When we think about the Indian farmers, we think about the nation builders, the backbone of the Indian economy.
The farmers own less than 1 hectare of land and turned into marginalised although the agriculture support 60% of total employment, but it contributes only 17% of GDP.
Condition of Indian farmers:
Every day we read about the suicide of Indian farmers, but there are no policies to control the suicide rates. The government has launched many systems, but when we talk about the implementation, it seems like a castle in the air. Farmers provide food to the entire nation, but they starve to death. India is the land of farmers, and they are always busy in their farming.
As we know, there are many occupations in India, but we all are connected directly or indirectly with the agriculture irrespective of religion caste, sex. Indian farmers go through a lot of difficulties when they are on the field, but still, they do not get the accurate price of their finished goods. They are not independent to sell their goods where they can earn a profit.
Farmers barely have food to eat. Yes, the producer of the food does not have enough food to eat. Their children starve to death; farmers hang themselves due to starvation. They earn a small amount through farming; they pay their debt through it. In the end, the Indian farmers do not have any money to spend, and the outcome is suicide.
Contribution of Indian farmers in the economy:
Agriculture in India significantly contributes to GDP. Agriculture plays a significant role in rural development driven by the Green revolution, yellow revolution, and white revolution.
Contribution of Indian farmers in modern agriculture:
The necessity to improve their farming techniques and green revolution brought modern Indian farming, and most of the Indian farmers engage in it. The farmer uses the modern technique in these types of farming like mod seed fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and technology for irrigation.
Some modern and rich farmers use quality seeds and tractors and other equipment to get better results. Few of them also builds artificial Lakes.
Problems with Indian farmers:
The condition is terrible for Indian farmers. Most of them have less than 1 hectare of land, although small farmers have 1-2 hectare of grounds. The suicides are increasing significantly, and the policymakers share the policy which is in their interest. The government announces the guidelines for the betterment of farmers, but still, the result is the same.
Indian Farmers face lots of problems, but here we discuss the root cause of those problems.
● Agriculture labour: The fundamental problems which the farmers are dealing with is lack of work, as we all are leaving in the era of technology. Technology solves most of the issues. But the poor farmers are unable to afford those expensive tools of farming. Government has started a scheme in which they give the tools on a lease, but the government should encourage the farmers to buy that machines and tools.
● Irrigation: Another problem that farmers are facing is irrigation because in that region there is no rainfall. As a result, there is a drought occurs, and the farmer faces a water crisis. Farmers should be aware of the water crisis. Also, they must be encouraged to use less water irrigation. As we all know, lots of water is getting wasted. The government should actively participate and must introduce new irrigation techniques. For instance, rainwater harvesting. Also, they must check the salinity and alkalinity of irrigating water.
● Credit: Indian farmers are deprived financially. Most of the Indian farmers face financial issues. Due to financial crisis, farmers are not able to purchase seeds, fertilizers and other equipment needed to grow crops. The landlords and big farmers are financially stable, and hence they are capable enough to buy expensive tools and equipment. Co-operative banks play a significant role in credit rationing, but there are no banks in rural areas to provide loans to farmers. The government can direct co-operative banks to give loans to small farmers. It will make their life a bit easier.
The suicide of Indian farmers:
In India, when we talk about suicide, an image of Indian farmer’s projects in our mind. Farmers contribute 11% of total suicide cases in India, but no one is thinking about it. 70% of the Indian people are directly or indirectly connected with agriculture.
From 1995-2015, 3 lakh farmers committed suicide, and after 2016, there is no data of farmer’s suicide.
Maharashtra has more than 60000 suicide cases with 160 suicides per day.
Reason of suicide:
Many data come and get buried, but with time the suicide rate has increased. The principal reasons are monsoon failure, climate change, high debt, government policies, and personal issues.
1. Water crisis: Farmers do suicide because he fails to grow crops due to the water crisis. As there is no monsoon rain, they face drought. The farmers fail to meet product demand. And as a result, farmers have borne significant losses. Sometimes these losses are responsible for the end of farmer’s life.
2. Lack of direct integration with the market: The customary laws prevent the farmers from selling their product in the open market. They are bound to pay at the national agriculture market, but it is still lagging.
