In my directive to the provincial governments and the central government Ministries concerned I had emphasized the importance of the integrated Rural Development Programme to make our country self-sufficient in food and to earn badly needed foreign exchange to build up our shattered economy. So far we have tried many plans under the Basic Democracies system, village AID, Agricultural Development Corporation but they have failed due to various reasons. To my mind the main cause of all these failures was poor execution. Probably integrated Rural Development Programme is our last hope to improve the economic position of our vast majority of small farmers and thus improve the quality of life in villages, afford employment opportunities, reduce the gap between the urban and rural areas so that the people living in the villages may participate with their colleagues in the cities with pride in political, social and economic life of the country.
I am very happy to learn that the four provincial governments have prepared their plans on Integrated Rural Development with necessary modifications to suit their own conditions based on the recommendations of the Integrated Rural Development Committee and in the light of my directive. The necessary amount has also been budgeted in the Annual Development Programme and provincial governments are all set to launch the programme on 1st July, 1972 simultaneously.
I would like to point out that no amount of money would be adequate to make the programme a success unless we change our approach and start the programme with dedication and missionary spirit based on the principles of self-reliance, self-financing and full accountability. In the past very good programmes have been formulated but they failed because no one was made accountable for the success of the programme. I would, therefore, appeal to all concerned to make the very best use of our limited resources and evolve a mechanism whereby every functionary in the field not only gets a sense of participation but feels the responsibility to produce the results against which his performance would be judged either to be a rewarded or fired.
We cannot afford the luxury of sophisticated methods and equipment which require pumping of unlimited amount of money. We are a poor country. Therefore, our approach must be simple, unorthodox, practical and maximum efforts be made to use unconventional methods based on human ingenuity to achieve our goals. Example should be set by the Government functionaries and no one should feel ashamed to do the manual work in the field alongwith our farming community.
In order to effect the economy there must be a full integration at the lowest level and very close co-ordination between the integrated Rural development Programme and the works programme. In fact the works programme should prove a catalytic agent to enthuse and inspire the rural population to help themselves. All nation building departments, functionaries, farmers, scientists and private sector should form a well knit team marching towards a common goal. This I sonly possible if we all work with a national spirit without inter-departmental jealousies, frictions, prejudices and without caring as to who gets the credit.
The programme has been based on Shadab Pilot Project where continuous experiments should be carried out so that it acts as a mother institution to feed all other projects. The Central Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Underdeveloped Areas should play a predominant role in policy guidelines, follow up actions, co-ordination and evaluation. This may require some changes in the organization and functions of the Ministry particularly because integrated Rural Development Programme can go a long way in developing such areas in the four province but the special attention must be paid to Baluchistan and NWFP. This may require sponsoring by the Central Government some special projects in these provinces.
I would also like to appeal to the private sector and other national and international agencies concerned directly or indirectly with the development or agriculture to extend all possible help to make this programme a success. The participation of private sector in Shadab Pilot Project is quite encouraging but there is a need to expand their activities in all the projects in the four provinces. The private sector can participate in various activities to diversify and commercialize agriculture such as mechanized farming, transportation, warehousing, construction of cheap houses, agro industries, supply of inputs and marketing operations.
We will know the pivitol role which credit plays in the development of agriculture. Apart from the agricultural development bank, I hope all other commercial banks would join in the programme. As far as the Agricultural Development Bank is concerned there is a need to reorientate the role of this bank so that it takes part in the development for agriculture in the real sense. I shall address the bankers, private sector, scientists, industrialist and the farmers in this regard in the near future.
No one can deny the necessity to educate our farmers about the programme. Therefore, there is need to organize well coordinated programme though various media i.e. Radio Press, Television, Seminars not only to pool and integrate our thinking but also to motivate every one with full sense of participation. The programme must be expanded gradually but farmers must feel the impact by the end of Kharif this year. I have already repeatedly emphasized that no programe should be thrust from the top. The people from the rural areas- must make their own plans according to their felt needs under their own leaders and this is where the local bodies set up will help in encouraging the local leadership.
At this stage when the programme is well poised to be launched on 1st July, 1972, I urge everyone concerned with the programme o go ahead with full confidence and courage to meet the challenge. You will be judged by the results that you produce.