Help our farmers
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
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.