3. High debt burden: The NCRB publish the data in which 2474 people out of every 3000 are the victim of debt burden, and they are committing suicide continuously because of the bank’s harassment.
4. Climate change: Climate change is the last nail in the coffin. The climate change or failure of monsoon results in crop failure.
The farming system in India
The farming system significantly contributes to the Indian economy. India has different types of farming in various regions because of its unique geographical condition it experiences different types of climate.
India is mostly dependent on the monsoon, and it has the second position in agriculture production. Agriculture contributes 17% to the GDP, but the stake is gradually declining.
Shifting agriculture is the practice of farming on land obtained by cleaning the forest. People do farming on the land until it has fertility, but when the fertility exhausts farmers’ shifts to another land.
In subsistence agriculture, farmers produce crops for their purpose and local use. They do not grow crops to sell in the big market or mandis.
Intensive subsistence farming:
In intensive subsistence farming, the farmer grows the crops with maximum possible production. It is capable of producing more than an unproductive year.
Most of the densely populated areas practice this farming with the help of big immense capital-labor on each hectare of land.
Commercial grain farming:
Commercial agriculture is practiced on a large scale; its main objective is profit from exporting outside the country. Commercial grain farming is practiced in the populated region such as Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, mainly to produce wheat, sugarcane and cotton for commercial purposes.
This form of farming is mainly practiced in high rainfall areas or well-irrigated areas which have OK irrigation facilities. These types of farming produce rice, jute and sugarcane. Western ghat and northeastern ghat practice these types of farming.
Lack of credit in agriculture sector:
Every sector needs credit to flourish, and the same applies to the agriculture sector. Farmers face problems to get the credit, without the credit farmers are unable to buy the essential commodities for farming like fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and machines.
India has a large number of farmers, and it is very tough to reach everyone. Many times, the credit problems of the farmers have ignored.
Following is the classification of Land holdings and size of land:
|TYPE||LAND HOLIDINGS||OPERATIONAL AREA||SIZE|
|Small & Marginal Farmers||86.2%||47.3%||1 to 2 hectares|
|Medium Farmers||13.2%||43.6%||2 to 4 hectares|
|Big Farmers||0.6%||9.0%||Above 4 hectares|
The credit loan would help the farmer to get the best quality of fertilizers.
1. When the government improves credit loan facility, the country will complete its production target.
2. The government would easily control price hikes.
3. The government should reduce import and increase export rate.
The government should open a commercial bank which would help the deprived farmers to get credit loans facility. The farmers who own a large amount of land get better facilities compared to the marginalized farmers.
The co-operative bank would improve the credit problem, but the government should worry about the credit problem faced by the farmers.
Amendment in Essential Commodities Act (ECA).
The (ECA) 1955, enacted to control the production and supply of goods which are considered essential commodities. The government act allows the state to issue control related to the dealer, licensing, restricts the excellent movement and requirements.
The state has the control to regulate the production, but after the amendment, the farmers are free to sell their products without any state interference. Government has amended the traditional ECA to give farmers a choice. The decade-old ECA to deregulate food items and bring laws to provide an option for farmers.
The new law drafted to provide a choice to the farmers. The farmers would have an option to sell their produced goods.
The new amendment will start inter border trade without restriction and will start electronic trading as well. At present, the farmers are bound to sell their goods in (APMC) which restricts the free flow of sales.
The new draft created to enable the transparency in the sale there would be fair export.
Solutions for problems faced by Indian Farmers –
There are many problems faced by Indian farmers. Few problems are caused due to nature and few are caused by humans. Following are few measures which will help to reduce the burden on farmers: –
- Provide seeds, fertilizers and other equipment at low or no cost.
- Make them acquainted with recent and modern technologies.
- Give them lands for farming at low cost.
- Do not acquire their lands to build factories or buildings.
- Purchase food grains directly from farmers at market price.
- Provide loans at low or zero interest rates.
- Farmers must be taught to predict weather conditions.
- Teach farmers to grow crops as per the suitable soil.
- Make farmers aware of new irrigation techniques.
- Encourage them to take loans from the government and not landlords.
