There are many policies which are started by the government for the well-being of small farmers but they are not properly implemented. Even if the fund is reserved for the betterment of the agrarian sector, these funds are not used wisely by the government which is one of the important reason for why agrarian sector in not developing. There is huge leakage of funds between middleman and officials which is the one of the reason for stagnation of the agricultural development. Government considers productivity as a main aspect to determine the condition of farmers. But, that is not the case. If the productivity increases, the selling price of the crops decrease. So there is no relief for the farmers.
The first front where the government is lagging is providing proper funding to agricultural research and development of infrastructure. There is no sufficient funds given in order to develop sustainable techniques of farming and sustainable chemical fertilizers and high yield seeds. Also, the research that is actually carried out does not benefit the farmers because they aren’t made aware of it. Thus there are not enough centres of outreach which would make farmers realize the importance of these technologies. One more thing that we observed is that a lot of farmers have a problem to introduce new technologies because they feel that its a form of western advancement. Thus, these “postcolonial” farmers aren’t very open to new technologies because they feel it shows the dominance of the west over them.
Secondly, the land acquisition systems that are currently present are not fair to farmers, for example, sometimes the rates of land that government offers to them is sometimes as low as 10-12 times less than the actual fair price of the land (Damayanti Dhar in “As Land Acquisition Continues Unabated, Gujarat Farmers Seek Permission to Die” in the Wire). Just because the farmers are in dire need of the money, they send this land at low prices to the government in desperation and thus their land holdings become smaller and smaller. Also due to loose implementations of laws regarding land acquisition, private entities are able to exploit the farmers. Since these farmers don’t have enough employment opportunities, they suffer from having to work in the same sector without profits.
The third drawback in the policies is sufficient provision of fund to the farmers or ensuring that the farmers have enough money in order to sustain themselves. Primary way to provide them with funds is to have a minimum support price of crops. A minimum support price is the minimum price which the farmers would get for the crops. The current support prices are such that farmers barely make both the ends meet. Ensuring that there is a support price which is profitable to the farmers or gives them sufficient funds to maintain themselves is the primary responsibility of a government. For example, the current NDA government promises to increase the minimum support price by 50%, but they haven’t fulfilled this promise yet. If this is implemented, then the farmers would at least earn some money for each rupee they invest and they aren’t forced to sell their produce at distress (low) prices and they don’t incur losses and fall into debts. No government policy till date has implemented this effectively and in fact, after the liberalization of the economy in 1991, the prices of other non agricultural goods have inflated at a consistently higher rate than the MSP of the crops (Because of the government wanting to please voters by keeping food prices low). Because of this, farmers have to invest a lot more to grow something than what they get back.
A secondary way to provide the farmers with sufficient money is to have fair loans for the farmers and provide subsidies to the farmers for farming infrastructure and resources. The policies to provide these are almost non existent in the government policies. Thus, due to the above drawbacks in the government policies, the farmers don’t get enough money/resources and are deprived of their basic right to live with sufficient means for livelihood.
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