Posted by Aniruddh Shrivastava
New Delhi : In 2016, the Union Sports Ministry passed a resolution to transfer sports from the State List to the Concurrent list. The reason given for this was to enhance India’s position in sports globally, especially because India had performed poorly in the 2016 Olympics. When India performs poorly in sports, the government takes actions aimed towards improvement. My question is why doesn’t the government think in a similar manner when it comes to agriculture?
India has witnessed several droughts in the last few years. In 2014, as many as 5,650 farmers committed suicide. Between 1995 and 2014, the numbers of farmer suicides go as high as 2,96,438. A lack of rainfall has reduced food grain production significantly. These figures are enough to prove that India is going through a severe agrarian crisis.
State governments are responsible for this situation to a great extent. Despite their claims of being farmer friendly, the ground reality for farmers involves living a debt-ridden life and ultimately committing suicide. State governments then blame the Centre for not having transferred enough funds and playing party politics. The Centre, on the other hand, puts forward the argument that states have not made proper utilisation of the funds. Thus, the blame game goes on and on.
The problem is that the government’s mindset towards agriculture is fallacious. Production remains the only parameter to measure agricultural growth. Improving productivity remains the only solution to increasing farmers’ incomes. Punjab is having one of the highest agricultural productivity in the world but farmers are still committing suicide there. The cost of production has increased while the selling price keeps going down. This way, increasing their incomes is going to remain an impossible dream for farmers.