Farmers are the roots of the nations. Because of them, we live our life happily and peacefully. But they are not happy due to us. We must try to help them as much as possible. We survive because of our Indian farmers. In the end, Indian farmers are the happiness of our nation. We must thank every Indian farmer.
Why farmers are important to India?
Update: 22 October, 2020
Our Indian farmers are the founders of the country’s civilization. The farmer of India is called “Annadata”. The farmers of our country work hard in every season and produce “food” for the people of the country. If our farmers stop working in the fields, then food crisis will arise in the country. As the population of India is increasing, Farm-land is decreasing. That is why, it has become very important to reach out to the people about India’s farmer’s.
Just think for 1 minute that if there is not a single farmer in the country, will you be able to do the job sitting in the office at that time, Your answer may not be “No”, Because you will not be able to survive without farmers. Then you will start doing irrigation and agriculture for your needs. At that time your farmland will be your office, then you will be able to understand the importance of formers.
1. Importance of farmers’ agriculture.
Our farmers are helpful to increase the GDP of the country. Indian agricultural system is the backbone of the country, so we should work to promote the agricultural sector. The agricultural sector will succeed only when the crop yields will increase and the farmers will get fair price for their crops. The agricultural sector not only supplies food items in the country, but also helps in boosting the economy of the nation by exporting goods abroad
2. Importance of farmers in our daily life.
We can be doctors, engineers, lawyers, but it is the farmers who grow the crops and supply food items to the country. Every profession requires skill labor like a doctor. An engineer needs a degree to make his career, But the farmers have no degree to run their work, they work hard in the field and provide us food.
3. Importance of farmer as a sustainable asset.
The most important question is, why do we need farmers and why are they important to us? The answer is that the farmers of our country are able to work during harsh weather. A doctor and engineer sit inside the air conditioner room and work from there, But it is the farmers who keep working hard even after burning under the scorching sun.
How do farmers contribute to the growth of our economy?
Indian agriculture has always played an essential role in improving the economy of the country. It caters to the basic needs of the people and provides food to us, all the countries keep trying for better provision for the farmers.
Even ancient people have given great importance to agriculture. Agriculture not only provides food for us but also provides millions of jobs. The farmers of our country are nationalists, contributing to resolve social and political issues and to build a civilized society. Most of the country lays emphasis on agriculture.
The importance of farmers can be understood as follows:
● Generates employment.
The agricultural sector creates employment opportunities for the population although livestock industries are associated with agriculture. The two industries work together as a chain. This industry requires support, such as warehousing and logistics.
● Farmer helps in supplying raw materials.
The agricultural industry supplies raw materials for factories and other industries. These raw materials help in the manufacture of many important commodities; However, if the agricultural sector does not meet the raw material requirement, then it will have an impact on the Indian economy.
Generates a source of foreign exchange
The primary products used in industries are obtained by the agricultural sector; For example, the cotton that is produced by cotton can be produced by farmers. When there are abundant raw materials in the country, good income can be earned by exporting them. Which is helpful in increasing the level of economy of the country.
Bad situation of Indian farmers:
The farmers of our country are in a bad state; It means that it has a full impact on our food items, citizens of the country, and the economy as well.
Farmers grow crops on their land and bring good days for us, but when a problem arises in food and products, it directly affects the entire country. As a result of which the prices of food items start increasing.
If we look at the points of experts; according to them, new “Agricultural bills” will bring free market for farmers, Under which the government can allow them to sell grains and vegetables at their price, but the main issue is about the farmer trusting the government.
Farmers have no faith in the politics of the government, they always try to take the bill related to farmers towards privatisation. Politicians keep giving farmers hopeful to fulfill their unfulfilled promises, but they never live up to the hopes of the false and defective leaders.
All political parties and politicians promise to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) during elections, but these politicians disappear after winning the election.
The interfrence of agents and the poor impedes agricultural infrastructure development of the Indian agricultural development and pushes the hard-working farmer into a debt cage.
The poor condition of Indian farmers forces them to commit suicide, and that is why small farmers stop their work.While talking about the terrible condition of Indian farmers, governments say that they are protecting the farmers from the grip of intermediaries and agents.
Why are farmers opposing the new agricultural bill?
