PROBLEMS WITH INDIAN AGRICULTURE AND FARMER SUICIDE

Author: Abhsihek Sharma

The roots of Indian agriculture could be traced from the Indus Valley Civilization that was one of the earliest civilizations. About seventy percent of Indian population depends on agriculture. One-third of National income comes from agriculture. India is the fastest growing exporter of agricultural products over a 10-year period, its $39 billion of net exports is more than double the combined exports of the European Union .According to CIA FACEBOOK India is 2nd larger producer of agriculture product. India accounts for 7.68 percent of total global agricultural output.

However Indian agriculture remain undeveloped for long time and India had to import large amount of food from other countries to full fill domestic requirements and in addition to that after the Independence in mid 1960’s severe drought was been faced India . At this point of time India realised that they have to grow their agriculture produce to full fill their domestic needs by themselves, this resulted start-up of ‘GREEN REVOLUTION ‘in India by Indian minister of agriculture C. Subramaniam .Under this Dams were constructed across many of the main rivers and canals were dug out to provide water for the irrigation of the land. Tube-wells and pump-sets were provided to the farmers to irrigate the fields, where canal water could not reach. The use of better seeds, fertilizers and new techniques in agriculture were provided to farmers. According to Gobind Thukral, “Green Revolution had generated lakhs of new jobs in Punjab. Almost 15 lakh poor people from the impoverished regions of Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Orissa got employed and started working. They not only earn their bread and butter, but take back home new ideas and technology so that they could start agriculture on their field to earn more money”.

An estimate of total number of farmers in India in 2011, were range from 95.8 million (8%) to 263 million (22%) to 450 million (38%), out of a total of over 1.2 billion population of India because of this high percentage agriculture had played an important role in uplifting the economy of India. Indian agriculture produces food grain, spices, vegetable, fruits beverages, seeds and pulses. However, after dealing in wide variety of agrarian products – in today’s world Indian agriculture is diminishing which lead to decline in the economic contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP.

Indian agriculture is mainly declining due to the problems faced by farmers of India some problems are arise due to natural reason while others man made reasons.

Seeds are the most basic input that a farmer needs for the agriculture on the basis of good quality of seeds only the production of land would be profitable, hence seed play a crucial role in production but due to the poor conditions of farmer good and high quality seeds are out of the reach of many Indian farmers as these seeds are expensive and some of the area good seed are also not easily available. The role of seed industry is not only to produce sufficient quantity of quality/improved seeds but also to achieve different kind of diversity of seeds to cope up with various agro-climatic zones of the country. National Seeds Corporation (NSC) in 1963 and the State Farmers Corporation of India (SFCI) in 1969 were established by the government of India. Some other steps were also taken by govt like establishment of Thirteen State Seed Corporations and High Yielding Variety Programme in order to expand and boost the supply of improved and good quality seeds to the farmers. All these organisation and programs were launched by the govt. for the betterment of the Indian farmers by providing adequate quality of seeds at appropriate time and place to meet the country’s goal. By these policies farmers are provided by certified seed in accordance to grow their production

Many times seed companies falsely sell their unimproved seeds in order to earn more profit due to which claiming productivity does not arises which generate trouble for the farmers

However after so many efforts still improved quality of seeds are still out of the reach of various marginal and poor farmers, due to this they are now also reliable on old unimproved seeds which leads agriculture to unproductive way. Many times seed companies falsely sell their unimproved seeds in order to earn more profit due to which claiming productivity does not arises which generate trouble for the farmers.

Irrigation provides an essential and major role in good yielding of crops because it is essential to supply water uniformly to the entire field uniformly, so that each plant has the amount of water it needs, neither too much nor too little which could be harmful for the crops and could easily effect the productivity. In India large amount of farmers are depended on monsoon for purpose of irrigation to the crops, if monsoon fail it affects the crop, all this dependency arises because of scarcity and mismanagement of water. It’s impossible for some farmers to provide irrigation facility to crops because sometimes irrigation facilities are costly and out of the reach. If farmers are able to provide adequate amount of water then they could use high quality of seeds which required sufficient amount of water. For overcoming this problem India have to make beneficial irrigation system by constructing Canals, ponds etc. It is assumed that for making progress in agriculture more than half crops should be provided assured irrigation facility. Some technique for storage of water should also be created so that monsoon water could be stored and used in future.

Country like India is dealing in agriculture from more than thousand years which cause depletion of soil as till now restoring of soil was not given important by the farmers in early times, in today’s world this result in negatively effecting the productivity of farmers. If nourishment would be provided to soil than the soil would also provide good quality of crops. It is been assumed that use of fertilisers enhance the growth of soil but it’s difficult to provide fertilisers to all the famers where agriculture is been practise in such a large extent.

Cow dung is an important and historical source of the fertilisers; however from the ancient time in India cow dung is used as kitchen fuel for making food, hence cow dung is used in fewer amounts for fertiliser and all the chemical fertilisers and pesticides that can be used are expensive and out the reach of many marginalised and poor farmers.

Pests, weeds, germs etc cause the heavy damage to the crop for this purpose pesticides are been used by the farmers but it also causes trouble because many farmers doesn’t know that how much amount of pesticide should be used that would be helpful for preventing the crops. Hence excessive use of pesticide cause damage to productivity and cause problem for farmers. Many steps are been taken by the govt. of India to provide fertilisers and pesticides to farmers but yet these steps are not enough to provide them full relief.

