India is often termed as the land of Agriculture, the reason being it is one of the most efficient and established primary sectors of the country. Nearly 80-90% of our country's fate is decided by Agriculture.
Agriculture is nothing but a great leap in the world of civilisation that is progressing over ages. Samuel Johnson once said that " Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation but the only riches she can call her own". But the future of this riches is at stake, the reason being the people who frame these riches for the nation that is the "Farmers" are themselves at stake. It might sound weird to many that how "Farmers" are at stake but the increasing number of suicides in the country is putting the lives of the farmers at stake. With the advent of "Green Revolution" we have definitely headed towards a new world of modernisation in the field of agriculture carrying forward its pros and cons at the same time along with it. India being a developing country needs to keep in mind that with the advent of modern technology, there is a wide array of factors that needs to be considered.
Reports suggests that 38 farmers commit suicide everyday in India on an average basis. In the year 2012 nearly 1803 women commited suicide and the total number of suicide increased to approximately 13754 farmers. The number was common among the small and medium farmers. Between 1997 and 2005, one Indian farmer commits suicide every 32 minutes but since 2012 this has become one suicide every 30 minutes.
Reasons of suicides:
Drought: The immediate effect is the fall out of crop production, the farmers are left with very little to harvest at times becomes insufficient to feed their families leading to suicide.
Monsoons: India faces erratic climatic conditions most of the times. As a matter of fact 93% of the agricultural area fall under dry farming which totally depends on rainfall for irrigation so adequate Monsoon is very much necessary or else abundance and scarcity of rainfall might lead to failure in crop production.
Lack of Proper Irrigation: Having resources is not enough, there should be proper means and measures for handling those resources thus having monsoons is not sufficient enough there should be proper irrigation facilities for higher growth of crops.
Groundwater: Most of the domestic or industrial activities have a heavy dependency on groundwater and huge reliability is causing a decrease in groundwater at an alarming rate thereby leading to reduction in crop production.
Lack of power supply: Many agriculture related tasks requires huge dependency on electricity and most of the rural parts of the country are yet to receive proper power supply thereby giving another cause of crop production.
High cost of Machinery: With the advent of Technology, we have expensive gadgets coming in therefore it incurs higher costs making it difficult for the farmers to carry forward the production of crops.
Poverty and Illiteracy of farmers: The old adage of Poverty and Illiteracy still persists in the modern era making it difficult for the farmers to carry forward with their crop production.
Means to tackle the issues:
Establishment of Well Regulated Markets: Growth of well regulated markets helps in the improvement of "mandi" system among the farmers. This might provide ease to them.
Education Development: The Government should try to increase literacy among the farmers so that they cannot be fooled easily and are well acquainted with the agricultural developments and growth of crops thus not abiding by the same old tradition of poverty.
To ensure credit facilities: These are given so that the farmers can bear with the cost of machinery and leads to less number of suicides.
Adopt Traditional and organic agricultural practices: This technique mainly focuses to resurface to the ancient roots of farming and promote organic growth of crops leading to a rapid increase in agricultural practices.
Extension of agriculture research and training: Farmers should be given continuous training on modern technology related to farming. They should be made to attend awareness camps so as to "know-how" the modern agricultural approach. This will tend to increase the crop production and leads to decline in suicides.
However the present Modi Government have realised the importance of Farmers and considering their problems have launched several schemes for their betterment. The most prominent ones being "NABARD", "Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana", "Soil Health Card", "Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana" and "Paramparagt Krishi Vikas Yojana". Thereafter we hope that the BJP government's initiatives will definitely try to bring a promised future for our Farmers as it is no farmers means no food and no food gives rise to a sluggish economy. Thus our efforts together with the Government will definitely help to tackle the farmers suicide issues
- Satarupa Mukherjee