The Madhya Pradesh Congress government has set up an exclusive Agriculture Advisory Council (ACC) which will work for the welfare of the farmers in the state and works as a bridge between the government and the farmers.
The council will work as a watchdog for farmers’ issue. It will advise, implement, monitor state and centre-aided policies. It will check the pricing of crops, corruption in mandis, and give feedback to the government on farmers’ issues.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath and the state Agriculture Minister will be the chairman and vice-chairman of the council. Representatives of farmers’ organisation and farmers’ union will be members of the council.
The decision has been taken nine years after Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government formed a special Krishi Cabinet to resolve farmers’ issues, but the cabinet’s decision hardly made any impact on ending farmers’ exodus.
With a term of five years, the 20-member council includes top government bureaucrats and the vice-chancellor of Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gwalior. The secretary, Agriculture Department, will be the secretary of the council.
Interestingly, the council comprises farmer leader Shivkumar Sharma alias Kakkaji, president of Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, who is known for spearheading big farmers’ agitations across the state. Welcoming the move, he said, “The farmers would benefit if the government implements his recommendations in the right earnest.”
Besides monitoring the ongoing major flagship schemes of the state government like loan waiver, bonus on crops and so on, the AAC will also get feedback for the prices of agriculture produce and “work in the direction of making agriculture a profitable venture.”
Government sources said CM Kamal Nath wanted an organisation to monitor farmers’ issues along with the monitoring of various schemes, including the loan waiving scheme.
There will be seven non-government members, including Dinesh Gurjar from Morena, Shivkumar Sharma from Hoshangabad, Umrao Singh Gurjar from Neemuch, Kedar Sirohi from Harda, Vishwanath Okte from Chhindwara and Tarachand Patidar and Brijbihari Patel from Jabalpur.
The council will give suggestions and recommendations to the state government on the basis of feedback from the farmers. Its responsibilities also include reviewing the implementation of Centre-aided as well as state-aided schemes, besides extending their benefits to farmers and also making certain recommendations after receiving suggestions.