From Loan Waivers to Infrastructural Support: Farmers in Crisis

AGRICULTURE

Farming communities across India are marching in the streets to reassert their rights. The nation-state has to rethink its concerns.


Mallika Sen is a Writer and Social Worker – based in Pune.


India is an agricultural country and a great part of the population depends on agricultural for livelihood. Agriculture is significant for sustaining the population and without infrastructural help to farmers this sector is going to suffer. 

Farmers in contemporary times are finding it extremely challenging to afford the cost of raw materials required for agriculture and many of them depend on loans to continue this work. The low production, the minimum support price given by the state, crop failure and other factors have transformed farming into a very challenging occupation.

The state support to farmers has not satisfied the people and there are great issues affecting the lifestyle of the famer.  Farmers in a great number marched to Mumbai to reassert their rights, farmers from South India marched to the capital to get the support of the state, farmers in Shimla are asserting their needs and throughout the nation this community is coming to the streets.

Farmers across the country are finding it challenging to repay their loans because there is crop failure and the minimum support price given by the state is inadequate.   For example, in Maharashtra do far the government has distributed Rs 13,580 crore to 3.532 million farmer accounts. The farmers in the state say that the loan waiver scheme has not supported them in any significant fashion.

The scheme started by the government had three aspects, while it offered each farmer Rs 1.5 lakh waiver it also offered a onetime settlement option for those who had a loan of more than 1.5 lakh and a cash incentive of 25,000 or those who repaid their loan on time. This loan waiver was given through an online fashion after farmers sent their applications.

This information was matched to the information given in thee banks through the Aadhar Card. The technical errors did not allow the scheme to function well because many of the nationalised and cooperative banks had not seeded the data with the Aadhar accounts. The farmers in this place say that a total loan waiver is significant to help out the farmers.

A similar trajectory can be seen in many parts of the country where farmers are facing issues and it is becoming difficult for them to go on producing crops.  It is of great significance that the nation-state builds and infrastructure that helps farmers live a dignified life.

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