Why Farmers are Important to the Indian Economy?
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 a food crisis will arise in the country. As the population of India is increasing, Farmland is decreasing. That is why, it has become very important to reach out to the people about India’s farmers.
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 a 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.
Importance of Farmers in Our Daily Life.
We can be doctors, engineers, and lawyers, but it is the farmers who grow the crops and supply food items to the country. Every profession requires skilled labour 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 with food.
Importance of Farmers 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 resolving social and political issues and building a civilized society. Most of the country lays emphasis on agriculture.
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.
The 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 the Indian Farmers
The farmers of our country are in a bad state; It means that it has a full impact on our food items, the 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 this, the prices of food items start increasing.
If we look at the points of experts; according to them, new “Agricultural Bills” will bring a 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 hope to fulfil 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 interference of agents and the poor impede agricultural infrastructure development in 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, traders 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 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 agents 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 prices through MSP, this is a matter of deep concern for the government rest of the 94% of farmers are 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 the government.Although some experts think new farm laws will help Indian farmers to pass out the traditional farm hurdle.
How is the New Agricultural Bill Going to Affect the Indian Farmers
Three farm bills – the essential commodities act ( amendment), the agriculture produce market committee bill and Farmers’ Agreement on price assurance and the farm service bill. All three bills have disappointed Indian farmers.
The government brought the 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 to farmers had been exposed to their move, although if they did work for the APMC, it could have succeeded.
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 in cold storage, warehouses etc.
The Farmer’s (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 the risk of 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.
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.
- The government has decided to start procurement of paddy in Punjab and Haryana as Kharif crops are coming in the market.
- The government has not given the directive to lift the procurement policy.
The Pros and Cons of the 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.
- The government claims that the new agriculture bill would revive the agriculture sector, and it would raise the farmer’s income.
- The government assured to double the farmer’s income by 2022, and it will make them independent.
- 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.
- The new bill will help the farmers to increase interstate business with fewer transportation costs.
- The new farm bill will provide benefits for small and marginalised farmers who have less than 5 hectares of land.
- The farmers are worried about the new agricultural bill, but they are more concerned about MSP.
- The farmers are also worried about the entry of big corporates and retailers into the farming sector.
- The farmers said the bog company would dictate the price according to their profits.
- Although the government has declared MSPs for crops, there are no laws for implementing the prices.
- After the commencement of new bills, farmers are at 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 to increasing Indian farmers’ income is middlemen. Agents, wholesalers and big intermediaries take 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 economic package. But the relief has fallen short on the cultivator and agricultural labour.
In May, the Prime Minister announced an economic relief package for the country. In this, 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’ groups and non-governmental organizations say the package does not give immediate relief and immediate concern for those employed in the agricultural industry.
Important schemes related to the 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’s vision is to promote uniformity in the agricultural market by connecting the man. It provides real-time prices 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 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 a crop insurance initiative that brings multiple stakeholders to a single stage.
- Pradhanmantri Fasal Bima Yojana provides Insurance and financial support to the farmer in the event of Crop and climate failure.
- Pradhanmantri Fasal Bima Yojana is to stabilize the farmer’s income and to ensure they to do farming.
- Encouraging farmers to use modern techniques and innovative ideas is the right option by which farmers can be benefited more.
- 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.
- Gramin Bhandaran Yojana is to promote gardening and equality control of goods to improve the market.
- With the help of modern marketing, the goods can be sold immediately after harvesting.
- Under this, the storage facility is provided for the farmer to keep the goods of the product group safe and fresh for a long time.
The government has announced many projects for the upliftment of Indian farmers, but it vanishes after the election result. All the scheme and initiative is just on paper; 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 agent interference and they are allowed to sell their products where they wish to.