In order to protect the poor, it is very essential to accompany the farm price corrections with an income support scheme for the poor. Farmers are still hysterical, committing suicides and governments are panicking into promises of loan waivers and income support. However, the farmers do have subsidised fertiliser, subsidised power. Still it seems like this would not help in relieving farm distress.
The farm prices should not be suppressed. Three things are required to bring amiable content to Indian fields; The ever-larger rural populations need to be shifted to non-farm work and towns, the cropping patterns should be altered so that they suit the agricultural agroclimatic conditions and benchmark the Indian agricultural prices against the global ones. Also, the farmers should be given a free hand to capture a higher share of the values their produce acquires via cleaning, grading, packaging, processing, before reaching the consumer.
The poor fraternity needs to be shielded. The difficulty lies in changing the crop mix which suits each region’s agrocliamtic conditions. Dry land of Maharahstra is into the production of Sugarcane simply because of subsidised power for irrigation, subsidised fertilisers and subsidised loans. On the contrary, East Uttar Pradesh and Bihar which are considered to be India’s or probably world’s best places for growing sugarcane, because of abundant water supply, don’t grow any. This seems to be sad and such issues are being ignored due to the missing of law and order. What exactly to grow where needs to be determined by the demand and know-how, in transmitting wherein functioning market pays an effective role.
A large part of subsidies needs to be diverted to productivity in order to boost investment. Some share of subsidy as cash support needs to be given and the Indian farmers should be watched out for capturing a rising share of world’s
Free up farm prices divert a large part of the subsidies to productivity boosting investment and give some subsidy as cash support and watch Indian farmers capture a rising share of the world’s farm exports.
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