With the latest events of farmer deaths doing rounds in the media, there is another ugly aspect of the Indian farming sector that has come to light.
The insecticides Act, though is one legislation that holds the manufacturer responsible for any adverse outcomes, though when the government machinery is at fault, who is to blame?
India, during the green revolution as well, there were concerns that the farmers getting exposed to heavy doses of chemical fertilizers in their fields, is not a healthy sign of growth.
The socialist solution to the problem was laid down when health centres began issuing health cards to the farmers, giving them clues about the harm they have faced.
The cards thus issued have not been very satisfactory because time and again the dysfunctional public health institutions have displayed their limitations in offering quality health assessments.
The Vidrabha deaths were probed and the Nagpur High Court was informed that the deaths have occurred due to use of carcinogenic and harmful pesticides by the farmers. Also, while commenting on the District Farmer Center of Yavatmal (Maharashtra) the SIT report suggests that the official in-charge of insecticides/ pesticides was not posted at the office, and mostly remained unavailable to guide the farmers on the same.
The Act as well envisages that the manufacturers of such hazardous pesticides be put to justice, the sellers have no responsibility at all. The machinery of the Farmer/ Agriculture departments of not only Maharashtra but other states are not adequately resourceful. The departments have not only shortage of man-power, but the farmer education programs remain good on paper.
The outcome thus remains, that neither the farmers are able to plan their farm incomes, and also they come under the sway of the local dealers, who sell unauthorized and harmful products to be used in the farms, that prove dear to the farmers.
The blame for this state of affairs is not to be borne by the Farmers who fail to get their health cards, the government is verily at fault because they do not invest of farmer education, while the agriculture departments remain understaffed.
The outcome thus shall be using technology to promote a step ahead the farmer education through various methods and putting in place a robust farmer support machinery to guide farmers as to the best practices and resources.
The ailing farm sector needs a holistic overhaul which will help the farmers to increase their income and employ as many people as the agricultural sector can,otherwise the burden on the Indian government importing food materials, will be a nightmare that will be fatal to the economic system.
The use of technology is the need of the hour to produce desired farm-sector outputs, as the farmer incomes need to be doubled so as to reduce pressure on urban cities, and generate employment.