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The Farmers Act- A leeway for midway

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

In India, 70% of the population are directly or indirectly depending upon agriculture. Since independence, India has become one of the largest producers of wheat, edible oil, potato, spices, rubber, tea, fishing, fruits, and vegetables in the world. Post-independence, the five-year plans of India had given due allocation and importance to the agricultural reforms in India and as part of that movement several progressive measures such as land reclamation, mechanization, electrification, use of chemicals and fertilizers were embarked under the government supervision. The green revolution, which marked its dawn in early 1960’s , had converted the agriculture into an industrial system by adopting modern methods and technology such as high yielding seeds, irrigation systems, advent of pesticides and fertilizers etc. The adoption of novel ideas into the farming culture of India had resulted in increase in food grain productivity, especially in states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The liberalization of the economy in 1991 had increased the purchasing power of the middle class of India and the same had spurred the demand for the agricultural products. Similarly, the export market of the agricultural produce continued to grow well over 19.1% annually through 1990’s. In 2019-20, total food grain production in the country is estimated at 296.65 million tonnes which is higher by 11.44 million tonnes than the production of food grain of 285.21 million tonnes during 2018-19. Rice production during 2019-20 is estimated at 118.4 million tonnes as compared to 116.5 million tonnes in 2018-19. Wheat production during 2019-20 is estimated at 107.6 million tonnes as compared to 103.6million tonnes during 2018-19. Government has increased Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all mandated kharif, rabi and other commercial crops. The enhanced MSP ensures a return of 1.5 times overall India weighted average cost of production for the season 2020-21.

Farmers’ suicide amidst sectoral growth

In contrast to the prosperity in the agricultural sector, most strikingly, the suicide among the farmers had shown a sharp increase duri