The Farmers from all across the country have gathered at the Parliament Street in New Delhi to put forward their demands and getting them addressed. India, remains an economy largely dependent on agriculture for deriving its income and also to feed he ever-increasing population.
Yet, in the past attributing o various reasons, the profession of agriculturists has seen all the lustre from it fading. The practices that have gnawed the revenues of the farmers has led to a demand across states to save the farmers burdens.
The farming sector has also been affected by the lowering of incomes attributed to a frequent crop failure due to abrupt climatic conditions. The Modi government has taken many measures yet the entire gamut of problems seems to have been lacking the desired results. Now, the farmers are calling out for aggressive farm loan waivers which has been afforded to the farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The focus of the article remains to highlight the dysfunction caused by the past practices and the inability of the new policies to weed out the deep-rooted maladies.
The first and foremost problem is the farm sector loans. The farmers were being dispensed by loans just to meet their targets without evaluating the performance of the assets and crops being put to soil. this led to almost majority of farmers incurring huge loans that turned bad due to factors such as low price realisation, crop failure, and delayed purchases. With the books of the banks showing deep holes, the farm sector accounts to a 1 lakh crore bad debt, which will not be realised.
The recently introduced measures such as PMFBY (prime minister crop insurance scheme), e-NAM (electronic national agro market), direct benefit transfer, farmers’ education and improved manures and high yield varieties, all of these have not been incentivized at the state level to gather the much-needed attention as agriculture remains a subject of the state. The policies of the ministry of agriculture and food don’t often work together.
These measures, for example the e-NAM project has been on the back burners in several states and the old mandi system has robed the farmers of their revenues on crops. The crop insurance scheme has also been met out with the central corpus which remains inflexible, as it is designed on ‘one size fits all’ idea.
The farmers have also not been able to take to alternative sources of growing their income like poultry farming, animal husbandry and fish farming. Thereby te incomes of the farmers remain at an all time low and there are no incentives.
The scientific farming in India has not even gained momentum so as to reduce the reliance on traditional farming techniques and a lack of climatic information. The farmers have also not been made aware of the information as to how to promote the new varieties and use new and more effective manures and pesticides to avoid pest attacks. The crop insurance lacks the needed flexibility to provide what a farmer in every region desires.
This has produced poor results and the farm sector incomes have fallen down. The measures that may be adopted are to first address the farm loan waivers, which are burdening the activity of farming substantially. The fund starved farmer is unable to sow the next season, and the banks have pushed in strictly to realise more revenues than ever.
The more needed push has to be to promote alternative sources of incomes for farmers so as to allow the farmers a flexibility to amplify their revenues. The farm loan waivers have to be addressed a the earliest while acknowledging the malady of the bankers.
The states have to be pushed to provide more beneficial schemes and reach out to the last man, and promote scientific farming, using the ICT techniques, and promoting e-NAM, and timed procurement at fair prices.
Least, the Indian markets will be overburdened with food imports i the years to come.