Indian Agriculture — Where are the farmers? Is Corporate Farming taking over?
For many centuries Agriculture is the main occupation for most of the people. Civilizations cherished because of farming. People used to travel from place to place in search of water and proper soil for agriculture. It even provided work for many. Not just raising crops they used to take care of cattle too. Milk, Meat & other by products created various revenue options.
Due to industrialization people started working in industries. Slowly the count of available workers for agriculture decreased. In present days it is very difficult to find workers as they are opting for works at building construction sites, factories and many got migrated to cities.
Agriculture is the last option for youth
There are many reasons for it, few are listed below –
- Importance of agriculture is not taught in school or college to students.
- No field trips to agriculture lands. But they organize industrial trips, trekking and other activities.
- Parents don’t encourage their children to take up this as profession.
- Factories and Software Companies offer better facilities at work.
- It’s a hard job. We need to work in tough weather conditions.
- Youth are after fixed monthly salary not no guarantee agriculture.
- It primarily depends on weather. Heavy rains or drought conditions will incur loses.
- Society is not giving proper respect to a person who is a farmer.
- Farmers face problems in selling their products. They cannot quote the selling price, middle men dictate the terms.
- The number of farmers commit suicide every month is creating bad impression.
I agree that it’s a tough job and luck (climate) plays its part. But if people stop becoming farmers then who will grow crops? In future big companies might take lands from farmers for lease or buy them and grow crops in large quantities. If that happens then companies dictate what we should buy, at which price and what we should eat.
- Government should help farmers starting from providing good seeds, fertilizers till selling the products.
- They need to set up more research & development units to find seeds which can grow in tough conditions.
- They should encourage students to study courses on agriculture.
We need better water management processes and stop fights between States for water.
- It should continuously guide farmers in reducing expenditure, learning new & effective techniques.
- Middle men buy more percentage of products from farmers. Government should have control over it and it should buy more directly from farmers.
- Grading system should have Government approved standards.
- Instead of pleasing farmers by giving ₹4–6K per acre Government should give quality seeds, water and better markets.
Hope at least 20% of next generation youth become farmers and not become doctors, engineers, drivers and others.
When a Corporate Company takes farms from farmers on lease or buy from them and do farming on large scale we call it as Corporate Farming. Is it Good or Bad if individual farmers are replaced by a Corporate Company? The Company can now dictate the market by producing the products they like, which in-turn impacts the people.
Pros of Corporate Farming:
- Company can invest more money and increase food production.
- They can buy and use large/costly machines for agriculture.
- They can directly sell the products in the market by removing many middle men.
- Company can work together with Government and produce a particular product (which may be staple food for people) on large scale.
- They can withstand losses incurred due to drought & floods.
Cons of Corporate Farming:
- Individual farmers who may be your father/mother or any person you know as farmer will loose their land/job.
- Daily labors will be replaced by machines.
- Company will decide what to produce and the price of the product.
- Individual farmers may join as daily labors in the Companies food processing units.
Current Situation in India:
Answer the below questions and you can find the current situation in India.
- Are you willing to be a farmer?
- If your parents are farmers will you take up farming?
- Is your friend a farmer?
- Do you think the next generation which is after Digital World will consider to be a farmer?
- Can you stop Government from taking your farm land for construction of Mall or Airport or an Office space?
- Why a farmer is not willing to make his/her son/daughter as a farmer?
The probability of a Corporate Company entering into farming on large scale is high in India. Political Parties promise that they will create lakhs of jobs for people. Can they ask the younger generation to take up agriculture? If your generation is not willing to work in farms then how can we expect the next generation to do it.