Loan waiver and higher MSP in Globalization are not solution to the agrarian crisis –Kishor Tiwari
When Farmers in several parts of India have been protesting and they are demanding higher prices for agricultural produce and that billions of dollars worth of loans be waived and state Govt. Govt. after UP mega loan waiver are in the race to declare loan waiver one after other whereas union govt. who is responsible for providing credit flow to states via RBI and NABARD has already shifted it to states asking them take burden of loan waiver asking them to mobilize them resources for the same creating new era fiscal mismanagement ,Kishor Tiwari who is chairman of special Task force formed by Govt. of Maharashtra has termed the recent loan waiver and demand of implementing MS Swaminathan’s recommendation of calculating minimum support price (MSP) on the basis of the formula that’s investment plus 50% profit are not sustainable and feasible solution to address agrarian crisis in the present era open market economy as it’s result of short-sighted policies implemented by all governments over several decades.
The long term sustainable solutions in the Maharashtra like Vidarbha and Marathwada which have a large area under rain fed conditions and unfortunately, the monsoon behavior has been very erratic and farmers have been facing the problems of severe drought for the past few years. Fortunately, there is a bumper crop this year, but farmers are not satisfied with the procurement price and they are, therefore, unable to repay loans they have taken, both from institutional sources and private moneylenders and they are not be eligible for fresh credit for the kharif crop, This is one of the reasons why they have been wanting a loan waiver which has been triggered after UP Govt, announced the mega loan waiver as fulfillment of election promise by PM himself additionally, they are pleading for a remunerative procurement price in the line of PM promise of giving minimum support price (MSP) on the basis of the formula that’s investment plus 50% profit but this is not feasible in the era of open market economy .
loan waivers is not solution to the agrarian crisis
Farm loan waivers, though temporarily necessary for the revival of farming, do not provide conditions for a secure credit system in the long term. The waiver of loans implies that banks will have to be compensated by the government for the amount involved. This means that large sums of money, which could have otherwise gone to strengthen the agricultural infrastructure in irrigation, secondary support business in rural economy, local value addition projects and research activities such as seed production, soil health enhancement and plant protection, will not be available. Despite loan waivers has been declared farmer suicides still remain high that has to be seriously considered as Farmer suicides have been studied by a number of institutions and the underlying causes are many. But the generic cause is the economic condition of the family, aggravated by the drought-induced failure of crops. While past experience shows that there is no positive effect after the implementation of the loan waiver, it does not provide a long-term solution and comes in the way of adequate allocation for agriculture development in fact the urgent need prevent famers suicides, farmers must be provided proper compensation livelihood management, health care and farmers who are under huge burdened by debt must be given “debt counseling” to prevent possible suicide. There should be a law that would allow a debt-ridden farmer to file for bankruptcy in extreme situations at Gramsabha level.
This year Maharashtra has shown higher productivity with multiple cropping pattern and serious efforts for local value addition to biomass and crop-livestock irrigation has shown very good result but income of the farmers has not increased that there of concern on which the real focus should there but it has shifted long way from the ground reality that more than 80 percent of Maharashtra’s farm suicides area farms still depend on rainfall due to a lack of irrigation facilities and rainfall has become increasingly uncertain in an era of climate change now all efforts of present govt.’s to tackle core issues of rain fed areas where water security primarily depends upon rainwater harvesting and the efficient use of the available water through techniques like drip irrigation, and the appropriate choice of farming systems with groundwater augmentation and management to create availability of water for crops will get back foot as present Rs.32000 crore mega loan waiver package will create fiscal imbalance and will lead to the bankruptcy of states .
Now the time has come discuss what is the long solution in mitigating the crisis and organic farming use of traditional Desi seed and cultivation practices are the ray of as organic farming helps to improve soil fertility and avoids the use of pesticides, which get into the food chain now is has been globally confirmed that biologically and nutritionally organic farming confers many benefits. Effect of the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi implementing the recommendations of the National Commission on Farmers as confirmed by Dr.MS Swaminathan himself in the field of providing improved seeds, soil health cards, agricultural credit reform, improved insurance, increasing the area under irrigation and the addition of Farmer's Welfare to the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture has shown good result in reducing cost of cultivation but PM promise of doubling the income of the farmer is the issue which has be seriously ignored by the states. Maharashtra is only state which has started to address the current scenario, primary production of all food grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables primarily occurs in villages; however, their storage, milling, processing, packaging and distribution takes place in the cities to shift it village but now political compulsions of popular demands of loan waiver will slow down his efforts resulting in to more deep agrarian crisis in the future as it’s need of hour that Villages must have industries based on primary agricultural production and must manufacture products that are of use in agriculture and animal production in villages and markets in the cities. The storage, grading, processing and packaging of all or most of the agricultural commodities should be based in villages to add value to the primary produce, to enhance the income of the producer and create employment in the rural communities. Rural areas should be provided Internet facilities at much cheaper rates than cities. This should help create knowledge-based "Techno-villages" in farm suicides drought region of Maharashtra