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2.5. WHAT AILS INDIAN AGRICULTURE?

Decline of growth of agricultural sector to 1.65% per annum in 1996-2005 from 3.69% per annum in 1990-1996. Reduction of net sown area, gross cropped area, gross irrigated area, fertilizer use and electricity consumption for agricultural usage. Growth rate of terms of trade for agriculture declined from 0.95 per cent per annum during 1990-96 to (-) 1.63 percent per annum 1996-2005. The plight of farmers is apparent from the fact that the Punjab farmers with immense average farm sizes of 3.79 ha, growing wheat and rice can only earn incomes which are less than the starting salary of a class IV employee.1 77% of Indias population lives on less than Rs.20 a day and Agriculture is the largest unorganised sector. 57% of Indias total employment and 73% of total rural employment come from this sector. Agriculture is getting feminised. 73% women as compared to 52% men. Small and marginal farmer households accounting for 84% of all farmer households are predominantly in financial debt.2

1. National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (2007). 2. http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/association-news/sica/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=48601.

1. AGRICULTURAL SITUATION IN RAJASTHAN- MAIN FEATURES:It has been noted that agriculture in Rajasthan is characterized by the following features: 1. While the agro-climatic conditions in Rajasthan have a great deal of diversity which permits crops of great diversity to be produced in different parts of the State, over 70% of the cultivated land (net sown area is 24 lakh hectares) is not irrigated and is dependent upon unreliable monsoons.

3. The minor irrigation facilities of the State consist of over 36,000 community tanks and over ten lakh irrigation wells which jointly account for around 58 percent of the net irrigated area of about 30 lakh hectares.

4. More than 73% of the farmers fall into the category of small and marginal farmers with an average holding of less than one hectare of land.

5. The productivity of most agricultural crops in the State is significantly below the national average, however there is a prospective for additional improvement. 6. Cereal crops dominate the states agriculture with more than 54% of the gross cultivated area, despite their existing favourable conditions for Horticulture crops, which cover only about 12% (16.30 lakh hectares) of net cropped area.
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7. Livestock production and dairy farming constitute about 26 per cent of the States ASDP (State Domestic Product from Agriculture).

8. The Sericulture sector, which collectively employs over 10 lakh people, has remained stagnant in spite of there being a potential to grow.

9. There has not been an adequate development of the agriculture marketing sector to ensure stable and remunerative prices for agricultural produce.

10. Though the contribution of agriculture in the State GDP is declining (it has come down from about 30% in the beginning of this century to about 20% currently), a large percentage (about 66%) of the total population is still dependent on agriculture.3

For improving the productivity of Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Animal Husbandry etc., with a view to maximizing the incomes of farmers households and minimising the risks faced by them in the context of Rajasthans agricultural situation.

The state government must adopt the strategy of diversification of agriculture as a major element of its policy. The motto of diversification shall be no field with one crop, and no farmer with one income.

3. http://www.barcjaipur.org/admin/cat-images/catImg_1321097184.pdf

CONCLUSION
Agriculture has always been considered as the primary sector in India. India is an agrarian economy, meaning that agriculture is the pre-dominant sector of the Indian economy. True to this, even to this day, notwithstanding the Indian economy opening out to the world and globalization, close to 70% of the population still depends on agriculture for its livelihood. The secondary and tertiary sectors in India are growing at rapid rates, still a vast majority of Indians continue to depend on agriculture. Every plan for the growth of the Indian economy aims at agricultural development, which is justified because to achieve the growth rates that the economy aims at, it is important to first address the growth rate of the major sector of the economy. Since the first Five year plan, India's focus has been on agriculture and after 50 years of Five year plans, where does Indian agriculture stand? Thanks to the Green Revolution, India is now self-sufficient in food production, gone are the days when India had to import even food grains for daily consumption. Indian agriculture has been making technological advancement as well. Today, a visit to the villages will reveal that more and more farmers are adopting mechanization for their farming, there is an overall improvement in the agricultural trends in India.

For upliftment of the farmers there is need for a joint initiative by State Government, Central Government and Financial Institutions. There is need of,

Timely and adequate support by way of credit to farmers with focusing small and marginal farmers to have them modern equipment for improved agricultural productivity. To issue Kisan Credit Cards to all the eligible farmers to have them access to get ST, MT and LT loan from all the banks. To form the SHGs of Tenant farmers/ share croppers & agricultural workers and give them micro-credit through banks. Encourage the farmers to adopt allied activities like dairy, fishery, poultry etc. with farming activities. Diversification/crop rotation in agricultural production in changed scenario. Adoption of upgraded technology inputs along with provision of infrastructure inputs like power at subsidized cost, supply of inputs like seeds, fertilizers, tractors and credit provision through all nationalized banks. Adoption of Non-Farm activities with allied agricultural activities. Arrangements of marketing /forward linkages /contract farming to sell their produce at remunerative prices. If these facilities are given to farmers they may achieve self-sufficiency in agricultural production. There is need for major review of agricultural policy to meet the changing needs of both producers and consumers. The problem cannot be solved through economic packages alone. What is needed is social and spiritual interventions so that the farmers realize that suicide is not the way outthey should understand that they need to develop self confidence. The future generation should have the mental strength to face life's challenges. Amma

As has been mentioned earlier, there cannot be one single and most effective solution to prevent the suicides of farmers. The trend can be reversed through active participation of the Government in addressing the real issues of the farmers that are driving them to suicides. Social responsibility also goes a long way to help the farmers. The big land owners in most places do not lend a helping hand to struggling farmers, in most cases, they grab the benefits which are otherwise meant for the poor farmers. General public, NGOs, Corporate and other organisations too can play a part in helping farmers by adopting drought affected villages and families and helping them to rehabilitate. The solution to the farmer's plight should be directed towards enabling the farmers to help themselves and sustain on their own. Temporary measures through monetary relief
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would not be the solution. The efforts should be targeted at improving the entire structure of the small farmers wherein the relief is not given on a drought to drought basis, rather they are taught to overcome their difficulties through their own skills and capabilities. The Government needs to come up with pro-active solutions and the nation has to realize that farmers' suicides are not minor issues happening in remote parts of a few states, it is a reflection of the true state of the basis of our economy. "Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day but teach him how to fish, he will eat for the rest of his life", so goes the popular saying, the case of our Indian farmers is similar to this, what they need is a means to sustain throughout their lives without having the face the desperation that adversity drives them to. If India has to shine, it is these farmers that need to be empowered.4

2. BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/association-news/sica/newsdetails.aspx?news_id = 48601. http://www.prsindia.org/parliamenttrack/report-summaries/swaminathan-reportnational -commission-on-farmers--662. http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd16/PF/presentations/farmers_relief.pdf. http://www.stwr.org/food-security-agriculture/one-farmers-suicide-every-30minutes.html. http://www.macroscan.org/anl/mar08/pdf/farmers_suicides.pdf http://www.barcjaipur.org/admin/cat-images/catImg_1321097184.pdf http://www.civilserviceindia.com/subject/Essay/farmer-suicides.html http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/40-year-old-farmer-commits-suicidein-Rajkot village/article show/15375639.cms?

4. http://www.civilserviceindia.com/subject/Essay/farmer-suicides.html