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Thursday, Sep 12, 2002

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Stepping up agricultural growth

There cannot be any answer to the question, `Can Indian agriculture become globally competitive?' (Business Line, September 10). There is no other way than accepting the challenges and achieving the feat as early as possible.

Appropriate water management, rural infrastructure development, education, removing hurdles in marketing, improving quality and productivity, required incentives, eliminating wastage, etc., might be necessary. Labour is cheap. Most of those engaged in agriculture are small and marginal farmers. So, the agriculture policy has to be devised to meet their needs.

In this context, the editorial, `Murky MSP' (September 10) is relevant.

The MSP regime is to be restructured. But in doing so, it should serve the interest of all farmers, to help them in marketing, to reduce input costs, to promote diversification when necessary, to meet the challenges of subsidies by developed countries to their farmers, and dumping of cheap imports.

A. Jacob Sahayam

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