Agricultural Distress in India | Reason Why Farmers are in distress - 2020
Farmers are the back of the nation. But due to non-availability of resources they are becoming helpless and are lacking behind.
Challenges faced by Indian farmers :
- Scarcity of water-The first, most important thing is the nature of farming profession itself is risky because of uncertainty in water availability for agriculture. As per World Bank, the percentage of irrigated agricultural land in India is 36%. Almost 2/3rd of farmers in India are dependent on monsoon rains. The variation of rainfall in each region is also uncertain.
- Fluctuation of market price-The main reason for farm distress is the fluctuation of the market prices even though their input costs are fixed. The amount offered to farmers does not result in remunerative income for the farmers.
- Landholdings- Another reason for decline in farm income is fragmentation of land holdings among farmers. Inheritance of land among successive generations of children in farming community has reduced the average size of land holdings. This makes the income of each family limited and reduces the scope for additional investments by the farmer.
- Seeds- Seed is a critical and basic input for attaining higher crop yields and sustained growth in agricultural production. Distribution of assured quality seed is as critical as the production of such seeds. Unfortunately, good quality seeds are out of reach of the majority of farmers, especially small and marginal farmers mainly because of exorbitant prices of better seeds.
- Manures, Fertilizers and Biocides-Indian soils have been used for growing crops over thousands of years without caring much for replenishing. This has led to depletion and exhaustion of soils resulting in their low productivity. The average yields of almost all the crops are among t e lowest in the world. This is a serious problem which can be solved by using more manures and fertilizers.
- Irrigation-Although India is the second largest irrigated country of the world after China, only one-third of the cropped area is under irrigation. Irrigation is the most important agricultural input in a tropical monsoon country like India where rainfall is uncertain, unreliable and erratic India cannot achieve sustained progress in agriculture unless and until more than half of the cropped area is brought under assured irrigation.
- Lack of mechanisation-In spite of the large scale mechanisation of agriculture in some parts of the country, most of the agricultural operations in larger parts are carried on by human hand using simple and conventional tools and implements like wooden plough, sickle, etc.
- Soil erosion- Large tracts of fertile land suffer from soil erosion by wind and water. This area must be properly treated and restored to its original fertility.
- Agricultural Marketing-Agricultural marketing still continues to be in a bad shape in rural India. In the absence of sound marketing facilities, the farmers have to depend upon local traders and middlemen for the disposal of their farm produce which is sold at throw-away price.
- Scarcity of capital-Agriculture is an important industry and like all other industries it also requires capital. The role of capital input is becoming more and more important with the advancement of farm technology. Since the agriculturists’ capital is locked up in his lands and stocks, he is obliged to borrow money for stimulating the tempo of agricultural production.
While agriculture’s share in India’s economy has progressively declined to less than 15% due to the high growth rates of the industrial and services sectors, the sector’s importance in India’s economic and social fabric goes well beyond this indicator.
- Nearly three-quarters of India’s families depend on rural incomes.
- Majority of India’s poor (some 770 million people or about 70 percent) are found in rural areas.
- India’s food security depends on producing cereal crops, as well as increasing its production of fruits, vegetables and milk to meet the demands of a growing population with rising incomes.
Measures to overcome challenges :
To do so, a productive, competitive, diversified and sustainable agricultural sector will need to emerge at an accelerated pace. Proper development and resources are required which includes :
- Proper availability of water resources and irrigation facilities.
- Good seeds of standard quality
- Proper fertilizers on required time with Proper storage facilities for the products that can protect them from the whims of nature.
- Finance at reasonable interest rates.
- Timely Availability of Electric and generators for the pumps and other electrical equipment used for farm activity.
- Transport facility to move the product to the market and their safe storage at the market.
Ultimately making all resources available and proper price that covers the production costs and gives a decent amount into the hands of the farmer are major essentials for growth, survival of our hard agricultural labourers.