As evolution of time take place the farmers has to also evolutes but now also many farmers are using old type of machinery and technique for the agriculture. Some areas like Punjab, Haryana use new technique however in many areas of India still farming is done by old methods; this is specially cases where poor and marginal farmers reside. Use of new technique is important input so that less time could be consumed and better outcome could be provide at the time of productivity. It also helps farmer to do multiple cropping method so that more profit could be earned. Some growth in technique was enabled at time of green revolution in India when the farmer started to own tractors, power tillers, harvesters and other machines which helps them to earn more profit. Many programmes are also been organised by govt. so that new technique and advantage of these techniques could be made understand to the farmers.

Due to some changes in law related to the land in India in some areas large amount of land is with the big farmers and big land lords while large amount of farmers are without land or are without very less land due to which productivity is less and they can’t earn much income from that. Many times poor farmers in village area had to keep land on mortgage for getting expenses for input of agriculture or personal use but they are unable to pay back the debt , due which there land got occupied by mortgagor. Sometimes these money lending rich people also cheat the farmers in order to earn more profit from them , this also cause serious trouble for many of the Indian farmers. Many times farmers has to sell their produce to the money lenders as it is condition set up at the time of mortgage by the money lender.
After the farmer grows crops it the time to sell it and earn profit but after so long time of independence market is still not perfect and faces many kind of problems. Large numbers of farmers are dependent on local traders or middlemen so that their productivity could reach to the main market, this cause difficulty for the farmers as they have to agree on amount which are been pay to them by middleman which is very less because middleman want to earn more profit as they know that farmers has no other choice in spite of selling their productivity on low amount. In addition to transportation also main market out of the reach of poor farmers, till now many villages does not have well established roads which causes problem in connectivity, now also large number of farmer are using bullock-cart for the purpose of transportation, while some poor farmers does not have even bullock-cart. Many market surveys have revealed that middlemen take away about 48 per cent of the price of rice, 52 per cent of the price of ground nuts and 60 per cent of the price of potatoes offered by consumers. To ensure that the farmers are not subjected to exploitation of local trader, middleman and receive remunerative prices govt had made regulated market in order to set up system of competitive buying. However there is need to setup more effective plan by the govt to overcome agriculture marketing problem of the farmers.

As agriculture are been practised in urban areas in urban areas many animals and birds also reside which also sometimes damage the crops of the farmers.

To earn profit it is essential that one has to invest input in it same is agriculture sector also to get good productivity money has to been invested in it but large section of poor farmers are not able to invest in it. So in early times money lenders and big farmers were use to pay money to small and poor farmers to invest. Sometimes some of them also use to do fraud with the uneducated poor farmers. In present scenario institutional agencies such as Central Cooperative Banks, State Cooperative Banks, Commercial Banks, Cooperative Credit Agencies and some Government Agencies are providing loan to the farmers on simple terms but due to the other problems faced by the farmers that are been discussed above makes difficult for the famers to repay the loans.

Farmers work tirelessly to produce crops and grains for the country without which one cannot survive but in today’s world these famers are committing suicide. In recent time alarming percentage has been noted in regard to suicide of the farmers of India .In India in early 1990 first few cases were seen where the farmers committing suicide and from that time this number is being kept on increasing.

According to report in 2014 approximately 5,650 farmers in India committed suicide. Among which region like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala had highest rate in suicide of farmer’s .In many families of India, agriculture is sole earning method. Farmers families are fully dependent on farmer, he have to fulfil their responsibilities but they are not able to fulfil these responsibility due which they are tensed/stressed in reason they commit suicide.

In some areas of India the lands of farmers are been taken up by the govt for the construction purpose in development of the nation , for this govt pay them some amount but money due to corruption this amount is not fully delivered to the farmers due which income source get destroyed which result farmer to do suicide. So it can be rightly said that the reason for suicide of the farmers are- poverty, bankruptcy and other problems that are been discussed above. According to certain report it is been stated that counselling should also be provided to the farmers so that the farmers should not take harsh steps like committing suicide as social, economic and family matter altogether are responsible for it.

In one of recent cases related to agriculture, Hon’ble Supreme Court had said that all the necessary steps that could be taken like crop insurance, giving support price for agriculture are been provided by the govt. However the court has given 4 weeks time to the centre to give response to the date placed by the NGO, who claimed that not even 20% of poor and marginal farmers in India were provided benefit of PM Rojgar Yojna. Court had also said that giving loan relief to the farmers is not enough, govt have to something much more for the welfare of the farmers.

Additional solicitor general P S Narasimha said, “The government is addressing the low income of farmers. Agrarian distress is manifest from a large number of farmers living below the poverty line and unfortunate incidents of suicides can be addressed by enabling farmers to increase their income. With this understanding, the government is aiming to double farmers’ income by the year 2022,”

A cautious and planned policy should be taken to eliminate the issue. Producing of the harvest of a farmer is the centre of individual, social, economic and political life of the farmer. Research, implementation, awareness should be made in a combined way to relieve the aggrieved farmers. Policy making is not enough but policy analysis, reaching of targeted group need much attention. Agrarian reform, land reform, informal debt structure should be positioned in central place to address the issue in an effective way.




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