Farmers of Haryana and Punjab here State-run Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) operates on a large scale. And this committee controls the agricultural market.
Under the new Agriculture laws, several individual groups like a corporate, trader and also customers can directly talk to the farmers.
This new law opens the gate for corporations in farming; they can directly purchase from farmers without the interference of agents.
Many farmers spoke to news agencies in difficult circumstances, and they were horrified to learn about the corporate entry into the agricultural sector.
However, on the other side, the government is threatening that they have revived the entire agriculture sector, and this will help farmers in getting better prices for crops.
MSP factor and trust issue.
● The way the opposition to the new agriculture bill has gained momentum, the central government has clarified several times that the MSP will continue.
● The MSP is like security and guarantee by the government for farmers against Agent and Big dealers.
● The MSP is set two times in a single year by the Central Government for almost 22 crops.
● Although only 6% of Indian farmers can sell their price through MSP, this is a matter of deep concern about the government rest of 94% offarmers forced to sell their crops at low prices to the middlemen, agents and big agencies.
● MSP data of all crops shows the MSP of all crops Kharif and Rabbi have declined gradually. The data shows how MSP became a political topic. The political parties gained votes over the MSP issue, and then it distressed farmers after the election.
● Farmers have been receiving MSP for decades, and now after the amendment in the farm bills, they are worried about their income. Although the government has given assurance and clarity, by much time still there is a lack of trust in government.Although some experts think new farm laws will help Indian farmers to pass out the traditional farm hurdle.
How is the agricultural bill going to affect Indian farmers:
Three farm bills – the essential commodities act ( amendment), the agriculture produce market committee bill and farmers agreement on price assure and farm service bill. All the three bills have disappointed Indian farmers.
Before coming to the current harsh situation of Indian farmers, i would like to add their journey without any healthy debate or majority in Rajya sabha marks as the black day of Indian parliament. Although the farmer’s bill is the matter of state agriculture is a state subject, but the government acted authoritarian.
The government brought e-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) to solve the issue arising from inefficiencies in candie, and different APMC acts in all states. Till that time, the government was confident about adding more men to eNAM.
However, the government failed to design the market, and the state did not take an interest in its adoption. So it resulted that only 1000 mandis out of 7000 joined eNAM. The promises that the government made with farmers had been exposed to their move, although if they did work to the APMC, it could have succeeded.
1. Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Bills, (2020)
● The farmers and traders will experience liberty, and they have the option to sell and purchase agricultural products.
● It will remove interstate trade barriers; It proposes free interstate trade.
● Farmers will not have to pay any tax or percentage for their goods.
● Farmers will not have to pay for transportation the government has proposed an electronic platform for free trade.
● Farmers will be free to sell their produce on cold storage, warehouse etc.
2. The farmers (Empowerment and production) agreement of price assurance and farm service bill.
● The new bill empowers farmers to negotiate directly with wholesalers, aggregators, large retailers and exporters.
● Before sowing the crops, farmers will have price assurance, but if the price rises, then, farmers will get the benefits.
● The new bill will remove risk from market unpredictability from the mind of farmers.
● The new bill will give access to farmers to adopt modern technology and better seed options and different inputs.
● The government will support farming research and new technology to do the process in the changing agriculture sector.
3. The essential commodities act ordinance (2020)
● The government wants to regulate the production, supply and distribution of essential commodities such as potatoes, onions and cereals etc.
● Food corporations of India would buy food grains from farmers at MSP according to procurement policy.
● Government has decided to start procurement of paddy in Punjab and Haryana as Kharif crops are coming in the market.
● Government has not given the directive to lift procurement policy.
What are the pros and cons of New agriculture bill?
The three bills that the government has passed are – Farmer Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, Price Assurance and Farmer Services Bill and Farmer’s Agreement on Essential Commodities Act Bill etc.
1. The government claims that the new agriculture bill would revive the agriculture sector, and it would raise the farmer’s income.
2. The government assured to double the farmer’s income by 2022, and it will make them independent.
3. The new bill is designed to put in place a proper system in which farmers and traders can sell, and buy malls from outside individuals.
