Thursday, September 21, 2017

Farmer politics

Yogesh Mishra

September 21, 2017

Indian farmers barely get timely compensation against their damaged crops due to drought or flood. And its happening for last several years. But why? How come the farmers are suffering when every political party claims to be their true well-wisher?

Forget past. Let's see what's happening at present. Once again the monsoon deceived farmers in different parts of the country despite meteorological department's forecast of normal rains in year 2017.

In Chhattisgarh alone 96 out of 149 development blocks have been declared drought-hit. The government says it has taken proactive measures to give relief to the agriculturists – right from waiving off their land revenue to ensuring distribution of crop insurance. If that is so, can we expect relief package reaching the farmers' doorsteps timely? And will the government pose seriousness in checking suicidal trend among Annadatas (farmers) in wake of their damaged crops? The possibilities are less because the corrupt system won't let it happen.

In India, the production of agriculture sector is heavily dependent on monsoon. Ironically, whenever the so-called pro-farmer political parties came to power, they put farmers' interest in the backburner. Had they been serious, they would have formulated effective mechanism to impart immunity to agriculture sector from all-weather conditions.

The farmers are actually victim of votebank politics, just like Muslims, scheduled caste and scheduled tribe. They have twigged that their fate won't change, let from whomsoever in the political circle the promise comes – be it an established credible face or a newcomer with ephemeral honesty.

Eating meals at farmer's house isn't enough. Spending a day or two in village will also not bring turnaround in agriculture sector. Stop empty talks. Check corruption. Tighten administration from top to bottom. There should be short, mid and long term plans for farmers. Say for 5, 10 and 15 years. Define targets and deadlines and fix responsibilities to make farmers self-reliant. Strict monitoring, regular progress review and frequent cleansing of corrupt and non-performing staff is must to translate paper-ideas to technically smart production in fields. Ask all sectors to nourish agriculture sector through their innovations. Let's create ambiance where a farm field adjacent to an industry could produce bumper organic crop.

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