Institutional loan waivers and debt swapping can be effective only if they are supported by other measures that prevent farmers from falling back into debt.
In conversation with the Padma Shri awardee and chief proponent of Zero Budget Natural Farming on his methods, the agrarian crisis, cow vigilantism and more.
If the Meteorological Department had got their predictions right, farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada say, they wouldn’t have sowed their kharif crops when they did.
A curd-based mixture has been central to cutting down cultivation costs while increasing productivity for many small and marginal farmers in Bihar.
Sugarcane used to be something of an ‘insurance’ crop in the region, bound to bring returns. But not anymore.
Numerous policy decisions have made the domestic market less remunerative for farmers.
The Maharashtra government’s Rs 34,000-crore farm loan waiver may not provide much relief to small and marginal farmers in Marathwada, who are caught in the debt trap of private moneylenders.
The cultivation of safflower for its oil is declining because farmers are not finding a ready market and are discouraged by low prices.
Scientist R.H. Richharia’s research showed that several indigenous rice varieties gave high yields without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
In 2011, the minimum daily wage and the MGNREGA wage in Bihar was Rs 120, today the minimum daily wage has increased to Rs 232 per day but the MGREGA wage is Rs 168.
According to government data, the rate of increase of farm yields for many crops was higher in the pre-green revolution period when compared to later years.
Direct Benefit Transfers in form of subsidies to offset farming costs have a shaky track record given the complex and varied social reality of rural India.
Demonetisation destroyed rural incomes and the cattle slaughter ban choked off the farmer’s main source of emergency funding.
Organic farming has doubled the crop yield and increased tribal farmers’ profit margins, helping relieve their previous debts.
Some years ago, Western UP was better off than other parts of the country, but farmer suicides and stories of struggling families have been on the rise since.
A closer look at the government crop insurance schemes shows that they have been of little help to distressed farmers.
In a Latur hamlet, Shalubai works eight hours daily to fill water; some spend less time, but pay three times the rate for water than Aurangabad breweries do.
Anantapur is facing one of its worst droughts this year – and the depletion of groundwater and skyrocketing debts have only made it worse for the farmers in the district.
Due to supply crunch retail prices of tomato have more than doubled, peas saw a price increase of around Rs 40-50, while cauliflower, potatoes and lemons have also seen hikes.
Legislative action that primarily looks at cattle mobility as ‘acts of smuggling cattle out of state for slaughter’ is deeply misguided and betrays a misunderstanding of how India’s cattle have been bought and sold since the British Raj.
Can we use technology to solve the problems of farmers and create a possible e-governance framework to solve issues scalable from a farm level perspective to the entire nation?
Despite near-normal monsoon rainfall in India coupled with record farm production, prices for agricultural commodities sank for most of the year.
Over the last two years, actual and budgeted expenditure for the programme has fallen far short of the announced average expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore every year.
Debt waivers are supposed to help farmers make agricultural investments, repay future debts and tackle any other situation. But the history of waivers in India tells a different tale.
Native varieties of millet which can grow in drought-like conditions are making a comeback thanks to the indigenous Dognria Kondh community in Odisha and its growing traction among affluent consumers for their many health benefits.
A fortnightly column from The Wire’s public editor.
Naidu’s statements come at a time when a spate of farmers suicides have rocked Indian polity and a number of agitations led by farmers are underway across various parts of the country.
Despite farmers citing demonetisation as one of the chief causes for their distress and protests, the government is still projecting it as an excellent move.
An unregulated borewell economy thrives through the dry summers in Osmanabad district of Marathwada, with agents and rig owners cashing in on the desperation of farmers to find water at any depth, any cost.
The Indian farmer is not just a poor, helpless victim who deserves a waiver because he cannot pay. The root cause of the debt trap is that his income has not increased with rising expenditure due to state policies.
While suicides and shock deaths have seen a sudden spike in Tamil Nadu’s Cauvery delta region, the government does not believe the drought is the cause and is continuing to direct water away from rural areas.
According to a report by a committee headed by Dr. Abhay Bang, as many as 10,000 children die of malnutrition and related illnesses each year in tribal areas of Maharashtra.
Prices paid to local farmers for common grade paddy rice are to be raised by 5.4% to Rs. 1,550 per 100 kg for the year starting on July 1, while long staple cotton prices have been hiked by 3.8% to Rs. 4,320 per 100 kg.
Although the Maharashtra government has announced a loan waiver, Marathwada’s indebted farmers still do not know how they will get the money to buy farm inputs this sowing season.
Rs 10,000 initial crop loan assistance is provided to farmers under the Maharashtra scheme.
While most farmers and farm land are from rainfed areas, the government focuses only on irrigated areas. How long will this unfair treatment continue?
In the sixty-eighth episode of Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Vinod Dua discusses the recent Aadhaar-PAN judgment and the impact of demonetisation on farmers.
The government has offered Rs one crore as financial aid to the kin of those who died in the recent stir in Mandsaur.
Activists allege that the government’s actions in the area, including not letting anyone in, are undemocratic and an attempt to hide what happened.
Patel was on his way to meet the families of the farmers killed in police firing on June 6, as well as other farmer leaders.