New Delhi: In the backdrop of Nandigram SEZ issue, the Government made it clear on 20 August that farm land cannot be acquired without the consent of the owner but said dependence on agriculture sector for employment needs to be reduced.
Responding to a question by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee on the Nandigram issue in the Lok Sabha, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said the effort is to discourage acquiring of fertile land.
No farm land can be acquired till there is consent of the owner, he said during Question Hour.
Pawar said the government wanted the agricultural production to increase but at the same time, dependence of people for livelihood on the sector needs to be reduced.
Noting that a big majority of country’s population depends on agriculture for livelihood, Pawar said 82 per cent of them possess less than 2.5 acres of land.
Most of them depend on rainfall, making their livelihood difficult, he said adding in view of this, it is better that they opt for alternative sources of employment.
Citing examples of developed countries like the UK and Germany, he said they also had heavy dependence on agriculture earlier, but now not more than four per cent of their population is into farming.
They diverted to other sectors and their problems were solved, Pawar said, adding the same example should apply to India if the situation is to change here.