to the farmers. It is an integrated approach that includes farming practices, soil and water conservation, credit availability and marketing linkages.

As soon as we reached the village, I was invited by Dr. Amit Patel, a scientist belonging to Sardar Agricultural University. There were a gathering of two hundred villagers. There was a tehsildar, district agricultural officer, horticultural officer, animal husbandry officer, cooperative bank officer, forest officer, patwari and a host of village officials. I inaugurated the exhibition and spoke among the people in Hindi. Krishi Rath is tractor driven mobile exhibition that move from village to village showing the latest farming practices, value eddition opportunities, innovative technologies through paintings and power point projections. The Rath halt for four hours at each village and a Kisan Sabha is organized where agriculture scientist and other experts interact with the farmers imparting them knowledge, educating them about the various challenges, problems and solutions, resolving their queries and also receiving the feed back. There are about two hundred and twenty seven Krishi Rath covers 18 thousand villages of Gujarat. In fact, these Kisan Mahotsav brings together the knowledgeable agro scientists and other expertise with the local farmers at the grass root level. It is a knowledge river that flows into the villages to enrich the farmers. Because of this wonderful initiative, no one single farmer is committing suicide in Gujarat.

A major programme of testing and analyzing the health of soil is going on in all the villages of Gujarat. Through the soil testing, farmers are made to know the quality of their soil, ideal crop input mix for their soil, based on the data collected. The government issue soil health cards to the farmers. These cards contains details of soil analysis with recommendation for usage of right kind of fertilizers and seeds. Lacs of soil samples are collected and scientifically analysed reports per prepared. More than 25 lacs cards have been given to the farmers.

The state machinery is geared up to go to villages, meet the farmers, understand their problems and make available all governmental facilities. slowly and steadily miseries of farmers are removed. It is a hard work of about one lac government personnel at all levels from fifteen departments, banking personnels, members of cooperative society, member of milk unions, members of input agencies like fertilizers, pesticides and seeds. It is a festival of activities varying from distribution of free fertilizer kits to the BPL farmers, animal vaccination, creation of self help group.

Gujarat farmers has got a new perospective and broader vision owing to these mass campaign. Gujarat celebration of agriculture has received appreciation from the central government planning commission and also by Dr. M S Swaminathan, eminent agricultural scientist in the country. In total Gujarat has done a miracle in agriculture. It has brought a successful smile on the faces of the farmers.

(writter can be contected in the email ID : vsnathan7666@gmail.com)

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