India is rapidly developing.
Services sector is booming.
Our GDP is increasing at 9%.
We are cutting nuclear deals with USA.
Our youth have the credit to buy German and Japanese cars and motorcycles.
Our farmers do not have the credit to buy seeds.
We are cutting deals with Monsanto and undercutting our farmers.
Over 60% of our economy is reliant on agriculture.
Agriculture sector is in a serious crisis.
India is ready for a massive collapse.
That is the story of two different Indias. If you really think about it, everything about India is pluralistic. Agriculture is fundamentally unsustainable. Like education, the country needs to subsidize and support its agrarian sector. Particularly a country who’s excess of 50% economy is agrarian and excess of 70% of the population are farmers. However, as the policies of the past decade unfold, we are seeing a continued spread of farmer suicides across the country.
P.Sainath, the journalist, has written extensively about the agrarian crisis in India. The India Together website chronicles the analysis, essays, reports and interviews.
The suicides of thousands of farmers around the country tell poignant and revealing tales of our country, and the desperation that marks the lives of so many millions. Disastrous policies, woeful access to affordable credit, greedy and corrupt middlemen, and indifferent administrations are among the factors that have pushed farmers to their breaking point.
The problems are numerous. Genetically modified seeds, inorganic fertilizers, mono-culture, PDS selectively favouring some crops like rice and therefore marginalizing other crops like millets, etc. The solutions are not obvious. In the case of solutions like organic farming, multi-cultures etc. how to scale the solution nationwide is not clear.
Please use this blog post and comments to discuss these solutions. Looking forward to your inputs.