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Dr. T. Haque, Eminent Agricultural Economist passes away due to COVID-19

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
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Dr. T. Haque

Dr. T. Haque is a well-known agricultural economist and with a heavy heart we pay deep respect to the great persona who passed away due to COVID -19 complications. He is well known for his expertise in areas of agriculture development and policy. Dr T Haque was so honest and courageous in his own ways of explaining early this year amid the chaos that reigned in the country on the Farm Bills.

He was courageous enough to express his views that these farm bills are good only in theory and are far removed from the ground realities of the small and marginal farmers Unless small and marginal farmers are organised as cooperatives or producers’ groups, they will fail to benefit from such big reforms.

He has worked at various capacities with Government of India and also with many International Organisations for over more than 2 decades. He served as a consultant to several international organizations such as the International Labour Organisation, Food and Agricultural Organisation and the World Bank. Also worked as member/chairman of several professional societies, working groups and advisory boards of Planning Commission, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture, CII, ICAR, NIRD, HIRD, member of several expert committees of the Government of India, and the State Governments of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Dr. Haque also served as Director, CSD prior to which he was Chairperson, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Government of India and was appointed National Fellow of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research at the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research

Recently he has been appointed as Honorary Chairperson of the Special Cell on Land Policy in the Niti Aayog. Dr. Haque is also known as a land expert in India and abroad. He has been associated with land-related issues in South Asian countries for quite a long time. He has been working as an Advisor to Landesa, which works in more than 40 countries. He is presently heading the ten-member committee constituted by NITI Aayog to review the tenancy laws of various states.

He has authored, co-authored, and edited more than 100 publications including books like “Land Policies for inclusive Growth”. His writings are largely on rural development, agricultural policies to facilitate inclusive policy works for developing countries like India. Empowerment of Rural Women in Developing Countries, Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Bt. Cotton in India, Land Policies for Inclusive Growth, Agrarian Reforms and Institutional Changes in India, Impact of Land Reforms on Agriculture and Rural Development, Transfer of Technology to Small Farmers and Impact of Tenancy Reform on Agricultural Productivity and Socio-economic Status of Tenants and Sustainability of Small Holder Agriculture

Devinder Sharma, Agriculture Economist remembers Dr. T Haque as a people's economist, a rare breed nowadays. He says he had the pleasure of knowing him before he became the acting Chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). He remembers meeting him for the first time when Prof M S Swaminathan had called us at a time when he was preparing the Food Insecurity Atlas. That must have been a few decades ago. He says he has  attended most of the conferences/seminars he organised and recalls him to be a fellow panelist, who was courageous to put forth his views honestly.

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