Ram Rattan Sharma
Indian farmers are the backbone of our nation’s economy, as Indian economy is Primary agriculture based. According to a survey India is one of the top countries in cultivation and farming. But Indian farmers stayed neglected community for decades , despite their huge contribution in economy of the nation. Indian farmers are constantly subjected to harassment. India is the largest producer of wheat, rice, pulses and spices and has more scope for growth in Agriculture sector. If farmers get an assured minimum support price for their produce, if the functioning in trade becomes digital or online and the middle person is eliminated , who is exchanging goods from farmers to factories or from factories to farmers then the financial state of farmers will be improved.
The Indian farmer is a living idol of India . They are the most hardworking around the world and are always busy, working hard for their crops, during day and night. India is called the land of farmers as most of the people of the country are directly or indirectly involved in the Agriculture sector. It would not be wrong to say that Indian farmers are the backbone of the economy and the farmers are Indeed the beloved children of mother India.
The condition of most of the farmers is terrible as about 80% of farmers in India are marginal or category of small farmers. Agriculture supports about 60% unemployment, but contributes 17% to GDP . Everyday there are reports of suicide of Indian farmers from different parts of the country.
Good rainfall, good yield and good prices never come together. So the incomes of the farmers are either marginal or there is no profit or loss. Only big farmers can use machines and achieve productivity with local production cost. Now a days every farmer wants his children to get out of Agriculture, because they are aware of the difficulty in Agriculture.
There are many schemes implemented by the Govt. ,but even 10% does not reach to the farmers. Agricture plays an important role in the internal trade. It is because of the fact that 90% of our population spends 60% of the income on the purchase of the items like food, tea, milk etc. In fact the prosperity of the agriculture is prosperity of Indian economy . Agriculture is India’s big economy. Although the share of Agriculture in the total national income has been gradually decreasing on account of development of the Secondary and tertiary sector, toady almost 60% of the population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture. A number of agriculture commodities like tea, coffee, spices and tobacco are our main items, which we export. Hence agriculture provides us foreign exchange, which helps us to buy machines from abroad. It also maintains a balance of payments and make our country self sufficient, transport gets bulk of their business by the movement of agricultural goods. Agriculture is one of the core sectors of Indian economy, the agriculture sector needs to regularize and update itself, the farmers need to be taught about the alternatives in order to make use of the valuable resources. The focus must be on increasing productivity of the land and irrigation, use of better water management practice such as drip irrigation and rain water harvesting should be done. The farmers need to focus on utilization rather than exploitation of the ground water resources. They must be encouraged to grow higher value commodities, especially in the areas, which receive high rainfall- crops diversification is important that can be taken into consideration, Social health of the farmers is another important factor. The farmer’s must be encouraged to follow the practice of organic farming & refrain from the use of DDT, Pesticides and insecticides. This will be helpful in maintaining the health of the soil and getting better yields.
Instead of providing subsidies to the farmers on water and electricity, a better option could be to provide subsidies on the premium. This will encourage the farmers to adopt innovative technologies, enhance the crop productivity. They will be more willing to take risks , as more and more farmers will come together to pool up their resources. The premium rates will automatically fall down. A robust crop insurance is the best way to deal with the risks associated with the agriculture sector.
(“The author is former Dy Librarian University of Jammu”)