With growing debt and farmer suicides, agrarian crisis in India on the rise

-The New Indian Express

As polling season concludes across the country, The Sunday Standard puts an ear to the ground and listens in to the expectations that India has from its next government

NEW DELHI:
Agrarian irony cries out in Punjab, the food bowl of the country, with farmers’ indebtedness only growing in recent years.   

The agrarian irony is marked by overproduction in the face of inadequate price, with lopsided institutional credit, leaving farmers at the mercy of money-lenders.

Faced with regular droughts in vast swathes of the country in the face of irrigation network catering only to 52 per cent of cultivable land, farmers have seen their income eroding amidst rising input costs.

There is, indeed, a tall order for the new government to radically reform agriculture, source of livelihoods for half the population of the country. The new government could begin by biting the bullet, possibly by bringing agriculture under the Concurrent List of Constitution.

Malwa region of Punjab has, incidentally, hundreds of farm widows.

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The New Indian Express, 19 May, 2019, http://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/2019/may/19/with-growing-debt-and-farmer-suicides-agrarian-crisis-in-india-on-the-rise-1978742.html?fbclid=IwAR3

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