"It is thus with farming, if you do one thing late, you will be late in all your work" - is the words rom Cato the Elder who was a Roman senator and historian. These words are now relevant not just for farmers but also for the authorities who are indirectly responsible for farmer suicides.
Each and every late act of the officers results in the denial of fulfilling basic needs of farmers which ultimately ends in his suicide. In India which is famous for its diversities, we do have millions of ways to tackle the issue from a small step of putting bio waste in proper pits from where bio fertilizers can be produced, to the conscious and pretty risky steps to pledge your land and get loan which in near future can be closed from the returns that same land give to farmers. Let us have a discussion about the issue which is a plague that affects nearly 60% of Indians directly and rest indirectly.
The free India in 1947 was poor without enough cultivable land and nutrition for daily living. Frequent famines made the situation worst and from there a ray of hope was gifted by American agronomist Dr. Norman Borlaug, Indian geneticist M. S. Swaminathan, and many others. The Revolution in Green changed the face of India with help of advanced technologies in agriculture, effective fertilizers and chemicals and adopted high yielding varieties of seeds which resulted in a better India indeed when it comes to agricultural productivity.
The backbone of Indian economy is not yet stabilized though it is contributing 14% of the overall GDP. The major problems faced by farmers include
- Rainfall deficiency as well as unseasonal rainfalls and hailstorms
- Faults in implementation of land reforms
- Lack of support services and low adoption of better technologies by farmers
- Absence of enough bio security systems
- Less care given to soil fertility and health by many farmers and negligence of authorities to take enough steps to monitor land in village level
- Not utilizing good quality seeds by farmers and officials not giving proper counseling to farmers and promoting them in using the facilities provided by Government
- The easy reach of institutional credit at reasonable interest is still a beautiful dream as authorities are not conducting awareness campaigns to effectively introduce the plans and policies to farmers implemented by the Government for the development of farmers. Farmers are not availing as most of them are not aware of the same.
- Lack of properly maintained database of farmers and the properties of land they own and crops they are cultivating so that they can be given proper consultation by setting up farmers schools to guide the farmers.
- Rehabilitation for farmers are not up to the mark
- Minimum Support Price (MSP) failing to compensate huge loss happened to farmers in extreme conditions
What we can do for these is the million dollar question
- Proper database should be maintained with all the details of the farmer, farming, and compare it with regional as well as whole India status to give farmers proper guidance in cultivations and post cultivation
- The effective credit schemes and high quality seeds must be known to farmers which is the responsibility of officials at village level so that farmers can make use of it.
- Though many schemes like KrishiSinchayeeYojana, Agricultural Credit, Kissan Credit Card, Crop insurances are hot topics their implementation needs to be reviewed as many are not even aware that schemes like these do exist.
- MSP should be modulated based on the extreme climatic and other factors prevailing
- Rehabilitation of farmers must be ensured in worst case conditions which will definitely reduce the number of farmer suicides in India
Days changed and living pattern changed along with that nature and climate was forced to change which adversely affected agriculture. Everyone among us who ran behind refrigerators, air coolers and other luxuries are the murderers of most of the farmers in India. Since 9500 BCE, people are depending on agriculture for their daily living. Our ancestors knew the importance of farming and that is why they have considered the factors necessary for farming like water(rain), land(earth) etc. equal to God. This was inherited by present generation and that is why in some places we still can see people doing special offering to the God of rain and Mother Earth for their existence in this world which is literally not possible without agriculture. We also have to lend our supporting hands to farmers socially and economically for their wellbeing.
- Parvathy Chandrasekhar
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