Indian Farmers: Life and Death

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 agriculture supports 60% of total employment, it contributes only 17% of GDP.

Condition of the 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 with their farming.

As we know, there are many occupations in India, but we all are connected directly or indirectly with agriculture irrespective of religion caste, and sex. Indian farmers go through a lot of difficulties when they are in 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 to the Economy

Agriculture in India significantly contributes to GDP. Agriculture plays a significant role in rural development driven by the Green Revolution, the Yellow Revolution, and the White Revolution.

Contribution of Indian Farmers to 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 modern techniques 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. A few of them also build artificial Lakes.

Problems of 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 hectares of ground. 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.

  1. Agriculture Labour

    The fundamental problem that the farmers are dealing with is a 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. The 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Credit

    Indian farmers are deprived financially. Most of Indian farmers face financial issues. Due to the 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 cooperative 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 farmers 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 on farmers’ suicide.

Maharashtra has more than 60000 suicide cases with 160 suicides per day.

Suicide by Indian Farmer
Farmer Suicide Graph

Reason for 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 the farmer’s life.

  2. Lack of direct integration with the market

    The customary laws prevent the farmers from selling their products 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

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 shift to another land.

Subsistence Agriculture

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 the 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 labour on each hectare of land.

Commercial Grain Farming

It is practised on a large scale and its main objective is to profit from exporting outside the country. Commercial grain farming is practised in populated regions such as Haryana, Punjab, and Maharashtra, mainly to produce wheat, sugarcane and cotton for commercial purposes.

Wetland Farming

This form of farming is mainly practised 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 the Agriculture Sector

Every sector needs credit to flourish, and the same applies to the agriculture sector. Farmers face problems to get credit, without credit farmers are unable to buy 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 been ignored.

Classification of Landholdings and Size of Land:
TypeLand HoldingsOperational AreaSize
Small & Marginal Farmers86.2%47.3%1 to 2 hectares
Medium Farmers13.2%43.6%2 to 4 hectares
Big Farmers0.6%9.0%Above 4 hectares

The credit loan would help the farmer to get the best quality fertilizers.

  1. When the government improves its credit loan facility, the country will complete its production target.
  2. The government would easily control price hikes.
  3. The government should reduce imports and increase export rates.

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 cooperative 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, was 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, and licensing and 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. The government has amended the traditional ECA to give farmers a choice. The decade-old ECA deregulates food items and brings laws to provide an option for farmers.

The new law was drafted to provide a choice to the farmers. The farmers would have the 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 was created to enable transparency in the sale so there would be fair export.

Solutions to the 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 a 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.
  • Providing them with land for farming at a 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.

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