Revival of agriculture in hills is necessary to check migration

DAINIK NATION BUREAU

Revival of agriculture in hills is necessary if the villages deserted due to migration are to be habituated again. The revival of agriculture and resulting income generation from it will bring about the desired development and prosperity in the mountainous regions which have been hit hard by migration especially after the creation of Uttarakhand state. These were some of the views expressed by speakers in a meet organised under the banner of Garib Kranti Abhiyan on the subject of land consolidation, development of agriculture and horticulture in the mountainous region of the state.

Speaking as the chief guest on the occasion, Beej Bachao activist Vijay Jadadhari stressed on the need for understanding what a village community is in the mountainous region. He said, “Neither the central government nor the state government are doing the needful in the agriculture sector. The government does not care about decreasing the load of the Ghasyari (women cutting and carrying grass for fodder). When the former chief secretary late RS Tolia talked of encouraging organic culture in the state, there was considerable talk but such was the absence of necessary action that Sikkim which started the organic culture initiative after the subject was raised in Uttarakhand has succeeded in achieving its aim while we lag behind. In the mountains, a village cannot exist without farming and development in agriculture and animal husbandry is essential for bringing back to life the villages deserted following migration. However, the government policies remain skewed and it is through such flawed government policies that detrimental conditions are created which result in disasters like cloudbursts. We will have to understand our villages and revive them by progressing in agriculture and animal husbandry at a time when the thinking of governments remains in favour of emptying the villages and not settling them.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, former general manager of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development(NABARD) BP Nautiyal said that the support of the Gram Pradhans should be secured in order to work at war footing for land consolidation in every block of the mountainous region. At the rural level, the people will have to come forward for voluntary land consolidation, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, social worker Dwarika Prasad Semwal said that those living in the cities will have to provide a market for produce generated in villages.  One will have to respect the state’s traditional produce so as to enable the farmer in mountainous region to gain strength. He also stressed on the need for land consolidation for achieving the desired progress in farming in Uttarakhand. Addressing the gathering, coordinator of Garib Kranti, Kapil Dobhal stressed that the government should take action at the groun level to implement land consolidation and prepare a separate manual for land consolidation in the mountainous region. The government should develop two villages each in Garhwal and Kumaon regions as model villages for land consolidation. Farmer schools should be opened at the block level in order to train the farmers in scientific techniques of agriculture in the mountainous region, he added.

Expressing his views on the occasion, the legal advisor of the Garib Kranti campaign, Ramesh Datt Uniyal said that large scale sale and purchase of agriculture land in the mountainous regions presently underway should be stopped to prevent its very damaging results.

Former Chakbandi Bandobast officer Kunwar Singh Bhandari said that if the honesty with which land consolidation awareness work is being carried out at the societal level is replicated at the governmental level, it could be possible to solve the issue of migration which is the biggest problem affecting the mountains.A Chakbandi song was also released on the occasion.

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