Help our farm­ers

Down to Earth - - LETTERS -

The cover story, Off to an­other bad start (16 -30 June, 2015), poses sev­eral ques­tions and seeks an­swers from gov­ern­ments, sci­en­tists, en­gi­neers, in­dus­tri­al­ists, NGOs and man­age­ment gu­rus. Agreed, we as a na­tion can­not fight the va­garies of na­ture alone. It has now be­come a global prob­lem which re­quires global so­lu­tions. But we need to tackle our farm­ers' prob­lems when their crops fail suc­ces­sively, driv­ing them to sui­cide. To­wards this end, we can plan short and long-term so­lu­tions. For in­stance, the gov­ern­ment could as­sure quick avail­abil­ity of sub­sidised ra­tions through the pub­lic dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem. This could be done by rush­ing food­grains through spe­cial trains to af­fected ar­eas. The gov­ern­ment should also pro­vide seeds to drought-prone ar­eas on credit and re­cover the cost only if the crops are nor­mal. Spec­u­la­tive farming should be dis­cour­aged in drought-prone ar­eas. Cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity should be im­posed on firms making money in the seed-pes­ti­cides-agro ma­chin­ery trade. Rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing should be made manda­tory in all ar­eas to help raise the wa­ter ta­ble. Long-term ir­ri­ga­tion projects should be con­ceived. And crop loss as­sess­ment should be an­a­lysed dig­i­tally..

\ L R SHARMA

SUN­DER­NA­GAR

Thanks for all the in­for­ma­tive and well­re­searched ar­ti­cles on the on­go­ing agrar­ian cri­sis in In­dia. It will be of great help to NGOs that want funds for col­lect­ing and send­ing es­sen­tial com­modi­ties to farm­ers' fam­i­lies in ar­eas where the cri­sis is be­ing deeply felt. We must ex­press sol­i­dar­ity and em­pathise with our farm­ers. We need to re­alise that agri­cul­ture is per­haps the only re­main­ing no­ble pro­fes­sion among var­i­ous prof­it­cen­tred vo­ca­tions to­day. It must not be ne­glected.

BHARATH KU­MAR

CHENNAI

VIKAS CHOUD­HARY / CSE

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