The Indian farmer is a living idol of India, as they are the most hardworking farmers around the world & always busy, working hard for their crops, during day and night.
India is called the land of farmers, as most of the people of the country are directly or indirectly involved in the agriculture sector.
It would not be wrong to say that ‘Indian farmers’ are the backbone of the economy and the farmers are indeed the beloved children of Mother India.
Farming is the process of growing a wide variety of crops; India has a diverse culture, with approximately 22 major languages and 720 homeland languages spoken in India.
People from all the religions like Hindu, Christian, Islam and Sikh live in India & they are engaged in various occupations, but agriculture is the main occupation.
“Indian Farmer” has the ability to survive with the various seasons, climate change, soil conditions and often harsh destruction of wildfires, droughts and floods.
Role of an Indian Farmer:
The functions of a farmer vary according to the type of operation.
A farmer who grows crops has responsibility for making the land for harvesting the crops, sowing the seeds and taking care of it.
Few Indian farmers sell their crops in the market, while some have agreements with processing companies or other establishments.
Crops may include special crops such as grains, fruits and vegetables or cotton, etc. for human consumption.
The farmer should keep the fields free of water, manure and weeds along with the crops apart from planting.
Farmers also have to grow the crops for feeding their animals.
Agriculture in India:
Agriculture in India also contributes significantly to gross domestic product (GDP).
In the situation of food security, rural employment and environmental techniques like soil conservation, management of natural resources, sustainable agriculture are essential for the development of the entire rural area.
For overall rural development, the Indian agricultural sector has been a symbol of the Green Revolution, Yellow Revolution, White Revolution and Blue Revolution.
Modern Agriculture in India:
Some of the Indian Farmers are deeply engaged in modern farming.
In this type of agriculture, the farmer uses most modern seed fertilizer pesticides herbicides insecticides and the technology available for Best Irrigation with a minimum requirement of water.
High-quality seeds will give a higher harvest.
Some modern agricultural farms use equipment like tractors harvester & other equipment to get a better crop whereas few perform rainwater harvesting in their farms.
Few farmers in India also construction retaining wall to avoid landslides in their small artificial dams, mainly constructed for the agricultural activities.
Condition of Farmers in India:
The condition of most farmers is terrible. About 80% of farmers in India are marginal (less than 1 hectare) or small farmers (1–2 hectare) category.
Agriculture supports about 60% of employment but contributes only 17% to GDP.
Every day, there are reports of Indian farmer suicides from different parts of the country. People sitting in air conditioner rooms are formulating policies to rectify the problems of farmers.
The situation of Indian Farmer is as follows:
The moneylenders still play an important role in agricultural glory, where the interest paid to them will be more than the profit from cultivated crops.
MGNREGA Effect: It is very difficult to get workers after the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
It ruined agriculture with labour shortages and the schema is anti-agricultural.
Productivity vs. Price: The price of a crop is the opposite of productivity. If the productivity is higher then the price will be lower and vice versa.
Good rainfall, good yield and good prices never come together. So the income of the farmers will be either marginal or there will be any profit or loss.
Only large farmers can use machines and achieve good productivity with low production costs.
Nowadays the cost of paddy cultivation is similar to the final production, only paddy grass is beneficial for farmers, which they can use as fodder for cattle.
Too much rain or drought will destroy crops or if everything is good and productivity is low then the price will be low.
Urban consumers who used to get the best media attention would protest if food prices rise, but they would not understand the problems of farmers, i.e. 100rs per kg breaking news, onion 1rs per kg is no news.
Middlemen: These are the people who earn by sucking the blood of farmers. We used to sell onions for 10rs per kg, for example, but I get the most in Mumbai for 50rs per kg.
Every farmer wants his children to get out of agriculture because they are aware of the difficulty in agriculture.
There are many schemes implemented by the government by agriculture, NABARD and central / state agencies, but I think even 10% has not reached the farmers.
Types of Farming in India:
Farming systems are used strategically in India, according to the places where they are best suited. Some are traditional farming whereas some are advanced farming, various types of agriculture in India are as follows:
1. Shifting Agriculture:
In shifting agriculture, the land is obtained by cleaning the forest and agriculture is practised till the fertility of the land is exhausted. After this, another field is cleaned and agriculture is practised on it.
Typically, plant, tuber crops such as yams, tapioca and root crops are grown. It is practised mainly by tribals living in the forest.
2. Subsistence Agriculture:
In subsistence agriculture, the farmer and his family produce grain only for their own family or for the local market.
Grains like wheat, rice, millet are mainly raised. It is still practised in most parts of India. Indian Farmer named their farming system with various names:
‘Jhumming’ in the northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Pamlu district of Manipur, Bastar district of Chhattisgarh and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.
The ‘Bever’ or ‘Dahiya’ in Madhya Pradesh,
‘Podu’ or ‘Penda’ in Andhra Pradesh,
The ‘Pammi Dabi’ or ‘Koman’ or ‘Sema’ in Orissa,
‘Kumari’ in the Western Ghats,
‘Valere’ or ‘Waltrey’ in southeast Rajasthan,
The ‘Kuruva’ in Jharkhand and ‘Kheel’ in the Himalayan region.
3. Intensive Subsistence Farming:
The objective of intensive farming is to produce the maximum possible production on limited farms with all possible efforts under the circumstances.
Intensive farming is capable of growing more than one crop in a year.
Huge capital and human labour are imposed on each hectare of land. It is practised in most of the densely populated parts.
