There is a book before us. Feeding the Baniaya, peasants and Usurers in Western India by David Hardiman(OUP).We are sure that at least some of the serious students of agriculture and rural development might have read this very insightful book.
Now, the present state of agriculture credit is of course change a lot. Yet, as one writer who is a member of the subcommittee on Agriculture Investment, credit flow and Farmers’ indebtedness of the Commission on the Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Development of Andhra Pradesh(Deccan Herald June,20,2015 points out that in spite of the rise in credit flow and the targets fixed, agri credit is as high as 50 per cent of the GDP, (Rs.8.5 lakh crore of credit comes to 7 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP which is more than half of the contribution of agriculture to the Indian GDP.
Yet, the reality is that with all our earnestness and commitment to agriculture and rural development, there is the current scenario of framers’ suicides making the headlines almost daily.
Farmers’ suicides in fact no more making to the news on the TV news channels.
They don’t make news!
Print media too almost ignores unless a harassed Rahul Gandhi makes the tiresome trips to remote states like Punjab to call on the families that lost their breadwinners.
The actual ways in which the new social and economic changes are taking place in the country is such that youngsters don’t want to stay on the lands, nay ,even in the rural areas.
The farming is becoming a loss making activity. The tenant farmers are the worst hit. No land owners want to farm out lands to the tenants, the tansy laws are such that neither the land lord nor the tenant is left in any good relations. The court cases, from the land and tenancy courts are accumulating. We at the Vadamalai Media say that an average farmer is a debtor. Or, he is a court bird. Once you are farmers, you are lost! That is the gross reality of the Indian life.
We are in the agri media business for the last quarter of a century! Is this a service or a curse?
Are we rewarded with a Padma Sri? Why not?
Because we are in an area of activity which is not considered fashionable.
No corporate bigwig wants to receive our requests for support.
They are all queuing up in front of Sonia Gandhi’s doorstep to join her team on the National Advisory Council. Of course when it matterd! Not now! Not anymore.
May be the very same corporate are now lining up in from of the PMO now!
The point here is that we are becoming a nation of selfish people. We like to see our sons and daughters to migrate at the first opportunity to the shores of the USA, right?
So, who would care for farmers or farming as a modernised occupation?
Nabard and other commercial banks are also not sensitive enough to issues like agriculture. Once a food shortage hits the government then we are sure the whole nation would wake up and there would be a hue and cry for agriculture support.
Here one more important point. Among the developed world, it is the China, Japan and USA and then the EU that pay the highest agriculture subsidy, you know?
They know that agriculture, agri trade, why even the agri, village people are the backbone to their economy and social peace. Better awareness among the citizens, more so the middle classes about the priority of agriculture and rural development would be in order.