Desperation is no option!
We need to recognise the reality. We need action, in a systematic way and less bureaucratic way. There are many options. New expert panel. Engagement of the private sector. Of course, there are certain legacy issues.
Small and marginal farmers, the land ceiling laws, tenancy legislation and of course the persisting farmers’ debts are all need to be tackled in an innovative ways. Agriculture sector now is in a deep crisis. Farmers’ suicide news is still unabating.
The government is also rather confused as to what are the priorities in the agriculture sector.
Te so-called National Agriculture Policy (NAP) is almost as good as dead and so admitted the government in the Supreme Court which frowned upon the Government’s apathy and even imposed a fine of Rs.25, 000!
All these very discouraging. Now, there is the chance and there are almost unlimited opportunities to deploy the Internet to first reach out to all farmers in the remote areas of the country.Any farmer in distress can immediately get relief thanks to the many new initiatives online.
Now, the government has also announced the farmers’ insurance scheme, Pradhanmantri Fasal Bhima Yojana and that is really a bold and welcome step by the government to save the farmers, to serve the farmer from all the risks from farming.
Farming is perhaps the most risky profession with the natural calamities and natural disasters and other seasonal risks plus the eternal market risks for which the farmers are the first causality!
As things stand farmers don’t have reliable and trust-worthy insurance schemes. This new insurance seems to be basically centred crop insurance. Even his is most welcome as first the risk is crop failures for various reasons.
This new scheme is very bold and welcome as the first great agriculture initiative from the government. The coverage of the area is 50 percent. It will enhance the ‘actuarial’ premium to the extent of 90 per cent as against the present limit to only 65-70 per cent. High premiums and low coverage is the curse and this new scheme seems amid at braking the vicious cycle. Let us hope it actually does this time!
Let us also admit the truth here. There is an ingrained suspicion of farmers’ integrity by the government, bureaucracy and the banks about taking loans and claiming compensations etc.
These deeply held prejudices about the farming community must be dealt with and we are not sure how to ensure this now awakening in the rulers.
Did we sole the cane farmers’ dues? Did we ensure price support measures in times of price fall?
How many stories we read, almost every day about the price falls and farmers throwing away their hard earned produce by the roadside!
So, we need a change in our mindset, mindset of the politicians, bureaucrats and why even from the very biashed, greedy urban media!
Premiums are kept at very low rates and even his rate might not attract most farmers as farmers are the most sceptical people owing to the long neglected poor souls who are still enduring the trauma of continuing suicide prospects. It is the technologies that IT could offer that can only make the insurance schemes also to succeed.
Vadamalai Media is willing to offer to participate in whatever way we are called upon to make the various IT tools to help the farm sector to gain maximum benefits that are due in this critical sector.