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Why farming in India is no more an attractive profession to opt?
In a sequel to my article, 'Here's why Indian farmers are committing suicide' published on merinews.com on 6th May 2015, the below are some important facts to explain why the farm sector is always in distress.

Farmers can be divided in to two groups. First is the rich farmer having more than five acres of land (the quantity of 5 acre may be lowered or increased depending upon various conditions such as fertility, environment and many more factors). Those families who have this 5 acre land always have the alternate livelihood. If the third generation is having five acres, it means they were land lord during independence and rich fellow who are not entirely dependent on agriculture.

Read this also: Here's why Indian farmers are committing suicide

The second group is of the real farmers that comprises of farmers owning less than 5 acres, marginal farmers and landless farmers. Studies show that this farmer group really produces 70 per cent of agrarian out-put. The farmers' with less land always has to depend on big farmers' land. This is called 'Bhaga Chasa' (partnership farming). In this there is always an unwritten agreement between the lessee and leaser that former will use the land, invest all for farming and the produce will be distributed as 50-50 share or at least 60-40 share. That means the second group of farmer does the investment, labour and all efforts to produce crops and shares fifty per cent of the total production.

When a crop damages due to natural calamities, the land owner gets compensation where as the real investor remains uncompensated. The landless farmer can't prove that he is the real cultivator and thus remains omitted. If there are two crops damage, the true farmer loses everything.

Even if crop is good, they couldn't sell their product as per the market rate. For example, the subsidized rice, wheat etc. are available by governments at a rate of Rs 1/2/3 per kg. Who would then purchase their products? They have to depend on government's MSP. But there also are loop holes. The MSP is further slashed by the purchasing agents citing so many factors such as moisture content, quality shape etc. The cartel is so strong, the farmer remains helpless.

One can re-call Lalu Yadav's effort to provide farmers a good rate for their vegetable products. As rail minister, Lalu Yadav provided special AC good trains so that Bihar's farmers can take their vegetables to Delhi and sell at a higher price. This backfired as the Delhi market dealers slashed the rate of vegetables. The farmer's who brought their vegetables to Delhi had to go for distress sale incurring huge losses.

The market dealers have the capacity to sustain the loss for a shorter period but farmers can't sustain to the competition. This is not Delhi specific. Whenever farmers tries to sell their products at an urban centre, the agents of market make their life miserable by indulging in devious tactics using their money power.

The farmers had to surrender to the agents selling the product at the price fixed by the agents. That's why it can be safely said that consumers paying higher price to agrarian products doesn't mean that farmers are also getting a higher price. The entire profit in fact is pocketed by the agents themselves. There is no check and balance to prevent such problems.

Even during crop loss, although the central government declares compensation and state governments express their readiness to disburse the amount, but entire thing is heavily dependent on the babus at block and district level. They are the ones who decide who will get benefit and what would be the amount. Political interventions are huge in such cases and many a time it's seen that some with less damage to their crops get a higher compensation whereas the farmers whose loss is huge get a meagre amount.

All these facts in fact make farming a weak sector. Seventy per cent farmers ate not willing to do farming as neither government, nor the civil society understand their problem. Most of the farmer's think that farming is a punishment for their past sins.

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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