Staff Reporter

NELLORE: Economist Jayati Ghosh has stressed the need for taking up research on agriculture in view of the changing climatic conditions in the country and guide farmers accordingly.

Ms. Ghosh, who was here to participate in the 25th conference of the Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Workers Union (APAWU) on Thursday, expressed concern over the increasing malnutrition among children and women, rising prices of foodgrains, poor Public Distribution System (PFS) and less investment on agriculture sector in rural areas by the State governments.

Panel reports ignored

Though there were recommendations by M.S. Swaminathan Committee and other committees’ reports (in the States), the Centre was not ready to implement the recommendations. Despite good production of foodgrains in the country, the problem of food security and hunger had been increasing by the day, she said. About 60 per cent of the infants and women are suffering with malnutrition in the country. The prices of food grains and other essential commodities had increased by 45 per cent in the last five years where as the wages were hardly hiked.

Apart from rice, the government should also announce MSP for wheat, sugar, oil seeds, jowar, maize, bajra and other crops and purchase the produce from farmers directly. Statistics from the government departments states that tax benefits worth Rs.3 lakh crore were given to big companies by the UPA government in the last five years. The government had waived Rs.45,000 crore to a corporate company which was in oil and gas extracting, mobiles and other sectors just in a year and the Centre had received Rs.30,000 crore kickbacks from infrastructure and manufacturing companies, she alleged.