Economic Development & Agrarian Crisis

Image via Oxfam America

By Tirumala Prasad

The economic activities are meant for improving the quality of life. Favourable climatic conditions are prerequisite for cultivating the crops. Most of the farmer suicides are reported from drought prone areas. Low budgetary allocations to improve agriculture are adding fuel to the whole issue. Non governmental organizations and voluntary organizations need to supplement the efforts of the governments.

Not all the agricultural regions face the menace of meagre profits. The problem of farmers’ suicides are being reported from a few regions. Besides the agricultural extension services, the concerned officials or scientists need to counsel the farmers about the consequences of committing suicides. The local self governments should involve in educating the debt ridden farmers through media. There should not be any pressures from both the public sector banks and also the private money lenders. One of the reasons for committing suicides is the severe mental stress on the poor farmers.

Good governance should also involve payment of immediate compensation and creating profitable alternative employment opportunities. The governments should also regulate the private money lenders. Crop insurance might play a dominant role in preventing the suicides.

The suicide rate is high among mostly the poor farmers. Besides taking steps to improve the over all quality of life of the small and marginal farmers, the governments need to create demand for the crops produced. The cropping pattern can also be altered if the geographical conditions are favourable. The depressed farmers do need a lot of awareness and education about the several issues of economics of agriculture.

Drought, indebtedness, failure of crops, lesser sales price or market value, unsatisfactory extension services, inferior quality infrastructure facilities, lack of proper awareness, inadequate alternate employment facilities, negligence by the elected political leaders, over exploitation of soils, climate change, agricultural and economic policies, corruption in implementing various drought prone areas development programmes, meagre budgetary allocations to improve the agricultural sector, etc are some of the major reasons for depression among some farming community.

Cultivation of crops does play a major role in the lives of many people in the developing and also the under developing economies. If climate is not favourable to grow crops, the farmers in such areas need to be given some other alternative but profitable employment avenues by scientifically assessing the locally available economic resources. Climate and soils do play a dominant role in deciding the economic activity of any region. Of course the role played by water is dominant.

Tirumala Prasad is a double postgraduate and has been in the field of Education, since 1990 He worked as tutor, teacher, lecturer, academic coordinator, vice principal, and principal at several locations in India and abroad. His research interests include, origin of the universe, exploration geophysics, and crystallography.