ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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AGRICULTURE- Whistling in the Dark

AGRICULTURE Whistling in the Dark (From a Special Correspondent) SOME of the measures taken by the government, faced with the prospect of a prolonged crisis on the food front, are so jejune as to raise doubts about the government's seriousness. Take, for instance, the week-long discussions the- then Agriculture Minister held in June with individual state ministers of agriculture. Among the conclusions which emerged from the meetings were that states like Gujarat should make extensive use of dry farming technology that Assam should give priority to bamboo tubewells, that West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa should emphasise better water management for higher rice production, that Rains than should get enough aluminium conductors to energise its tubewells, that Tamil Nadu should encourage cultivation of tapioca in the unirrigated areas and, finally, that despite serious resource Constraints food production in the country could be increased through streamlining input .supplies and reorienting extension services. Nome of these propositions are so unknown as to have warranted the costly meetings; on the other hand, the factors which have hitherto stood in the way of their bring translated into practice are unlikely to disappear because of the former Agriculture Minister's personalised discussions and paternal advice.

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