Monday, April 13, 2015

Ground reality of agriculture in India

Ground reality of agriculture in India

The agriculture sector in Indian economy nowadays is struggling for existence. Problems of livelihood in rural India, particularly for the poor farmers, problems like backwardness, lack of basic amenities of health and education forced farmers to migrate from rural region to cities and towns. It does reflect the agricultural set back for Indian economy.

It is absolute that agricultural sector is key to welfare of common men in the country as whole. It is loud and clear that more than half of country's total employment is through agricultural sector. Also in rural India at least 75% of the total population also depends upon agriculture or in agriculture related activities. Statically it has been revealed that percentage of agricultural inputs in the total GDP of the country decreased drastically.
In 1950-51 the share of agriculture in total GDP was 51.9% but in 2012-13 it came down as 13.7%. From various surveys and research, the above all outcome unveils the sour truth that the socio-economic equality in India are mere some words in Indian Constitution.
"EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all" ,"JUSTICE, social, economic and political" in the preamble of Indian Constitution has no role and importance in the context of today's Indian Economy.
Indeed in India agriculture is a vital weapon for weaker section in rural India to wipe out problems like poverty and economic inequality. As per a research many agrarian economists believe that agriculture is 200% effective in reducing poverty than any other economic means. The most important reason for slow down of Indian agricultural sector is decreasing level of public investment and lack of government's bold and effective policy.
When on the one hand Indian farmers in rural India demand the "Right of land" like "Right of education", "Right to information" and "Right to food", at the same time on the other hand our Union Government wants to implement the Land Acquisition Ordinance. As per many economists it is quite clear that boom in agricultural sector in less developed areas would lead to increase in overall agricultural growth as well as reduction of poverty and hunger in rural India.
Land Acquisition Ordinance by Modi-led government may be an issue for all the opposition parties for their political establishment, but the harsh reality on ground is that now the fate of agriculture sector is on stake. The Union Government including all the state governments are not able to understand the potential of India's agriculture sector that it is capable of at least 5 per cent growth constantly. With this within five years it will be an extra aid to GDP, which will not only automatically boost the Indian economy but also problems like the economic inequality, poverty and hunger would be wiped out. If the Union government can take some bold decisions instead of Land Ordinance, than only it can be possible.
The government's decision to provide more subsidies and less investment of public expenditure in agriculture is one of the worst reason of slowing down the agriculture sector. If the decision of providing 80 per cent subsidies and 20 per cent investment is reversed than the output from Indian agricultural sector must bounce back. If it is not possible than at least the government should provide 50 per cent subsidies and 50 per cent investment through public expenditure in agriculture will be like a blessing of almighty for poor farmers of our nation.
The constant increase in fertiliser subsidies to farmers especially in Punjab and Haryana is not a blessing but a curse. Because using more fertilizers in fields will destroy the quality of the soil and it may be impossible to grow any crop in the same field after 10-15 years. In short it hampers the environmental sustainability.
Every civilised and developed economy has it's capable states which only concentrate more on agricultural development without interfering into the freedom and right of citizens in any other aspects. Agricultural export provide a unique opportunity to developing country like India but the slow down in this sector results a set back for agricultural export.
As per the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in International trade, price support for agricultural product is key for a developing economy to touch the sky of glory in the field of economic development which has not been seen yet. There should be a better assessment of Indian farmers to both input and output, markets, technology and better infrastructure.
But here in India the government seems more busy in imposing the Land Acquisition Ordinance by hook or crook without feeling the reality on ground.

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