Surendra Prasad Singh, New Delhi. All three new agricultural laws are being withdrawn. A section is expressing its happiness and a section is unhappy. In the midst of all this, the movement is still going on and the challenges of the agriculture sector are being counted. The question is, how aware and serious are those talking about the challenges really about agriculture. Whether it is a matter of Minimum Support Price (MSP) or to make agriculture profitable in the long run and natural balance. Both MSP and Wheat-Paddy cultivation can gradually prove to be harmful to the nature itself and to the farmers, if not proceeded very cautiously.
Wheat-rice cultivation made the soil of Punjab, Haryana and West UP infertile
Paddy and wheat have become a big challenge for the farmers along with the country’s economy. Their entire chain from cultivation to consumption has become so cumbersome that it has become difficult to sustain them. Wheat-rice cultivation has made the soils of the green revolution states Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh infertile and the groundwater of these states has gone into the abyss.
The climate here has been polluted due to indiscriminate use of pesticides and fertilizers, which has started taking a toll on the health of the people here. . Due to limited water resources, emphasis is being laid on limiting the cultivation of sugarcane and rice. The rice producing countries of the world have pulled themselves out of rice exports. China, a country with more population than India’s population, has started shunning paddy and sugarcane cultivation. In the last several years, China has made deals to import rice from many other countries including India.
It is not possible for the government to buy all the crops on MSP.
Agricultural economist Professor Rakesh Singh said that due to lack of agriculture according to the climatic zone in India, the environmental balance is deteriorating. In India, the fertility of the land has been maintained by traditional crop rotation techniques. The rotation techniques of pulses, oilseeds and cereal crops also increased productivity. But policy lapses and farmers have neglected the conservation of natural resources according to their convenience. Therefore, all-round challenges have increased. In the unirrigated areas where traditional cultivation of coarse cereals and pulses and oilseeds was done, the exploitation of ground water has led to the cultivation of rice, sugarcane and wheat. In such a situation, there is a huge loss of natural resources. As a result of this, people suffocate due to lack of oxygen in the entire Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, including the National Capital Region (NCR), due to minor changes in the weather. Due to climate change, there is a situation of heavy rains and drought in some places.
In these states, 100% procurement of wheat and rice is done on MSP only. This policy of government procurement is not allowing the farmers here to accept the cultivation of any other alternative crop other than wheat and rice. Farmers need to be assured for alternative farming. After getting the assurance of assured purchase, the farmer here can turn to the cultivation of other crops. At present, the production of wheat is much higher than the domestic requirement. On the other hand Indian wheat is failing on the quality standard in the global market, which is not questionable.
Not all farmers get its benefit
The total annual production of food grains in the country is more than 300 million tonnes. In comparison, the government procurement is happening around 90 million tonnes. Whereas a total of 60 million tonnes of food grains are required for the Public Ration System (PDS). The rest of the grain falls heavily on the state exchequer. On the one hand, the market is being liberalized, on the other hand, the government will have to do all the business of food grains, which is not possible. What would be the natural market trading? From where will the government get such a huge infrastructure for this? The interesting thing is that only about 15-20 percent of the farmers of the country take full benefit of MSP. The remaining 80 percent of the farmers do the production for themselves. Agriculture and farmers are sensitive issues, so politically the difficulties of every party and government can be understood. But it is even more important to understand that if politics continues like this, then the economy of agriculture will die and nature will also leave with it.