Swaminathan Committee Report

Whenever we talk about farmers demands, protest and recommendation the first thing comes in our mind was the National Commission on Farmers (NCF) Swaminathan committee report. Many people talk about proper implementation of Swaminathan report. Let’s know about the report and its recommendations in this blog. /span>


* National Commission on Farmers

* Suggestions/ Recommendations of Swaminathan Committee 

National Commission on Farmers 

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Farmers suicide in India is very crucial matter, the numbers were in increasing manner from last few years. To address the nationwide problem of farmer’s suicide Government of India constituted the National Commission on Farmers (NCF) under the chairmanship of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan. The commission has submitted four reports from the year 2004-06 and the fifth and final report was submitted on 4 October 2006. The final report contain suggestions to achieve the goal of ‘faster and more inclusive growth .These approaches were included in 11th Five Year Plan and are collectively termed the M .S. Swaminathan report for farmers.

Mainly to address the farmer’s suicide problem the committee was constituted. There were other issues on which NCF is mandated to make suggestions. Such as

1. To prepare medium - term strategy for food and nutrition security in the country

2.  For enhancing productivity, profitability, and sustainability of the major farming systems of the country.

3. To form Policy reforms to substantially increase flow of rural credit to all farmers;

4. To formulate special programmes for dryland farming for farmers in the arid and semi-arid regions, as well as for farmers in hilly and coastal areas

5. Suggestions for enhancing the quality and cost competitiveness of farm commodities so as to make them globally competitive

6. To make strategies for protecting farmers from imports when international prices fall sharply

7. Empowering elected local bodies to effectively conserve and improve the ecological foundations for sustainable agriculture.

Recommendations of Swaminathan Committee:

The recommendation of Swaminathan committee can be studied under following heads such as asset reforms, reform in support services, farmers of the future, attracting youth, public policy and sustainable livelihood.

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Reforms of Agricultural Assets

Land Reforms:

* To bring reforms in tenancy laws, land leasing, distribution of ceiling surplus land and wasteland.

* Prevent scattering of main agricultural land and forest land to the corporate sector for non-agricultural purposes.

* In providing grazing rights and seasonal access to forests to tribal and pastoralists, and access to common property resources.

* To establish a National Land Use Advisory Service which will be helpful to link land use decisions with ecological meteorological and marketing factors on a location and season-specific basis.

Irrigation /Water:

* Making rainwater harvesting and aquifer recharge mandatory for the farmers and they should be provided with financial assistance in developing such projects.

*The improved irrigation practices, including sprinkler and drip irrigation should be given more priority along with cultivation of high value but low water requiring crops should be promoted in water scared areas.

* For sustainable use of groundwater water literacy movement, for equitable distribution of water Pani Panchayat in every village should be encouraged

Livestock and Fisheries:

* Establishment of Livestock Feed and Fodder Corporations at the State level to get quality feed and fodder and establishment of  National Livestock Development Council for integrated and overall development of livestock’s.

* To impart training to fisherman establishment of Fish for All Training and Capacity Building Centers.

Bio resources:

*Preserving traditional rights of access to non-timber forest products like medicinal plants, gums and resins, oil-yielding plants and beneficial micro-organisms. Conserving, enhancing and improving crops and farm animals as well as fish stocks through breeding.

* The genetic technology for the development of novel genetic combinations for important economic traits, such as resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses should be used in prolific manner.

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>Reforms in support services:

Agro- metrology:

*Formation of a National Land Use Advisory Service and integration of internet-FM or HAM radio service to help fishermen fishing in the high seas.

Credit and Insurance:

* Need to expand outreach of formal credit system and reduction on crop loan interest rates to 4%.

*Establish an Agriculture Risk Fund to provide relief to farmers.

* Need of Integrated credit-cum-crop-livestock human health insurance package and provision of Crop insurance across country for all crops with reduced premiums.

* Expansion of Kisan Credit Cards to women.

Food Security:

* Implementation of a universal public distribution system

* Delivery of nutrition support programmes should be reorganized with a life-cycle basis with the participation of Panchayats and local bodies.

* Through an integrated food cum fortification approach need to eliminate micronutrient deficiency induced hidden hunger.

* Need to have National Food Guarantee Act continuing the useful features of the food for work and employment guarantee programmes.

* Community Food and Water Banks operated by Women Self-help Groups (SHG) establishment

Apart from the above recommendations committee had also gave some suggestions for future farming or agriculture system like

* Cooperative Farming and Service Cooperatives

* Adaptation of Group Farming and Contact Farming practices

* Farmers’ Companies: Small farmers and SHGs should be associated with such companies as stakeholders and not just as shareholders.

* Attracting Youth in agriculture or farming

>Most of the recommendation made by the committee were implemented by the both the state and central government under various schemes and programmmes. But when it comes to the recommendation on minimum supporting price (MSP) major disagreement lies between the governments and the committee.

   Thus instead of shying away from agricultural reforms, the governments must address the challenges and implement strategies towards uplifting the standard of living of our farmers.

(Content Sources: Swaminathan Committee Report: An Overview by Biswajit Hota and S. P. Singh) 

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