Chennai Business School Faculty Series :: “Can rural India benefit from farming?” by Prof. Anish

A thought to contemplate upon!!!

It’s quite evident that the youth in rural hinterland are not motivated to agricultural practices any more as agronomy has become negligible for a tough labour all through the year and deprived of any relief. Also their incompetence to meet the expense of better-quality seed varieties together with input costs that are rising excessively more than the output prices has supplemented to their distresses. The government should take instantaneous steps so that agrarian paybacks reach even the small farmers. 

Consecutive droughts striking food production; rural inflation and the gap is further growing. India’s villages face a strident spike in food prices, and drives up the cost of constituents such as milk and sugar. India’s overall retail inflation eased to 4 per cent in October 2015, aided by dwindling commodity prices, however rural inflation was at 5 per cent, typically due to food prices. Mounting food prices will hit rural India while urban inhabitants have realized some low-priced imported food products, profiting from global depression that has not sieved through to rural areas, given poor roads, rail and a dearth of storage facilities for perishable goods. Palm oil prices have also scaled in the last quarter, while milk prices have risen by 9 per cent. Edible oil prices which meets approximately 60 per cent of demand above imports, and are also expected to upsurge, given the inadequate rainfall in palm oil producing countries. 

Food accounts for more than 50 per cent of rural price rise in India, associated with a third of urban inflation, while categories like fuel, which has come across a substantial price drop, has a smaller effect in rural areas, where families use firewood or biogas from manure. Urban India is benefitting from lower global prices whereas rural India isn’t advancing because of its structural problems. Paradoxically let’s take the case of food, despite the fact that most of India’s food is from rural India, they seem to suffer pressures with higher food price. Largely the inflation in India has continued lukewarm, owing to low global prices which in turn makes it possible to import food merchandises that are short in supply. 

There are many challenges still, however various government schemes must be implemented as a part of encouraging agriculture by providing financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of crops as a result of natural calamities, pests and diseases. These schemes need to be available to all farmers irrespective of their size of holding (small and marginal farmers). These schemes should cover all the food crops. Such initiatives will certainly face some challenges. However proper training, uninterrupted services, electricity, availability of smart phones, tablets and computers to almost every farmer can make the difference. 

Excerpts taken from an article published by Prof. Anish K. Ravi 

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