Agriculture has been the primary profession of the rural people since Indus valley civilization.As ancient Indian people learnt to plant the various crops and people started living in one place for longer time which led to development of the villages and so culture,tradition,languages,trade and commerce, communications etc.
India ranks second worldwide producing the farm output agriculture; allied sectors like forestry and fisheries accounted for 13.7% of the GDP in 2013, around more than 50% population of India is engaged in agriculture and related activities.
The agriculture is a crucial, broadest economic sector which is playing an important role in overall socio economic development of India. In spite of being such a huge important sector, it is facing various major issues which havemade our country to pay attention on serious note since last couple of decades.
The crop needs fertile land, suitable climate , water, fertilizers to grow and become the final output but more than this it require the person who cultivates these crops with care and provide them all required things to get the better yield i.e. farmer,"KISAN".
It could have been really difficult to develop the agriculture since old times if farmer would have notcultivated the fertile land manually, with help of animals. India being developing country it was really difficult to expect modern farming tools, technology support, high yield seeds, advanced water irrigation facilities to rescue the farmers at very initial stage. Nevertheless farmers have been taking tremendous efforts in agriculture which is their primary source of livelihood.
The painful truth remains the same which cannot be changed now is that 200,000 farmers have ended their lives since 1997.Karnataka saw a more than three-fold rise in farmer suicides in 2015, as compared to 2014. Maharashtra recorded the highest number of suicides
There are many reasons for such tragedy as stated below but just reiterating reasons will not take us anywhere and we may lose more farmers in coming future which will bring down humanity and of course Indian agriculture in greater effect.
Indebtedness: This is root cause for farmer's suicide. In 1998, the World Bank's structural adjustment policies forced India to open up its seed sector to global corporations like Cargill, Monsanto and Syngenta. The global corporations changed the input economy overnight. Farm saved seeds were replaced by corporate seeds, which need fertilizers and pesticides and cannot be saved and every time farmer needs to buy new seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc.
The second pressure Indian farmers are facing is the dramatic fall in prices of farm producewhich makes them to struggle for minimum support price. There is high cost of production and decreasing quality of the fertile land due to use of fertilizers, pollution, lack of farming skills and education etc.
Family problems such as illness, drug abuse, alcohol addiction have been seen prominent reason behind suicide. High interest loans from the moneylenders for supplying farm input, children's education, well spending on marriages including dowry due to social obligation.
Natural calamities such as drought, floods, crop failure are also pushing farmers towards suicide.
The way of understanding reasons behind farmer's suicide are equally important to take workable measures to tackle this serious issue. Following measures should work in better way.
- Reducing dependability on nature - building up structured irrigation facilities such as canals, drip and sprinkle irrigation can be implemented to reach deep in villages.
- Providing frequent weather forecast information, automating the manual agricultural processes,modern transportation with cooling facilities.
- Using Information technologies and electronic media (like DD Kisaan channel), All India Radio channel to spread awareness about government schemes and monsoon predictions.
- Moral support, counseling should be provided at regular interval gaps especially at the time of crisis.
- Covering maximum number of crops under MSP scheme, providing direct farm subsidies.
- Effective implementation of government schemes such as pradhanmantrikrishisinchaiyojana, pradhanmantrifasalbimayojana and Soil Health Card scheme etc
- Land pooling in order to merge small farms into bigger piece of land where advanced farming tools can be used and bulk output can be produced
- Various alternate skill development programmes can be provided to the farmers so that they can develop alternative source of income such as tailoring, farm poultry etc.
- Providing better education, health care facilities, and effective public distribution systems.
Above mentioned solutions may seems to be easy but in reality it will really require hard efforts to make them reach to the farmers in rural areas.
Budget 2016-17 has proposed to bring 2.85 million hectares under irrigation, Rs 2,87,000 to be donated and 100 % electrification to all villages by May 2018, every development should be taken into consideration by maintaining the strong base i.e how it is affecting our farmers and how much extent it is going to be exactly beneficial.
Farmers providing us basic need of living i.e food are deprived of getting it for themselves by worrying that they won't be able to complete their minimum basic needs of life for self and their families.
We have got 3star,5 star food chain hotels increasing day by day in India, where we spend thousands of rupees but really will it make India to shine in the World if we only are not self sufficient to provide basic food needs for our country people?
It is high time to save now our farmers ,its time to put an end on ignorance on real situation of farmers and appreciate their efforts, their will power to fight back with poverty,patience and fear of losing their life anytime.
There is no doubt that Government is rigorously working towards the solving farmer's issues but nevertheless doing it on priority basis will help to vanish the farmer's suicide.
- Anita Yesale
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