Six Reasons for Indian Farmer Suicides
Globalization has affected Indian Agriculture very much. Though the Government of India is taking steps to help the farmers by relief schemes like massive loan waiver, it has only worsened the situation affecting majority of the population.
Six Reasons for Indian Farmer Suicides
India is an agricultural country. More than 75% of the Indian population lives on agriculture. Recent globalization has changed the face of India very much. Agriculture has failed and people are on the exodus to urban areas in search of jobs. The most prominent manifestation is the decline in the growth rate of food grains and the growing number of farmer suicides.
The massive loan waiver scheme announced by the Government has even more adversely affected Indian agriculture. The farmers have been cornered and their utter despair compels them to end their lives. Suicide of farmers has become a major fall-out of stagnation in Indian agriculture. National Crime Records Bureau has given alarming statistics about the suicide deaths of farmers.
Six major reasons for this farmer suicide
1) Liberal import of agricultural products
The recent globalization has relaxed the import policies of the government which has resulted in liberal import. Though it has reduced prices in the market, it has affected farmers as their products have become unprofitable. They were not given any protection and they had to stop production partly or fully. The government which had to give higher price for importing did not come forward to protect the farmers in reality.
2) Cutback in agriculture subsidies
The government reduced different types of subsidies due to the fluctuations in the market. According to Ram Chand, an economist, cutback in subsidy and control of fertilizers has adversely affected Indian agriculture. It increased the input cost and made agriculture less profitable. The central government budget keeps total silence about subsidy apparently since it goes against the regulations of World Trade Organization.
3) Lack of easy financial assistance to agriculture
Recently the lending pattern of Indian banks has drastically changed and as a result loans were not easily available for farmers. Another drawback was that the interest for the loan amount was not easily affordable. This has forced the farmers to rely on money lenders throwing their condition from the frying pan into fire. Consequently the expenditure on agriculture was pushed up beyond the bearing capacity of the farmers.
4) Decline in the Government investment in agricultural sector
After globalization, the government expenditure and investment in agriculture has been drastically decreased because of its policy of minimum intervention. The expenditure of the government in rural development including agriculture, irrigation, flood control, village industry, energy and transport declined from an average of 14.5% to 6%. The rate of capital formation of agriculture came down, and the agricultural growth also was much reduced affecting the lives of farmers very much.
5) Low support price for farm products
The farmers were affected from both sides, from the government side and from the market side. They were no getting remunerative price for their products. No effort was made for price stabilization.
6) Lack of food security
The public distributing system in the country is very poor aiming only at the vote bank. The poor security of food products has a very negative impact on agricultural market. India has starving. Yet food stocks are rotting in open storage places. Greedy middlemen are exploiting the situation. Hunger and malnutrition are forcing the poor Indians to despair and death.
The situation of the Indian farmers is a call to the world at large to reconsider the effects of globalization. It is a call to the global family to come forward to a collective effort to come out of selfishness.