Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Farmers Issues

Indian farmers especially small and marginal are under great stress. It is being revealed from from NSSO 70th round findings ,which estimated more than 50% of farm households in debts,farm holdings of 90% shrinking to less than 2 hectares.most worringly most findings have deteriorated even from previous ms swaminathan report on national commission on farmers.
major problems associated with vulnerability of marginal farmers include-
1)flawed aspects of green revolution-
(a)regional disparity- targeted assistance to only selective regions nw india,coastal andhra etc
(b)social disparity- institutional help for credit,bore well etc was availed by rich farmers only.
(c) agricultural disparity- overemphasis on only selected crops ruined traditional crops such as millet. 
2)failure of land reforms- petty politics and loopholes in land ceiling act never allowed proper land reforms except kerala.
3)very low penetration of institutional financial credit in rural areas, in fact priority sector lending has neither benefited farmers nor banks,higher chunk being appropriated by rich farmers,besides heavy corruption keeps needy at bay. 
4)market reform failure- role of middlemen not decreasing even after adoption of model APMC act making farmers much vulnerable.
5)not proper diversification of agriculture-though adoption of rainbow revolution did envisioned overall development but in absence of market exposure,food processing infrastructure they have not impacted small farmers on large scale.
6)vagaries of monsoon- over 60% of indian agriculture dependent on monsoon.
Govt has attempted several approaches specially targeting marginal farmers such as
1)financial schems- (a)criteria of priority sector lending by banks(b)subsidies on diesel,kerosene,drip irrigation,farm machinery etc
2)employment generation - such as IRDP, SGSY,MNREGA act etc
3)institutional structure for agriculture development
(a)Funding for research via ICAR, state agriculture university.
(b)national plans such as -droght prone area development programme,rashtriya krishi vikas yojna,national mission on sustainable agriculture etc
(c)personalized help- soil testing, phone based technical guidance etc.
The dismal state of farmers depicts failure of schemes, major overhaul is agriculture sector is need of hour, governments approach towards establishing a grand alliance between farmers,market and credit institutions is must not only for farmers but also food security and robust economy of country.

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