INDIAN FARMERS AND STRUGGLE

India’s history tells right about its agricultural efficiency, excellent climatic conditions, and natural-resource availability. India (that utilises extensive parts of its land for cultivation of wheat, rice, cotton) is also a leading producer of spices, pulses, and milk in the international market.A few decades ago, the agriculture sector added 75% to India’s GDP, which has reduced to 14% (the current). However, India was the second-largest producer ($ 367 billion) after China ($ 1,005 billion) among four more countries that held 42% of the global agricultural output – $ 4,771 billion, According to the World Factbook 2014 of the CIA. SourceIn a nutshell, India is an influential agricultural powerhouse worldwide, having farmers and all related workers as its backbone. Like many other sectors, the agricultural landscape also faces decades-long problems and unexpected challenges that are crucial to rectify. Let’s discuss some of the main issues farmers face in India and the best possible solutions.

Main Problems often faced by Indian Farmers

Insufficient Water Supply

Water availability in India is more than sufficient to irrigate all cultivation areas; the problem is that we still have to find cheap and suitable solutions to utilise such enormous water supplies. Due to several reasons, farmers either don’t receive the appropriate amount of water or don’t get the supply on time; many farmers rely on rainwater for irrigation.

Less Use of Modern Farming Equipment

In most areas, to date, farmers follow primitive cultivation methods; traditionally-used plough and relevant native accessories continue to be farmers’ preference. Despite no shortage of efficient equipment and machinery, there’s very little use of modern equipment, majorly because most farmers don’t have lands huge enough to use advanced instruments, heavy machinery.

Over Dependence on Traditional Crops

Indian farmers are growing rice and wheat for centuries now in several regions. The excessive production of the two grains, many times lead to the storage, sale problems and shortage of other farm products.

“India is heading toward a fourth record wheat harvest and near-record rice production for 2020-21” – the US Department of Agriculture. Source

Many farmers depending upon only these traditional crops indicates a lack of an effective, nation-wide agriculture plan.

Poor Storage Facilities

In rural areas, storage facilities are either insufficient or completely absent. In such a situation, farmers usually have no other option than selling their produce immediately once it’s ready, at market prices that are often very low. They are far away from a legitimate income.

Transportation

Lack of cheap, efficient means of transportation is a big problem widely seen in the Indian agriculture sector; small farmers still rely on bullock-carts for transporting their produce. Moreover, lakhs of villages are connected with highways and market centres with temporary (kutcha) roads that become muddy and useless in rains. Consequently, farmers cannot deliver their produce to the central market and helplessly sell it in the local market at low costs.