Agrarian Distress in India – Since 1995, India has seen 3 lakh farmer suicides.

Jan 21, 2020 by Garvit Bhirani #Farmer & Agriculture ,#News & Headlines

An indecipherable issue which revolves around in India on the promises being made by the government everytime to the farmers to double their income to pull them out of deep agrarian crisis.

Since 1995, India has seen 3 lakh farmer suicides, which means more than one farmer committed suicide every year. The low and highly fluctuating farm income is causing detrimental effect on the interest in farming and farm investments, and is also forcing more and more cultivators, particularly younger age group, to leave farming. This can cause serious adverse effect on the future of agriculture in the country.

The Modi Government has now vowed to double the farmers’ income by 2022, and for this, the farmers have to adopt and use modern technology. Other imperative steps which would be taken by the government for structural changes and sustainability of farmers are : Increasing milk production, Use of Solar Energy light, honey production. There are various policy as well as implementation level challenges to meet the promises by the Government.

Policy level reforms needed to tackle the problems of farmers’ are as follows –

1) Credit Availability, Interest Subvention and Crop Insurance.
2) Increasing productivity by low cost of production and farmer’s get a remunerative price through a transparent price discovery mechanism.
3) Irrigation efficiency by focusing on ‘more crop per drop’.
4) Land Laws require changes to formalize land leasing practice, in the absence of which term investments are not made by tillars to enhance production and productivity.
5) Climate resilient agriculture needs to be developed for the real Climate change.
6) Niti Aayog has suggested reforms in two areas: Marketing reforms, and Minimum Support Price (MSP) reform.

Now, the obstacles which need to be defeated for farmers income are:

1) Small size of land holdings in Indian Agriculture.
2) Corruption in Cooperatives is a well known problem, particulary in Maharashtra.
3) Only resources like water and land are limited, and the land holding is getting shattered, compounded by hike in input costs.
4) Extreme Temperature shocks reduce farmer incomes by 4.3% and 4.1% during kharif and rabi respectively, whereas extreme rainfall shocks reduce incomes by 13.7% and 5.5%.

Credit for the food security in the nation goes to the farmers’, and the growth of farmer producer organizations that assisted farmers’ collectively bargain and argue for the lower rates for their inputs and high prices for their harvest compared to what farmers were able to get individually.

Farmers’ from different states of India came together in integrity to protest in National Capital, Delhi for various demands and one of the vital demand was to double the income of farmers’; third time in three months, farmers’ protested to seek support from the centre. It must have exerted the influence on Government to work on it rapidly.

Hence, Government of India is striving to double farmers’ income through various reforms and initiatives and accordingly, the new vision aims to reduce agrarian distress and bring parity between farmers’ and those working in non- agricultural practices.

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