Rainfed agriculture_Policy Briefing_2013

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The agrarian crisis in India continues since the 1990’s leaving the farmers in deep distress. As many as 16000 farmers continue to commit suicide every year. There has been an “increase in the numbers …

The agrarian crisis in India continues since the 1990’s leaving the farmers in deep distress. As many as 16000 farmers continue to commit suicide every year. There has been an “increase in the numbers of the rural poor, lower incomes to agricultural workers, food and nutritional security, and distress migration to join the ranks of the urban poor.” (ASHA, 2013) For decades, the focus has been on increasing the production. Farmers were told that by producing more, they would get better incomes; the incentives and support systems were geared towards higher production. However, in the past 15 years, it has been seen that even in years of good production, farmers are at the losing end. The growing costs of cultivation along with weakened support systems, lack of remunerative prices and public investment has meant that farming has become high-risk occupation, especially for small farmers and tenant farmers. ASHA demands a Farmers Income Security Act, which assures all farming households a minimum living income.

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