The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has set up a cow cabinet in order to boost the rural economy of the state. Chouhan is known for delivering the highest agricultural growth in Madhya Pradesh compared to other states of the country, and now, to further boost the rural economy, he is focusing on cattle conservation.
“Industrialisation cannot be the only solution towards providing employment. The economy surrounding cows is a sustainable one which is going on for over 2,000 years. Through this cabinet, the government will provide for sustainable infrastructure for developing a cow-economy to raise incomes in the rural setup,” he said.
Promotion of cattle ownership is in sync with the Hindutva driven model of governance and economy, as well as helps in raising the income for rural households. An economy driven by agriculture would be eco-friendly and sustainable.
The Chouhan government will hold the first meeting of the cow cabinet on November 22, on the eve of Gopashtami, a festival dedicated to Bhagwan Krishna and cows at a gau-abhyaran or cow sanctuary in Agar-Malwa. The cow cabinet will consist of ministers in charge of Animal Husbandry, Panchayat and Rural Development, Forest, Revenue, Home and Farmers’ Welfare departments.
Madhya Pradesh’s economy is heavily reliant on agriculture with 70 per cent of the people employed in the sector against 55 per cent of the national average. Therefore, the Shivraj Chouhan decided to focus on reforming the agricultural sector of the state. When he came to power in the state in 2005, MP’s share in the agricultural output of the country was just 5 per cent. Under his leadership, it reached 8 per cent in 2014 and is expected to touch 10 per cent by 2021.
Under Digvijay Singh, MP’s share in wheat production of the state declined from 11.3 per cent to 10.2 per cent within one decade, while under Chouhan’s leadership, its share almost doubled to 17 per cent. Before Shivraj Chouhan, agriculture was largely dependent on rainwater and this made farmers vulnerable to droughts. The Chouhan government made heavy investments in agricultural infrastructure, particularly irrigation. The state government decided to give a bonus on the MSP of wheat, which played a huge part in encouraging farmers and also led to the doubling of output. It is not just wheat production where MP performs well, the state’s share in Soybean (90%), Grams (36%), Oilseeds (25%), and Pulses (24 %) is even more spectacular.
The Chouhan government is known for its track record of double-digit agricultural growth in the state for more than a decade. Policymakers and critics across the political spectrum have appreciated Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for the double-digit GDP growth in the agricultural sector. Under the leadership of Chouhan, the state moved on the path of development by embracing agricultural growth and millions were pulled out of poverty through agriculture.
Now, he is ready to make the state a powerhouse of Animal Husbandry. Given the rising appetite of the consumers for milk, meat, honey, fur, leather, wool and many other products related to livestock, cattle ownership could significantly improve the income of farmers. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who himself is an agriculturalist despite being Gold Medalist in Philosophy from Barkatullah University, is a visionary as far as Agricultural economy is concerned. And, under his leadership, the farmers of Madhya Pradesh are set to take a great leap forward.