Need to make farming lucrative in India: Sadhguru
Renowned spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has made a strong call to aggregate investment in irrigation and make farming "lucrative" for farmers in India. Sadhguru, founder of the Isha Foundation, was speaking at the commemoration of the World Water Day and the launch of the International Decade for Action Water for Sustainable Development 2018 2028 at the UN headquarters.
No farmer wants his children to go into farming: Sadhguru
"If you ask farmers in India, how many of them want their children to go into farming, believe me, it is less than 10 percent. Nobody wants their children to go into farming," said Sadhguru. "So what will happen in the future, they will sell their land and then how do you produce food in a country with such a massive population," he added.
Sadhguru on making farmers stay back in their villages
"If farmers are to stay back in the villages, we have to make farming lucrative and the infrastructure in the villages should become reasonably urbanized. Then farmers will have an incentive to live in the villages and not move to the nearest towns or cities."
'The country needs to urbanize rural areas'
"My vision for the country is to urbanize rural areas. What is available in the cities must be available in the villages," the spiritual leader said. The plight of farmers is that they are debt-ridden, Sadhguru said. "The biggest expense on the farm is the irrigation system - we are looking at how to aggregate irrigation through farmer producer organizations," he said.
'Investment in irrigation and marketing should be aggregated'
Sadhguru said that if irrigation is aggregated, there will be no debt burden on the farmers and they will need to pay only rent for the water used in their fields. "Investment in irrigation and marketing should be aggregated. Large corporations should be brought into this, but the fear is, the corporations will dominate you. Therefore, the farmers' bodies must become large," he said.
'Farmers should come together for irrigation and marketing'
Currently, farmers come together only to protest on the streets but "the farmers should come together for irrigation and marketing. The farmer producer organizations (FPOs) can help in that," he said. Sadhguru said that he is looking at demonstrating successful large-scale FPOs with 25,000-50,000 farmers where they could "come together and become large corporation themselves. Then they will have marketing and purchasing power."