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Food Security V/s Farmers' Security

Recently I got an opportunity to listen one of our politicians in a farmers’ fare. He rose is issue of food security. Conclusion of his deliberations was quite interesting which I wish to share with people dealing with agriculture. He concluded that how we can think of food security without thinking farmers’ security. A very genuine point. The people who are providing us the most precious thing, food, are living in misery. And how long we can think that he will be feeding us making lots of sacrifices in terms of quality of life and standards of living. Just by education ,most of our city dwellers are living in conditions which in no way can be compared with that of a common villager. Even the lobours and workers in cities are having better livelihood. When the educated people (thanks to subsidies education of our country) are switching to metropolitan cities in search of better jobs, migration of villagers to cities should not surprise us. Don’t they also deserve a better living?

There is lot of scope to do something to improve living standards of rural population. Like government is preserving our traditional art and handicraft, I feel art of agriculture (as we proudly say that India is an agricultural country) must also be preserved and all kind of possible facilitations must be given to the persons, involve in pious job of feeding the masses. Several kind of schemes are offered to uplift of dieing art of pottery, hand weaving, traditional artifacts etc., agriculture may also be promoted on those lines.

A pragmatic approach comes to my mind is paying farmers according to their land holdings. A minimum amount should be given to farmers just for having a piece of land. What so ever one produces from the land is reward for labour and efforts made for cultivation. Don’t properties in cities pay additional income to the persons who possess parental houses by putting it on rent? This role of paying rent is to be done by government. If government pays subsistence amount for survival of farmers, it can interfere in decisions related to crops to be grown keeping national demand in view. Crop rotations can be decided and the crops conducive to the area only can be grown on large area basis with all possible mechanization to reduce cultivation cost.

At the moment this idea may seems to be a bit premature, but if our policy makers start thinking in this line I feel percentage of farmers quitting agriculture will reduce. We are already having several schemes/subsidies for unemployed youth, senior people, widows etc., etc. can’t we have one for farmers. Don’t do anything but if you are having land, used for producing crops, government is going to give some money, of course it has to be sufficient for dignified living.

Do you still think of food security without farmers’ security? Inflated food prices worldwide are just warning for a horrifying future. When it is matter of feeding billions, India no longer can ignore farmers just for sake of urban mass (engage in services or business and claim to acquire everything on earth by virtue of money).

Food is going to me most precious thing in years to come. I would have considered,  inflation as good deal, if it would have contributed to farmers’ income. But unfortunately it added mainly to the income of middlemen and big entrepreneurs. Please do take care of it’s producers. I doubt that we (the urbanites) will be able to eat bread with the boon of Midas touch.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.