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Farmer’s right: Are we doing Justice by celebrating farmer’s day?

Farmer’s right: Are we doing Justice by celebrating farmer’s day?

Are we doing justice by celebrating the national farmer’s day on December 23?  How can we call it a celebration when we have not sorted out the problems of the farmers?  The very fact that agriculture has contributed to only 7.68% of the GDP this year describes the low productivity and the resulting miserable lives of the Indian farmers. Do you think that it is because of the fact that they did not embrace with the innovations and the new trends in technology? No, the miserable conditions of the farmers are certainly not connected to the technology. The bitter truth is that technology and its innovative solutions like any consumer product do not come free. The economical conditions of the farmers that let them down in every aspect of their life are mainly attributed by two major reasons:

  1. On an average an Indian farmer receives only about 15% on the total commodity price of his crops and the major chunk of it is relished by the middlemen in the form of commissions and is left with meager amount of money for their yearlong toil. If that is the case then How will the farmers be able to afford to invest in technologies to improve productivity?
  2. The yields from the small proportions of lands owned by the farmers do not sum up to help in any way to uplift their life style.

Here is a partial solution aimed at empowering the farmers; they are not devised by economist who have no knowledge about farming, but by the real farmers whose voices should be heard by the government for the prosperity of the nation.

Access to Better Irrigation Facilities

Crop productivity is improved with better irrigation, of course canals, tube wells have been constructed but irrigation is still a major issue, due to the lack of water supply. The best solution to improve irrigation facilities would come from connecting rivers across the nation and access to water recycling methods. An awareness of the drip irrigation methods and ways to improve ground water will do well in terms of improving irrigation and water conservation in summer and ways to store rain water and to shield the crops from the flood will help to protect the crops and to improve the yield.

Agriculture Centric Banking

The low economic status of the farmers often compels them to become a prey to private bankers and money lenders who hoard their earnings through high interest rates. Though there is the practice of lending agriculture loans in the banking system, the government should adopt policies to increase the loan amount and to waive the interest. The government should conduct campaigns to educate the farmers about the benefit of government loans and subsidies and thereby enable them to avail the loan. In the best interest of the farmers it is mandatory to check that the loan facility is enjoyed only by the small scale farmers who are not able to afford to their farming of their own.

Access to cold Storages

In many cases even if there is a high yield much of the products become stale either due to weather or due to worst storage methods. To prevent it and to cater to the needs of easily perishable agricultural crops the farmers must be given access to increased number of cold storages, to store their products until they find the best buyer or until they are ready for the sale.

Renewable Resources and Modern Agriculture Methods

To reduce the cost incurred by the electricity and to go green farmers can be educated regarding the use of technology that harnesses the solar power like the solar powered ploughing robots, robotic lawn mowers, weed removers, automated sprinklers, and solar lights. The importance of the use of ethanol as a fuel to all farming needs. The use of these two innovative methods cuts the cost to nearly 60% and would help them to increase their income.

Harness the Power of Technology to Enable Better Farming

Improving soil quality through the use of Manure is a vital part of farming, though it involves cost, it has become inevitable because it determines the quality of the crop. The government can provide manure at a subsidized price; a better alternative would be to educate then to determine the exact type of minerals required to enrich their soil, instead of wasting money on the type of manure which is not deficit in the soil. It can be accomplished through the use of apps for testing the pH levels of the soil. The farmer have to do a pH strip test of the soil and send the picture to the app, it will do a color analysis and make a suggestion about the type of manure and its available location.

Improved Marketing and Transport Facilities

The marketing infrastructure should be strengthened to help the farmers to sell their products at best prices.  The government should make arrangements and see to that products are not tagged below a predetermined minimum price when the productivity increases in folds. The transportation facilities should be improved in terms of the availability in numbers and in its facilities to withstand rain and shine like the containers with and without cold storage facilities.

Agricultural Workshops

The government should conduct workshops regarding the various aspects of farming like the modern methods of crop protection that would result in higher yield, the production and the use of natural fertilizers, bio gas, suggestions to start with agriculture allied startups, the ways and means  to export their agricultural goods. The introduction to innovative farming methods like selective farming and alternative farming can be keep the farmers engaged with cultivation throughout the year.

If at all, all these mentioned measures are put into practice and it is exercised to its fullest extent in reality, then it will certainly help to raise the income of the farmers and would in turn instill them with interest to adopt even more efficient methods by harnessing the technology or by going green to improve the productivity at any cost.

 

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