Recently, our Executive Editor S.S. Dogra interacted with Mr. Puneet Singh Thind who is nurtured in the farmer's family of Punjab. Let's chalk it out what he says about his contribution in the field of agriculture &Rashtriya Kisan Sanghthan.
Q.1:What are the aims and objectives of Rashtriya Kisan Sanghthan?
Ans: RKS is a nationwide farmer organization strives for welfare of farming community. RKS has mandate of strengthening farm extension system for farmers by organizing lab to land and land to lab programs. RKS orgnaize farmer events, seminars, workshops, farmer field days etc for this purpose. RKS work for farmers' linkage to market through special initiatives.
Q.2:What does RKS do for the farmers?
Ans: Farmers has different problems in different parts of the country. RKS participate in policy debate for farmer at state and national levels to articulate the problems faced by farmers. At block and village level, RKS organize events to educate farmers on govt schemes, technological advancements and market developments through events like Kisan Jagriti Mela, Buyer Seller Meets, Seed Development Programs, Young Farmers Conclave, Progressive Farmers Meets etc to name a few.
Q.3:How many farmers are actively associated with RKS?
Ans: Nearly 32,000 farmers are associated with RKS as its individual members and associate organizations.
Q.4:What is your experience as farmer ?
Ans: I am practicing farmer hails from village Hadana District Patila. We have family farm in patiala and saharanpur where we are doing mix farming with food grain, vegetable and plantation. I have worked in Africa on large scale farming too and have diversified experience of farming in various parts of East and West Africa.
Q.5:As you are the President of Haryana & Punjab, how are you able to contribute or spare your time for the welfare of the farmers of both the states?
Ans: Being actively involved in agriculture for full time and with the ease for modern telecom gadgets and social media tools, its quite easy to remain at disposal for farmers. RKS has a proud history of farmer welfare services since year 1965. For us Punjab & Haryana continues to be one unit only and for all our activities farmers. Within states, we have identified our operation area as per crops grown, not as per states.
Q.6:What are the Problems Indian farmers facing & what are suggestion for them?
Ans: Nothing else seems more difficult to farmers than marketing their produce. name a crop which is not prone to market fluctuations and traders' nexus. RKS strongly advocate the idea of organizing farming community and therefore, we are involved in promoting of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in different parts of India through our associate farmer groups. RKS team is handling Market of Wheels project in Gurgaon to sell farm products directly to consumers.
Q.7:Since Nasik produces maximum onions, why not other parts of India unable to do so?
Ans: There are two things, first is hallmark of quality linked to a particular place because of native features or in other words its more for marketing a produce. This is similar to saying Karnal Basmati is world known or Abohar/ Fazilka kinnow, whereas crops are grown in other neighboring areas too. Look at it this way, In various parts of Puna districts like Naryangaon, Junnar machanr etc, Onion is grown to the same tune as in Nasilk, but world know better Nasikl only.
Secondly, local agronomic conditions and PH practices gives an edge. Onion grown in Rajasthan and M.P. has smaller shelf life than produced in Nasik/Puna.
Q.8:As per your recommendation How a farmer should manages to do market for his agricultural production ?
Ans: Power of Accumulation always pays. We have witnessed collective marketing through FPOs, Cooperatives and Grower Associations, farmers have realized better price. In certain cases, farmers have bring produce slowly to the market than flooding its instantly, provided them better prices. So, they should wait and watch if they can afford it economically.
Q.9:What are your expectation form the new central Govt., particularly for the development of Agricultural sector?
Ans: Govt must declare clean sweep reforms for agriculture as we have seen during 90s for the industry and service sector. Allocation of budget to a significant higher level coupled with good governance is expected from govt as this stage.
Q.10:Please explain any new scheme for the benefit of farmers at large.
Ans: Declaring year 2014 as year of FPOs and SFAC (nodal agency of DAC) to promote nearly 200 FPOs around the country is going to benefit farmers at large.
(Interviewed by S.S.Dogra-Executive Editor Krishi Jagran Media Group)