4. Extensive Subsistence Farming:
Extensive farming is the modern system of farming practised on large farms. It is also known as mechanical farming due to the widespread use of machines.
Extensive farms raise only one crop a year. Employment of labour and capital per hectare of land is comparatively less.
It is practised in sparsely populated areas such as the United States, Canada, Russia and Australia.
5. Primitive subsistence agriculture:
This type of farming is practised on small pieces of land with the help of primitive tools.
This type of agriculture depends on the rainy season and the natural fertility of the soil.
It is also called ‘slash and burn’ farming.
6. Plantation Farming:
In plantation agriculture, shrub or tree cultivation is done on vast areas.
It is capital-centred farming and requires good exclusive capacity, technical knowledge, fertilizers and improved machinery and irrigation and transportation facilities.
A special or single-sown crop such as rubber, tea, coconut, coffee and fruit crops, etc. is sown and the yield is generally obtained continuously for many years.
It is generally practised in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam. Plantation agriculture requires a long growing period.
7. Commercial Grain Farming:
Commercial agriculture is practised on a large scale to raise crops so that they can be exported to other countries and make money.
Commercial agriculture is done mostly in populated areas, their aims to sell products for money.
Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra mainly cultivate this type of farming. Wheat, cotton, sugarcane, corn, etc. are some commercial crops.
8. Dry Land Farming:
Cultivation moisture is maintained by growing special types of crops in a dry land. Gram, Jowar, Bajra and peas are crops that require less water.
It is practised in arid regions of the country like Western, North-Western India and Central India by Indian Farmer.
It is prevalent in areas with low rainfall or where there are insufficient irrigation facilities.
9. WetLand Farming:
Wetland farming depends mainly on rainfall, so it is practised in high rainfall or well-irrigated areas. Rice, jute and sugarcane are grown in this type of farming.
This type of farming is mainly practised on the slopes of the Western Ghats, north & north-eastern India.
Types of crops in India:
Kharif: Kharif crops are grown with the onset of monsoon till the beginning of winter. Rice, maize, cotton, groundnut, moong, urad etc. are the Kharif crops.
Rabi: Rabi crops are sown till the beginning of summer with the onset of winter, Rabi crops are wheat, barley, gram, mustard, sesame and peas and oilseeds.
Zaid: Zaid crops are grown in the short summer season, watermelon and cucumbers are Zaid crops.
Importance of an Indian Farmer:
- Farming is a remarkable part of the economy in India, as it adds about 17% of the absolute GDP. It gives employment to over 60% of the population.
- Farmers are an important part of the existence of our various societies because they provide food and fibre which gives us nutrition and cloth.
- Farming is an industry that relies on the natural environment and its careful and responsible use every day.
- Cultivation practices often provide natural biologically active filter mechanisms for water as well as soil vegetation stabilization.
- Indian Farmer and farming communities provide an excellent environment to raise relations.
- They offer opportunities for young and old alike to gain experiences in basic lifelong values, an appreciation for success, as well as the sorrow of life’s most challenging occurrences.
Reason for farmer’s suicide in India:
According to the NCRB report data, the number of farmer suicides in the country was 11,379 in 2016 as against 12,360 in 2014 and 12,602 in 2015, the reason for farmers suicide as follows:
Weather and Climate Issues:
The weather has become unpredictable these days in India and it does not rain at the right time. The situation in central India is particularly bad, which can be considered as the agricultural sector of India.
The scale of operation:
Real estate prices had soared and reached a level that people are finding it difficult to buy a home. In such circumstances, it is unrealistic for the average people to buy farms for farming.
The gap between small farmers, big farmers and medium farmers are huge. India’s inheritance laws are problematic in nature with emphasis on fragmentation.
Shortage of farm labourers:
These days, farm labour is considered exclusively as casual labour. Areas such as construction and industry are already employing people who would otherwise be engaged in agriculture.
This is also one of the reasons why urban migration has increased so much in the last few decades.
Unsatisfactory realization of prices:
One of the most important problems facing farmers in India is about marketing.
The situation is particularly terrible in sugar factories where weighing scales are always called dishonest and farmers take significant time just to break them.
In some situations, farmers are also required to give their products to moneylenders for free.
Quality of seeds, pesticides and fertilizers:
Farmers in India often have to do with poor quality seeds. There are many reasons for the hardship, such as untoward peasants, corruption of officials, laws of ineffective and coercion, and improper implementation of laws.
Measures to improve the condition of Indian Farmer:
- Availability of water resources and irrigation facilities.
- The availability of Good seeds of standard quality.
- Availability of Good fertilizers on required time.
- Also, the availability of Proper storage facilities for the products that can protect them from the whims of nature.
- Availability of Finance for farming activities at reasonable interest rates.
- Elimination of Private financiers, who charge usurious interest rates for the monies lent.
- Availability of Electric and generators for the pumps and other electrical equipment used for farm activity.
- Transport facility to move the product to the market and their safe storage at the market.
- Ultimately proper price that covers the production costs and gives a decent amount into the hands of the farmer.
Conclusion for INDIAN FARMER:
It is certainly true that the Indian farmer is a hard-working farmer; it has a good ability to manage the variations of nature and circumstances.
By adopting the latest scientific tools, he is learning many ways of farming, a lot of awareness in farming through education.
They are also changing their lifestyle, except in some situations, their family too is now getting facilities like education, health.
To be honest, the Indian farmer is a great farmer, a great human being.