National food security is of a great concern to all of us including the people belonging to Farm Sector and Non-farm Sector, Policy Makers, Social Workers, High-tech-Professionals, Industrialists and the people involved in governance of the country. In recent years, Government of India (GOI) has taken initiative towards ensuring the right to food to every citizen. It provides the legal entitlement of access to food to the people of the country. By this enact, no one will go to bed with hungry stomach or remain under-fed or under-nourished.
Ensuring all the citizen of the country for adequate and nutritive food is a complex phenomenon. It related firstly to the availability of food grains- that is the production aspect which regulates the supply; and secondly, access to the food grains- that is the affordability which is controlled by an individual economic factors. An increase production increases the supply, and increase supply eases the accessibility, provided an individual economics is no constraint. The production of food is mainly of agricultural domain and affordability is the opportunity for continual employment. Let us, look through the milestone that the country reached to overcome the complexity of food security.
The green revolution era of 1960-1980, has made significant contribution in transforming food deficit country to food surplus country. Agricultural development during this period was largely demand driven and backed by policy supporters and the willingness of hard working farmers who responded positively to new technologies. This has made possible to raise up the production of 50 million tonnes in 1952-53, to 176 million tonnes in 1980; to 210 million tonnes in 2001-02 and further to 236 million tonnes in 2010-11. The currently, agricultural land(Cultivable) is 142 million hectare, and the population is 1200 million of which 800 millions are farmers. It is envisaged that the country’s population by 2030-35 is estimated to around 1500 million (including 1000 million farmers) requiring 360 million tonnes food grains. Comparing the present level of production and that of the estimated production of 2035, there is a gap of around 124 million tonnes. At the same time, much of the agricultural land (currently under plough) would be diverted to non-agricultural uses leaving about 120 million hectare area for agricultural uses to produce 360 million tonnes of food grains. The current level of productivity is 1.7 tonnes per ha. Which needs to be raised to 3.0 tonnes per ha. It is almost double than current productivity rate. However, there are many bottlenecks caused due to natural phenomena (draught, erratic rainfall, soil and water degradation, global warming) and manmade events (over exploitation of soil and water, environmental pollution, industrial wastes, soil deterioration and diversion of Agril. Land to non-agril. uses etc) increasing the complexity in achieving the food security. All these have to be overcome by taking necessary and appropriate measures to achieve the goal of 3.0 tonnes productivity per ha in order to provide legal entitlement of access to food to the people of the country.
The spreading up and preaching the scientific knowledge and technology in agriculture adequately to every farm holding will form an integral part of a key of food production. In that strengthening human resource development in agriculture is of prime importance. The current level of spreading agricultural knowledge is for lower than expectation. If it is assumed that, one farm graduate may suffice for guiding, advising, developing, up-skilling, propagating and managing all sort of agricultural activities required by 1000 farmers, there would be necessity of 8 Lakh farm graduates currently. Comparing the current rate of passing out of farm graduate there required 50-60 years to meet above target of development of Human Resource for spreading agriculture literacy adequately.
Thus the present level of dissemination of agricultural education by Govt. agencies is far behind and much time lagging. And hence involvement of public partnership mode was thought an appropriate way to solve the crises in spreading of agricultural education and promoting agricultural literacy. This will meet adequate food supply and access to it by all.
The Govt. of Maharashtra, one of the most agriculturally progressive and liberal state has taken the initiative to involve the participation of people of state (NGO/Trust) to establish college of agricultural to train the Human Resource and to spread up the scientific skill and art in agriculture to reach to target expected in future. The establishment of Manoharbhai Patel College of Agricultural in Aug. 2009; by Bahujan Hitay Navyuvak Shikshan Sanstha, Hiratola is one such College offering agricultural education in remote, tribal and Naxallite affected area in extreme eastern part of Maharashtra (Dist. Gondia).
It is hoped, that this college will excel and fulfill the commitment of the people of the state in meeting challenges to ensure food for all.