Give Indian farm­ers a chance

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - GIRISH UDAPUDI VIA EMAIL

7KLV LV UHJDUGLQJ WKH HGLWRULDO k:H FDQ W DIIRUG WR ORVH IDUPHUVy -XQH I feel Indian agriculture should no longer be a play­ground, play­ing with the lives of kOLYLQJ PDFKLQHVy IDUPHUV NLOOLQJ WKHP VORZO\ EXW SDLQIXOO\

:H VKRXOG UHYLYH WKH FXOWLYDWLRQ RI kRUSKDQ FURSVy WKDW DUH EHLQJ UHSODFHG E\ cash crops. Iron­i­cally, th­ese crops, which many learned sci­en­tists can­not even LGHQWLI\ DUH EHLQJ UHYLYHG LQ SDUW E\ kLOOLWHUDWHy IDUPHUV 6XFK IDUPHUV QHHG WR EH en­cour­aged and this can be in­ter­preted as pa­tri­o­tism of some sort.

:H VKRXOG DOVR DEROLVK WKH 3XEOLF 'LVWULEXWLRQ 6\VWHP PDS 7KH ODWH SROLWLFLDQ DQG PLQLVWHU 5DIL $KPHG .LGZDL ZDQWHG WR GR VR EXW -DZDKDUODO 1HKUX FRXOG QRW act on it. Al­ter­na­tives to PDS can, and should, be de­vised.

%\ ,QGLD V SRSXODWLRQ PD\ EH DURXQG WR ELOOLRQ ,I WKHUH LV D sys­tem­atic pol­icy, funds and mar­ket­ing as­sur­ance, our farm­ers can feed not only our coun­try, but oth­ers too.

I am an 84-year-old med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner and farmer. Farm in­puts have be­come ex­pen­sive be­cause of high labour cost, and are fur­ther in­creas­ing due to ex­ploita­tion by land own­ers. Farm work­ers' out­put is dis­pro­por­tion­ate to the wages paid, es­pe­cially dur­ing the har­vest sea­son. It is a myth that there is em­ploy­ment in the un­or­gan­ised sec­tor, namely, agriculture. The au­thor­i­ties should con­duct de­tailed vis­its in farm­lands to study the farm­ing mech­a­nisms and

help farm­ers. The rea­son why farm­ers are forced to take loans is be­cause the so­called sub­sidy for farm ponds, drip ir­ri­ga­tion and crop loss in­sur­ance takes months, even years to reach. Merely mak­ing prom­ises is not go­ing to help the farmer.

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