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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Modernise Or Perish

By The Editor

Though majority of Meghalaya’s population about 75 percent is engaged in agricultural
production and allied activities yet it is comparatively poor and has to depend much on import of food grains to feed its growing number of mouths. Quality of farmers remain stagnant and educated youths are in search of limited white-collar jobs in urban areas refusing to return to their native villages because they are not equipped to take up challenges of farming. So they become economically idle since they feel that tilling the land and sowing the crops is below their dignity. At the same time rate of industrialization is still quite low and so many of modern needs have to be imported from outside the state thus causing flow of capital outside. Hence there is an urgent need for Meghalaya to have right and prosper planning otherwise the state will continue to remain poor and depend much on aid from the Centre for sustenance and development. This issue is indeed great challenge which cannot be ignored nor further delayed.

Glimpses at some of the developed nations will surely inspire our country and even our state to surge forward in his important sector. In the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) about 5 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture, in Israel and Australia about 10 per cent and in Japan about 20 per cent. Not only that these countries are self-sufficient but they also export outside because agricultural techniques in these advanced nations are characterized by high degree of mechanization and intensive use of land with high-yielding seed varieties developed by scientists and researchers. Crops are grown not only for human consumption and sale at markets but also for animal feed and industry. Livestock are kept for their meat as well as for their milk, hides and wool. Overall proportion of world’s population employed in agriculture is declining although absolute number of agriculturists is still rising. Despite increase in production however agricultural output cannot totally meet requirement of humans because of population increase and certain artificial causes especially in least developed Afro-Asian nations.

Some regions are also resorting to irrigation facilities due to irregular or shortage of rainfall. People have abandoned shifting or jhum cultivation because of land scarcity.
Science and technology has come as great relief to farmers. As proportion of farming community continues to decline and labour shortage creates problem therefore solution lies with mechanization. Agricultural education is great boon which produces well-informed farmers and dynamic entrepreneurs. Geographical topology of Meghalaya does not favour heavy machineries like in plain belt of the country but those of medium size or even less will be very advantageous and preferred. Farmers too must keep themselves well-informed and be-up-to-date with latest developments in agriculture sector. John D. Rockefeller advised, “If you want to succeed, you should strike out on new paths rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”

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