Farmer Issues – UPSC GS3

Challenges of Farming Community
  • Rising price volatility: resulting in distress sale and destruction of standing crops by farmers.
  • Need of MSP : In the absence of the Minimum Support Price (MSP), farmers at mercy of open market.
  • Indian farmers lost Rs 2.64-lakh crore every year on being denied fair farm price.- OECD-ICRIER study (2000-16).
  • Numerous studies shows that ever since big retail came into existence, farmers’ share in food revenue has actually come down. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the farmers’ share in every dollar consumers spend on food (in 2018) is only 8 %.
  • Huge arrears: The unpaid cane dues across the country amount to Rs 15,683-crore as on September, with Uttar Pradesh topping the chart.
  • Inadequacy of schemes: The prices of seasonal vegetables have by and large remained depressed despite the launch of the Operation Greens.
  • Challenges to diversification: Absence of assured price and effective procurement system leaves crop diversification exercise to the vagaries of market forces.
Way Forward
  • Extend the dairy cooperative model for agricultural commodities: This will increase farmers share in consumer price to greater than 40% as in case of milk, cooperatives has led to greater than 75% share of the consumer price to farmers.
  • Ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP): for cereals and other major crops to avoid instances of distress sell/trade of agricultural commodities.
Conclusion: Policy-makers must ensure a farmer-friendly economic reform process for assuring fair price and effective procurement system.
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