4. The new bill will help the farmers to increase interstate business with fewer transportation costs.
5. The new farm bill will provide benefits for small and marginalised farmers which have less than 5 hectares of lands.
1. The farmers are worried about the new agricultural bill, but they are more concerned about MSP.
2. The farmers are also worried about the entry of big corporates and retailers in the farming sector.
3. The farmers said the bog company would dictate the price according to their profits.
4. Although the government has declared MSPs for crops, there are no laws for implementing the prices.
5. After the commencement of new bills, farmers are on the mercy of civil servants rather than courts.
How do farmers sell their products?
Through the APMC Act, it was passed by the Rajya Sabha all over India. Therefore, agriculture is a state subject which deals with the marketing of the case of the state.
Although a nationwide protest against the new agricultural bill is still ongoing and it has gained a lot of momentum to support the farmers’ protest, under which the new APMC Act is passed. The biggest obstacle in increasing Indian farmers’ income is middlemen. Agents, wholesalers and big intermediaries takes a big chunk of profit from farmers.
Let me give you an example of intermediaries interference in mandis in Maharashtra, a farmer sold a food item for ₹ 35 per kg and middlemen sold the same item for 100 per kg. This is a reflection of how Indian farmers are losing the battle with middlemen and agents.
Despite announcing the plans for increasing the farmer’s income, the government is not capable of providing benefits to the farmers. The farmers from Punjab and Haryana say their income has declined due to shifting from paddy and wheat because in Punjab there is no provision for selling the crops other than wheat and paddy.
How does the market help the farmers?
After the nationwide lockdown, the government has announced a long term relief measure as an economical package. But the relief has fallen short on cultivator and agriculture labor.
In May, the Prime Minister announced an economic relief package for the country. In which he addressed farmers on important aspects of rural banking, minimum support price, crop loans for financing agricultural infrastructure and income support for farmers.
However, farmers group and non-governmental organization say the package does not give immediate relief and the immediate concern for those employed in the agricultural industry.
Important schemes related to agriculture sector.
National Agriculture Market is the pan India electronic trade portal which connects the APMC mandis to make a unified market for agricultural goods.
E-NAM vision is to promote uniformity in the agricultural market by connecting the man. It provides real-time price based on actual demand and supply.
Its mission is to integrate APMC mandis across the country through a common market platform to facilitate pan India movement in agricultural commodities.
● Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
The Government of India took a pledge toward water conservation and its management. (PMKSY) is committed to expanding the solution with the slogan “Har khet ko paani” related to source distribution, management and irrigation.
● Pramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
(PKVY) The Government of India has launched an initiative in 2015 to introduce organic farming in India. The initiative aims to create 10000 clusters for three years and provide more than 5 lakh acres of arable land under organic farming.
According to this initiative, farmers are encouraged to form clusters to take organic farming techniques across the country. To achieve this scheme, there should be 50 farmers in each group who are ready to do organic farming under the scheme.
● Pradhanmantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PFBY).
Pradhanmantri Fasal Bima Yojana is the crop insurance initiative that brings multiple stakeholders on the single stage.
1. Pradhanmantri fasal Bima Yojana provides Insurance and financial support to the farmer in the event of Crop and climate failure.
2. Pradhanmantri fasal Bima Yojana is to stabilize the farmer’s income and to ensure them to do farming.
3. Encouraging farmers to use modern techniques and innovative ideas is the right option by which farmers can be benefited more.
4. The government continues to make new provisions to continue the flow of credit in the agricultural sector.
● Gramin Bhandaran Yojana (GBY).
In rural areas, storage is being facilitated on a scientific level, to meet the requirement of farmers to store produce and agricultural equipment.
1. Gramin Bhandaran Yojana is to promote the gardening and equality control of goods to improve the market.
2. With the help of modern marketing, the goods can be sold immediately after harvesting.
3. Under this, storage facility is provided for the farmer to keep the goods of the product group safe and fresh for long time.
Government has announced many projects for the upliftment of the Indian farmers, but it vanishes after the election result. All the scheme and initiative is just on the papers; it doesn’t double the farmer’s income that has been promised. Many intermediaries and agents cut the farmer’s interests by interfering in their sales. Although the government has taken the initiative to restrict the agent interference and they are allowed to sell their products where they wish to.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you understood the condition of Indian farmers.
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