R. Madhavan Nair

Wants Agriculture Department to be restructured

KOZHIKODE: The All India Kisan Sabha, farmers' wing of the Communist Party of India (CPI), has voiced its grave concern at the absence of development in the State's agriculture sector in spite of generous allocation of funds to local bodies in the last one decade.

Talking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Sathyan Mokeri, State general secretary of the organisation, said the Kisan Sabha had recently conducted a detailed study of the State's agriculture scene and found that the farm sector had not made any progress in the last one decade. The organisation has conveyed to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government its view that neither decentralisation nor generous release of funds to local bodies (under the People's Plan Campaign) has spurred growth in the sector.

The Kisan Sabha had placed before the Government a blueprint for the farm sector soon after the LDF formed its Government. Later it had formed a panel of experts headed by R. Haily to prepare a set of recommendation. These were discussed in detail at a workshop recently. The Kisan Sabha's list suggestions on farm development during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan was finalised at the workshop.

Appealing to the Government to lay emphasis on farmers' welfare programmes in the Eleventh Plan, the Kisan Sabha has suggested restructuring of the Agriculture Department as department for farmers' welfare and agriculture development. An objective and bold reappraisal of the development programmes undertaken in three-tier local bodies should be done by the Government.