The land of Indian subcontinent has been known for its prosperous farming endeavor since time immemorial. Countless people in rural India survive on farming and growing crops for the nationwide population. The farmers sustain all weather extremities, poverty and physical challenges to continue with the hardships of farming and still they are greatly deprived of all sorts of basic facilities of being an Indian citizen that includes food, residence and cloths. This is indeed a matter of shame to the entire country; however this is not the end of the story. In the past few years, farmers’ suicide in India has become one of the most speculated topics in policy analysis, academic narratives and newspaper bulletins. The severe agricultural crisis in India is certainly the primary cause of farmers choosing suicide as their last resort. Furthermore it vividly reflects the government’s negligence and indifference to the issue of food grain storage in India which requires much importance.
Facts about Indian Agriculture and grains production: Demand and Supply
According to various estimations, India is the home to one fourth of the entire world’s distressed and hunger-stricken population. Almost 218 million people in India suffer from malnutrition and related diseases. However on the other side of the scenario, millions worth of food grains simply get wasted at the government warehouses! Shocking indeed but unfortunately it is true. This has been a common affair in India that almost 38% of food grains rot while stack up in the Government go downs every year. If only these grains were saved, the entire country could have received their lawful share of food. Instead of putting light on this problem government officials and ministers often suggest unreasonable remedies.
India itself produces enough grain to feed the entire population without importing grains from neighboring countries. But unfortunately one third of the total production is wasted as the government go downs lack proper storage facilities.
What is the Reason behind Wastage of grain and farmers suicides?
In this case, the immediate question that passes one’s mind is that why isn’t the government distributing the excess grains among people who are starved to death every year? Since Govt. has no proper go downs and cold stores so they could not store extra grains and vegetables, so one side farmers has no buyer for their crops and they are exploited by middlemen forced to sell their crops at dirt cheap rates and other side market has huge demand but less supply ant you get these things at higher prices, which saw rise in food inflation. Recent example is , farmers in Punjab throw potatoes on roads since there was no buyer for these or buyers giving them dirt cheap rates. This all happen because lack of proper cold stores and corruption of middlemen, who are also responsible for increasing the prices of vegetables and hence food inflation.
Farmers in India are oppressed by all means. They are compelled to take loans from the money-lenders who are shrewd enough to loot the farmers of their minimal possessions. Still these hardworking rural cults of India do not get their share of money, facilities and food, thanks to the middle mans who act as an intermediate communicator between the farmers and buyers. Hence the farmer families are forced to starve day after day with their kids and women. This is the root cause of overwhelming frustration and depression of the farmers that make them choose suicide as the last resort.
What can be done?
The food and agriculture ministry should take immediate initiative to prevent grains and crops wastage by making proper cold stores and go downs where grain and vegetables can be stored and make sure that the farmers get easy loans and suitable price for their crops.FDI in retail sector(vegetable and food retail) could help in improving situation because this will give farmers contract farming opportunities and they will make proper cold stores to store this, so farmers will not suffer wastage of their grain due to unavailability of storage which cause their crops go wasted with no buyer. It will not only resolve the problems of Indian agriculture but also bestow the poor peasants with a life to live!