70 per cent are small and marginal farmers with less than one hectare of farm land!
So, what sort of farm policies you make for these unviable farmers who easily resort to the only option to deal with mounting debe4ts?
Suicide and that is what needs to be address.
How do you do this?
Not postponing issues and only when the trickle develops into a flood you resort to only steps, use police to fire at the “unruly” crowd of farmers and also you politicise the issues to the extent that where big politicians like Digvijai Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia sit at dharna with laughs and jokes that get wide newspaper headlines!
Farmers’s agitations and political responses! The agriculture minister is nowhere seen nor we hear any of his concerns, his statements or his deputies are whwere to be seen.
You see, there is lack of seriousness from the governments and the Opposition parties!
There are widespread farmers’s agitations in major states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, UP and why even in Tamil Nadu. The causes for the agitations might have been different but the outcome is the same.
Now, the very orchestration from every state has come down to one and it seems only demand, namely, farmers’s loans write-offs.
Can the states resort to this sort of large scale write-offs?
And predictably, the Union finance minister, Mr.Jaitley has openly said that the Centre can’t bear the burden, each state has to find the funds for such scale of write-ff.
Okey, fine. How long such demands can go on and also how long the governments can’t adopt such a simplistic solutions.
The PSB banks are the ones to face the music and already the NPA issue is dogging the central government.
Now, the questions to be asked by everybody are: is this all to agriculture issues?
Agriculture, as a profession, has to be carried on. It is a life-giving activity; agriculture is like our very borthy. But who then brought the issues to this end?
The most tragic part of the story is that no one, certainly, the central government, why, like the very predecessor government, never took the agriculture sector very seriously. The general assumption is that agriculture is the least serious, it is the least politically important, farmers can be fooled to vote this or that way and so farmer don’t constitute the most sensitive vote-bank.
Also, as noted now by many observers, most recently in a new book, Superfast Primitive, Ultimate Nation, The Relentless Invention of Modern India,2017 by Adam Roberts, published in Great Britain by Profile Books, London is the latest narrative of India of the India under Modi after three years!
The book has some new insights and observations. Now, yes, the voter’s population had bulged to the extent of a billion. While in 1952 it was just 173 million. You see voters have all become non-farm persons, who are interested in urban pursuits. Agriculture is losing all its attractions, even a sense of social status, so it becomes difficult to retain farmers in the profession.
More and more villages are becoming empty as most youngsters go to the nearby or far-off towns for productive work; even construction work is the most profiting.
So, we all know that agriculture is becoming a losing activity and yet our agriculture policy making is as good as none. It was all a throwback of the Nehruvian leftist orientation.
Land reforms today means what? You retain an absentee landlord and also an absentee tenant. Both don’t work or invest a penny in the land and so both help to pauperise the farming activity.
So, what basic approach needs to be change?
In our firm view make first farming an attractive job. Give the owners the land they need. Relax the land reforms laws. Relax the tenancy laws. You own the land or you leave the land, you sell the land.
So, the whole farming scenario becomes more farm-friendly. Then only, you can retain farming as a profit-driven activity.
Once you agree to this point of view then only farming can improve.
If the governments for voters’ illusions promise the moon then, it is farmer’s doom further.
One can go on and on. Is the agri minister listening?