Open on all days. A beautiful statue of Flora, the Roman Goddess is seen at the top. It is one of the Heritage structures of India.
Their triumph may be illusory, however: India continues to stare at a massive agrarian crisis, and it has become worse in the last four years. Organized by a communist party affiliate, the farmers marched kilometers in the blazing heat to be heard by in Mumbai.
People came out to feed them voluntarily, and their decision to march through the night so that commuters in Mumbai were not inconvenienced was greeted with massive cheers.
A key demand of the farmers was the waiving of crippling farm loans. The policy was promised by the BJP before state elections in However, up until now, only one-third of farmers in the state had been given waivers.
Moreover, they demanded individual and community land rights for forest dwellers. Overapplications are pending for disposal. Protesting Indian farmers at a rally in Mumbai sustain themselves on meagre Indian breads and pickle on March The fundamental root of the agrarian crisis is the intense pressure of population on land.
NSSO data also reveals that a farm household needs to have at least one hectare of land to make ends meet every month. But four out of five farmers in Maharashtra, and two out of three in India, own less than that. The shortage of cash and credit is a major issue in rural households.
Landless or marginal farmers lack the resources to either buy or lease more land or invest in farm infrastructure such as irrigation, power and farm machinery. At the same time, farmers need money for the education of children, marriage of daughters and healthcare.
They borrow funds, mainly from money lenders. Any default on a payment forces them into a vicious cycle of poverty and often suicide.
Monsoons, pests and prices A farmer is constantly exposed to multiple risks. The first major risk is the weather. A weak monsoon or even a delayed monsoon — timing really matters — means a significant loss of output.
And some experts say a well-placed irrigation system hardly makes any difference. Another risk is from pests and plant diseases. The third risk is price.
The better the crop, the lower the price. Farmers in the states of Maharashtra, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh threw their vegetables on roads last year as prices dipped under one rupee per kilogram.
Government procurement of foodgrains at the minimum support price MSP is supposed to protect farmers. However, this actually only benefits the large traders who sell grain to the government. The MSP is applicable only on 26 commodities, out of which only rice and paddy are generally procured by the government.
Devinder Sharma, agriculture policy analyst, says: This is a fold rise. In the same period, salaries of government employees and teachers in India grew between to fold and to fold respectively.
This explains the plight of farmers and the reasons behind rising numbers of farm suicides. Discussions around corporate farming are part of the same design. There is hardly opposition for such a step. But when it comes to farm waiver or food prices rises, everyone is concerned.A Saga of Excellence.
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