The present state of agriculture in the country is dismal (causing a mood of gloom or depression).
We have two options here, either turn our backs to it or have empathy for our farmers.
You may have every right to assume that big farmers are not that poor; and hence there’s no need to give them incentives to remain engaged in agriculture.
But I think, the time has come when we must do something to save our farmers.
Allow me to make a few points,
Farmers must be rescued and that too without distinction. Simply because, a big farmer contributes bigger food to India’s food basket. What if he’s big, he contributes bigger amount to food basket as well.
Agriculture as a profession is not easy. It requires effort. The returns on effort and investment are not exponential, especially when one takes into account what a farmer can get by selling the land or turning it for non-agri business. Today, a farmer can get more money by selling a small piece of his land, than by producing food. We need to understand that, as the moment he stops producing grain, it will be difficult to feed the people. And this will apply to all, irrespective of our purchasing powers.
I think those people who offer counter arguments to ignore agriculture, do this just for the sake of arguing.
If food basket of the country depletes, it will be an irreversible damage. I don’t thing the argument that the depleted food grains will be compensated by imports. This is easier said than done. Even today when India is seen self-reliant on staple food, it’s difficult to provide pulses to the people. Why? as India is not self reliant in Pulses production. If import substitution had been easy, then from the past One year Letil prices (Arhar dal prices) and other pulses prices are in the bracket of Rs 175- 210, why couldn’t the government make up for the deficiency by way to imports.
It must be understood that Agriculture in the country can’t be ignored. It’s the activity which is producing something which no factory can produce. And agriculture is the only activity which is capable of producing something tangible.
That apart, irrespective of the tall claims made, it’s the agriculture will still employs majority of people in India. To cross check this claim, simply look at the jobs created in the past one year.
To preserve agriculture in the country, we need to make agriculture attractive to farmers, so that they continue with the agriculture. Else, remember it’s easier to sell land and pocket money. For the sake of food, we don’t want that to happen.
To conclude, I’m not an advocate of Businesses trying to help farmers as part of their Corporate Social responsibility. As that help will insignificant. We need to revive agriculture in the country. And for that the Government should inject lakhs of crores to agriculture sector in the country. The bear share (larger part) of this money must go directly to the farmers as cash incentive.