Farmers' suicide issue in India can be Solved
India has been always a land of farmers and agriculture. The history of agriculture in India goes back to RigVeda, 1100 BC. Today, India stands second in agricultural output in the world. Maybe, that’s the reason why this land has attracted invaders time to time in the past.
Agriculture and its allied sectors holds 13.7% GDP in 2013 and it almost involves 50% of the workforce. Despite all those glowing data, India has been suffering the suicidal cases of farmers from almost every part of the country. In last 65 years, different government came in power but none were able to get a solution to stop the farmers from suicide.
According to several reports,while India holds 157.35 million hectares of land which itself is the second largest agricultural land in the world, but due to several reasons only 35% of the total land were able to use for cultivation. At the same time, due to lack of proper storage and management every year almost 30% harvest are spoiled in India.
It is may be tough to get a right and perfect solution for such situation, but we need to overcome this and also need to think it from a different angle.
There are few spoilers, which contributes in reducing the workforce and productivity, like MGNREGA. It not only contributes as a spoiler to workforce and productivity, but also contributes in spoiling the health of the farmers as well. Now, money is easily available and also the food and rice with minimum effort.
That shows how wrongly the national schemes were implemented just to attract vote bank.
Few farmers are not even willing to harvest as the income from harvesting is much lesser than what they get from the MGNREGA program. They just need to be loyal to the local politicians to get work and money on time.
This is the ground reality in some parts of the country, that’s why farmers suicide due to monsoon failure, high debt burdens, genetically modified crops, government policies, public mental health, personal issues and family problems.
If we look after all these data, we can easily understand that all these are happening due to wrong management or nobody tried to understand the problem and no-one really tried to find a solution.
Most of the land-owners give away their farming land on BARGA (a contract with the farmer who don’t have land, after getting the harvest they mostly do a 50-50 share of the harvested crops).
So, why not try to solve it in a different way, which may resolve the problem of industrialization of harvesting, increase productivity, increase job opportunity in the ground level and in government, which will help minimize the suicidal rate of farmers in the country.
1. Take agricultural lands from the land-owner on lease for 5 years or 2 years according to the flexibility of the land-owner.
2. If the land-owner wants to get employment on his own land, he should get the first priority or give the harvesting job to someone who is needy.
3. The land-owner will get a certain percentage of the harvesting as they used to get from the farmer through “Barga contract”. In this way, the land-owner will be happier.
4. Rather than giving the rest of the harvesting crops to the employed farmer, give him a salary, which will fulfill his need for money and he does not need to run here and there and place to place to sell his share of harvested crops.
5. The government will directly take the crop and circulate it nationally.
6. The employed farmer will get salary on year to year contract basis which will give them the scope to work anywhere as they will not need to be stuck in a certain area.
7. Rather than using the bulls, use tractors for harvesting, which will give the scope to increase the production of the tractors as well. That will also increase the workforce industry.
8. There are lots of land being unutilized, left barren due to border and land dividers which can be removed and increase the cultivating land which will also help increasing productivity.
9. The government needs to build up their infrastructure to increase their storage capability.
10. When maximum number of farmers will be engaged and the productivity will increase, Indian government can also introduce a mid-day free meal Nation wide which will also help them circulating the crops that feed every Indian.
11. As we can see 30% harvest are getting spoiled every year, which can be circulated in a better manner for a mid-day meals program which will increase the scope of jobs and also increase health of the citizens.
12. Only 35% of land were able to cultivate so far, but if the government can manage and implement this idea they can increase the number of shares and the number of cultivation land which would also help in exporting.
13. Cows and bulls can be used for mass milk production and dairy products. Cow dung can be used to produce organic fertilizers and cooking Gas.
This analysis is just an idea designed with the reports and figures and my personal experience through visiting different villages. I have not done any feasibility test on this idea.