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Farmers: Lifeline of our nation

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Author, Writer, Educationist. Counsellor, AOL faculty, Electrical Engineer

We have been facing Agrarian crisis or farmers distress from few decades. Suicide has become a most undesirable curse to our nation. It is a sad part that famers have been used as vote bank to get elected to power by giving some freebies rather than solving their issues at the core to make them self-reliant and better financially.

M.S. Swaminathan revolutionized crop yielding, he is the one who knows issues related to farmers to a much deeper level, I always follow his views on current government’s actions related to agrarian crisis. He is very supportive and helping government on various agriculture and farmers developmental activities.

PM Narendra Modi has taken several initiatives to make farmers financially strong. His commitment with actions towards making farmers income double by 2022 is quite commendable. Let’s see some of his actions on the ground: –

  1. Soil health card:- Our farmers are very hardworking, but they were not given proper knowledge about the soil they are using for different crops. Nature of soil define which type of crop must be sown in different seasons. PM Modi has taken up this initiative and decided to make farmers aware about their soil health. Considering that the health of the soil plays a fundamental role in agriculture, the government has dispatched more than 13 crore soil health cards from 2015 to 2018. Soil Health Cards carry crop-specific recommendations for nutrients and fertilizers to help farmers improve their productivity.
  2. Fertilizers:- There are hardly any complaints from the states about fertilizer distribution. The reason being the significant increase in the Urea production as the government has revived the defunct fertilizer plants and set up new plants. Since, the government has implemented 100% neem coating of Urea, it not only resulted in improving the soil quality but also prevented the diversion of fertilizers to other purposes. Big fund was allocated to raise fertilizer production.
  3. More crop per drop:- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana is in place to ensure ‘more crop per drop’ which will cover 28.5 lakh hectare area under irrigation. Rs. 50,000 crores earmarked for ensuring that every farm gets water. Rs. 5,000 crore funds for micro-irrigation made available while there has been an encouragement for farmers to install solar pumps for irrigation.
  4. Credit and Support for farmers:- The Modi Government has taken important policy initiatives to address the issue of farm credit and save farmers from being exploited in the hands of informal credit sources such as moneylenders. Rs 6000 is given to each farmer per year in 3 installments. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is the biggest risk cover and safety net provided by the government. Under interest subvention scheme short-term crop loans up to 3 lakhs with the minimum or no interest rate per annum up to one year made available.
  5. Marketing the farmers produce:- The government’s policy follows the next logical step after supporting the farmer at sowing time, which is to help farmers to get right price for their produce. In July 2018, government approved the historic MSP hike for Kharif crops to 1.5 times the cost, which will provide farmers a profit margin of 50% over the cost of production.
  6. E- NAM:- National Agriculture Market scheme known as e-NAM has integrated more than 600 markets across states and 2 Union territories. More than 164.53 lakh tons of farm commodities have been transacted on e-NAM and more than 87 lakh farmers have been registered. Thus, it is cutting down the intermediaries(middlemen) in agriculture trading to facilitate farmer with his due. 22,000 rural haats will turn into Gramin Agriculture Market which will benefit 86% small farmers. Large investment in warehousing and cold chains to prevent post-harvest crop losses and value addition through food processing also giving the farmers the essential edge on the market. To address the price volatility of perishable items like tomato, potato and onion ‘Operation Greens’ has been put in place.
  7. Focus on allied sectors:- As noted earlier, the focus has been laid on allied agriculture activities to boost farmers income. Corpus of Rs. 10,000 crores set up to create infrastructure in fisheries, aquaculture and animal husbandry. Integrated Development & Management of Fisheries with an outlay of Rs. 3000 crores, the establishment of 20 Gokul Grams are some of the examples in this regard.
  8. Growth in production:- There are ample indications to suggest that PM Narendra Modi’s agriculture policy implementation has been yielding results. Agriculture production has touched a new high in 2017–18 with 279.51 million tons of food grain production and increasing each year. The extent of the buffer stock of pulses increased from 1.5 lakh tons to 20 lakh tons. Milk production has increased by 18.81% in 2016–17 as compared to 2013–14.
  9. One Nation One Market:- With the amendment to the essential commodities act, farmer can sell their commodities anywhere with better pricing. Farmers are freed after 70 years of independence in real sense. THIS THE BIGGEST AND LIFE CHANGING ACTION FOR FARMERS BY MODI GOVERNMENT.

Numerous steps are required to bring the desired change and doubling farmers income. However, what role should we play today? It is our duty to teach and help our farmers about the actions taken by the government, help them to register on e-NAM platform and how to sell. We need to develop confidence in our lifeline (Farmers) to participate in the actions taken by government and bring clarity that government  will continue to take necessary steps to benefit the farmers…Can we help them and bring back to normal life and avoid suicides??

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Author, Writer, Educationist. Counsellor, AOL faculty, Electrical Engineer
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