Farmers are the foundation of our civilization. They are the ones that provide us with all of our food. As a result, farmers support the whole country's population. Whether it is a developing or developed country. Only because of them do we exist on the planet. Farmers are thus the most critical individuals on the planet. Despite their importance, farmers do not have a decent way of life. Farmers have an essential role in our society. They are responsible for providing us with food. They are essential in civilisation since everyone needs appropriate nourishment to survive.
There are several sorts of crops that farmers grow. And they are all equally important. Some of the essential crops that farmers grow crops such as wheat, barley, rice, and so on. Because wheat and rice are the most often consumed foods in Indian households, farmers who cultivate these foods are critical. The other group of farmers are those who grow fruits. These growers must prepare the land for various varieties of fruits. Because these fruits change with the seasons. As a result, farmers must be well-versed in fruits and crops. Many more farmers cultivate a variety of other crops. Furthermore, they must all labour really hard to maximise harvesting. Farmers also contribute around 20 per cent of the Indian GDP, which is high. Nonetheless, a farmer is denied every societal indulgence.
Importance and Role of Indian Farmers
Farmers are the heart of the country. Agriculture is the sole source of income for over two-thirds of India's employed population. Farmers grow grains, legumes, and vegetables that everyone requires. They work tirelessly to ensure that we have food on the table every day. So, anytime we eat or have a meal, we should appreciate the farmer.
India's farmers are the world's largest producers of pulses, rice, wheat, spices, and spice goods. They are also involved in other minor enterprises, including dairy, meat, poultry, fishery, food grains, etc. Agriculture now accounts for about 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Economic Survey 2020-2021. India has now surpassed China to become the world's second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables.
Conditions of Farmers in India
Farmers in India are in dire condition. Every month, we see the news of farmers' suicides. Furthermore, farmers have all had a rough existence in recent years. The issue is that they do not receive adequate compensation. A farmer receives nothing in hand since the intermediaries receive the majority of the money. Furthermore, farmers do not have the money to send their children to school. Sometimes the situation is so bad that they don't even have enough food. As a result, farmers face hunger. As a result, they make suicide attempts.
Another factor contributing to farmers' poor conditions is global warming. Because Global Warming is affecting our globe in every manner, it also impacts our agriculture. Every season is witnessing some unnatural changes as a result of global warming. They are not obtaining food since various crops have varied ripening seasons. Crops require adequate sunlight and rain to flourish. So, if the crops do not receive it, they are damaged. This is one of the primary reasons for the agricultural collapse. Farmers commit suicide as a result of poor crops, low prices and loan.
Our government is attempting to give numerous benefits to farmers in order to rescue them. The government just freed them from all loans. Furthermore, the government provides them with a yearly pension of Rs. 6000. This allows them to supplement their income in addition to their career. Furthermore, the government gives their children quotas (reservations). This guarantees that their children receive an adequate education. In today's society, all youngsters should receive a solid education. In order for them to have a better life.
There are several steps taken by different NGOs and private companies too. One of the leading causes of global poverty is environmental deterioration, typically felt most acutely by smallholder farmers and indigenous people. Agroforestry with a social effect provides rural communities with food security and access to value chains for forest and food products. Commonland began an enormous landscape restoration project in central India at the start of 2019. TNC India and Commonland, both funded by the IKEA Foundation, aim to catalyse agroforestry at scale by providing smallholder farmers with technical assistance and access to resources, as well as to develop sustainable local institutions and linkages to markets for their forest and agroforest products.
Commonland, with the help of the Ikea Foundation, has created a landscape resilience programme centred on agroforestry. They work with strong local partners such as The Nature Conservancy, Samarth Charitable Trust, and local government. Landscape orchestration, project management, and assisting transformative processes such as motivating local partners, providing farmer education, and building collective leadership are all responsibilities of Commonland. Simply put, to bring all parties and activities together into a single comprehensive restoration project with the capacity to expand.
The initiative has begun in ten villages in Chhattisgarh's Kabirdham district. The initiative covers both natural forest regeneration by smallholders and medium and large-scale farmers' long-term sustainable commercial supply of agroforest products. Empowering farmers through new revenue sources, incentives, and voices are significant factors in both scenarios.
The widespread adoption of agroforestry provides a long-term sustainable alternative to the region's present monoculture practises and commercial activities such as tree cutting. A well-planned agroforestry project with a social benefit regenerates soil, maintains existing forests, improves water retention, and increases biodiversity in the environment. Greater yields result in more revenue, which allows these agricultural communities to fulfil their basic human requirements while also taking pleasure in the environment in which they live.
Issues and Challenges of Indian Farmers and Their Current Situation
We hear a lot of stories of farmer fatalities, which crush our hearts. Farmers commit suicide due to the drought, burden of loan and agricultural loss. They encounter a variety of agricultural concerns and obstacles. Poorly maintained irrigation systems and a lack of adequate extension services are two of them. Poor roads, insufficient market infrastructure, and heavy regulation impede farmers' market access. Due to a lack of investment, India lacks inadequate infrastructure and services for farmers. Because most farmers have limited plots of land, they are forced to adopt conventional agricultural practices, sparing production. Farmers with big plots of land, on the other hand, use contemporary agricultural practices increasing output.
If small farmers wish to enhance their output, they must employ high-quality seeds, adequate irrigation systems, innovative agricultural instruments and procedures, herbicides, fertilisers, and so on. They require money for all of this; therefore, they have little alternative except to incur debt or obtain a loan from a bank. They are under enormous pressure to produce crops to prosper. If their crop fails, all of their efforts will be for naught. In fact, they are unable to create enough to even feed their families' bellies. They are unable to repay the debt in this scenario, and many of them commit suicide as a result.
Rural India is changing, but there is still a long way to go. Farmers have profited from new farming practices, although development has been uneven. The goal should be to prevent farmers from migrating to cities. To make agriculture viable and lucrative, adequate attention must be paid to improving the conditions of marginal and small farmers. Finally, farming is a career that requires a lot of hard work and effort. Furthermore, given our country's rising population, we should take steps to assist our farmers.
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