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Farmers agitation:'Fauri ilaj' like loan waivers will not work!
Just before the Assembly elections in UP, Prime Minister Modi had announced loan waivers to the farmers, if the BJP came to power in the state. Eventually, the BJP came to power in UP with a thumping majority. The newly appointed CM of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath did not waste any time and in his first Cabinet Meeting itself announced loan waivers to farmers totalling thousands of crore rupees.

In Madhya Pradesh, where the state government has done a lot for the farmers, since CM Chouhan himself comes from the farming community, the state government was taken aback by this sudden farmers agitation for loan waivers in which five farmers lost their lives.

During more than 72 hours that this agitation was on, the so-called farmers burnt buses and looted public property. This was followed by the Maharashtra farmers demanding loan waivers. The Maharashtra government has also announced loan waivers for farmers now.

In the meanwhile, the Central government has made it clear that the money amounting to thousands of crore rupees required for loan waivers will have to be sourced by the states from their own resources. But, the big question is, if all loans have to be waived off, then why call them loans? Besides, is the Modi government considering loan waivers as the only solution to the problems being faced by farmers? Is this a practical solution?

Let there be no doubt in anybody's mind that loan waiver is just not the answer to the problems being faced by the farming community in India. The real problem is that farmers are not getting proper reimbursement for their produce, which further results in the farmers failing to raise enough money to carry on cultivation and look after their respective families.

The government says that it has fixed good prices for the purchase of the produce from the farmers. But, the truth is that whatever prices get fixed, the government in power is unable to buy all the produce of the farmers because of lack of basic facilities like cold storage. Is it not criminal neglect that in absence of cold storage facilities India loses 66000 crore rupees worth of vegetables and fruits every year? Why these facilities weren't made available in the last 70 years?

The biggest profit makers are the middle men who purchase the crops of small farmers at prices much lesser than the government announced purchasing prices because the small farmers have no facility to preserve their crops, while they wait for the prices to stabalise. So, a small framer suffers if he produces a bumper crop and also suffers loss if the weather fails him rusulting in a failed crop.

The big question is that even after 70 years of independence, with all netas shouting from their rooftops "Jai Kisan", why all cultivable land in India is not irrigated by canals? Why more than 50 per cent of farmers of the country are still dependent on weather and monsoons?

Another big factor adding to the woes of farmers is that the land holdings are getting smaller and smaller with the passage of time and increasing population. A way out has to be found so that these land holdings are not allowed to reduce beyond the point where they become unsustainable.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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