Once the reliable mainstay of agrarian community and backbone of economy, Indian agriculture has been continuously loosing it’s reliability to support the livelihood of millions of farmers and landless labours since last decades. Despite the various initiatives by state, as well as central government, the adamant bottlenecks are yet to be removed to ensure it’s profitability.
Really, it is the product of interplay among various things and needs greater attention. Hence, unless state make some bold moves to offload the overburdened traditional occupation by promoting and providing viable occupational alternatives, the vintage means of livelihood will not gain it’s capability.
Inconsistent developmental strategies after independence
After independence, had the Indian leadership implemented the developmental strategies in line with the traditional set up, the process of structural change in the Indian economy would have been naturally accelerated right from the bottom. And, today, like other Asian giants, Indian economic growth would have been powered by the industrial sector instead of unsustainable services.
At the beginning, the large scale heavy industries were the urgent need to modernize economy, but simultaneously policy makers shouldn’t have ignored the importance of small and medium size traditional industries and businesses.
Today, we know that unlike heavy, it is the small scale consumer industries that helped to revolutionize the economies of China, Japan, Korean peninsula. Initially, these giants aggressively pursued the policy of large scale production of labour intensive consumer goods by masses to capture market power.
Historically, India had the greatest factor advantage in terms of raw materials, skills and expertise, market, and favourable social set up. Therefore, the beginning should have been done with the modernization and empowerment of existing set up instead to copy others.
Surprisingly, even today, imperial powers were vehemently criticized for plundering wealth and breaking the backbone of traditional indigenous businesses, but they forgot to restructure and empower theirs earlier means of survival which was handicapped by colonial powers.
This is the reason why the excessive labour force, in the absence of viable occupational alternative, flooded in the subsistence agriculture sector. It was the beginning of overburdening.
Vote bank politics and population explosion
India is a democratic country in which the wish of people is the ultimate authority in the form of mandate. Undoubtedly, Indian leadership freely adopted the population policies in the form of family planning not control, in line with the Indian obsolete belief system.
According to the popular belief system of Indian culture, child is the liberal, free endowment of God and we don’t have any right to interfere. So, the policy makers freely permitted to worship God’s act letting the future of innocent lives in the dark world of malnutrition, morbidity for life to ensure rule.
In this way, the population of India quickly surpassed the billion mark with no times. Then, majority of these numbers entered in the hereditary occupation to blame agriculture as a graveyard for farmers.
Over-exploitation of land and water resources
To satisfy constant growing demands for the rapidly increasing numbers, rampant use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, energy and water drastically reduced the carrying capacity of land resources.
Apart from this impacts of climate change, increased the uncertainty of production in the recent time. Consequently, crop failure, price crash, infertility of soil, depletion of water table, high investment resulted in the non-profitability of Indian agriculture.
Obviously, in the process of gaining more, they are losing a lot in the form of precious resources of which they are mere guardians.
Time to introspect ??
Nowadays, when the growing farming community is striving hard to maximize production by all means without caring carrying capacity to maintain theirs fragile livelihood, the improperly organized agro-markets, mismatch between demand and supply, and poor food processing reduce the chances of remunerative price for production.
This is a type of double trap that agrarian community is facing. In this manner, such nations are loosing everything–human resources, nature, opportunities of development, and invested investment.