Mitigation Of Agrarian Crisis
Deendayal Bahu-uddeshiya Prasarak Mandal has been working to mitigate the problem of farmers' suicides in Yavatmal since 2007.Up until now,the organization has been instrumental in the generation of sustainable livelihoods for more than 120 agrarian families whose member/s-had committed suicides due to the indebtedness.Root cause of the indebtedness is agrarian crisis.
Deendyal Bahu-uddeshiya Prasarak Mandal carried out a number of participatory studies with the farmers from Pathari,Tivsa,Borisinha,And Shivni Villages in Yavatmal district to study the root causes of the crisis.The overall understanding of the crisis and the plans for its mitigation are briefed below.
Coping with Agrarian Crisis 1. Agriculture system has become investment intensive over the last two decades.It has become dependence on centrally organized market (to procure Seeds,Fertilizers,Pesticides,Tonics,Herbicides,Fungicides,Tractors And Sell),and partially dependant on the state (for credit ,crisis relief fund,multiple agriculture schemes).Increasing dependence on labour(due to the reduced family size,less lobar availability,and reduction in the robustness of the cultivation system to the associated delays)is also another problem.Villagers have become dependent on the centrally organized market for even many other commodities and services such as sesame,wheat,sorghum,fruits,certain pulses, health services,and education.villagers don't decide the prices on the basis of what is suitable for a farmer.The only criterion is the profit maximization.Therefore a number of farming groups (with varying soil type,land size availability of water etc.)fail to make their farming viable. 2. Agrarian system comprises dynamic and complex interaction subsystem,i.e.,soil,water,cattle,human population,family size,farm size,birds,bees,social Capital,and farm temperature.over the past two decades,all of the above subsystems causing the deterioration of the agrarian system.Therefore,the agrarian system has become vulnerable to the number of factors.including sporadic rains,improper irrigation facilities ,vagaries of climatic conditions,delays in the agriculture activities, volatile market prices,crop diseases,and pest attacks. 3. Agrarian system is trapped in number of vicious loops causing further deterioration of its subsystem .Up until now,we have identified 39 such vicious cycles. 4. Hefty wedding practices and liquor loops addiction have further deteriorated the crisis. 5. Thus ,the health of agrarian system is in a quite poor state.The major problem is that there is a dearth of socially sensitive agrarian doctors for the farmers who can diagnose the respective agrarian health and suggest an appropriate treatment. At present ,the farmers seek help from the centrally organized market and the state ;Centrally the farmers operates with the goal of profit maximization and doesn't primarily care for uplifting the farmers.The agricultural shops(those who sell seeds,pesticides, and fertilizers)are frequently contacted by the farmers to seek suggestions for agricultural inputs.State has not yet substantially to understand the diverse rot causes of the agrarian crisis.Its usual remedies are redemption of bank debts and a few schemes to distribute certain farm equipment and other utilities.
Plans For The Mitigation Of The Agrarian Crisis Our Idea is to Create a chain of social agricultural doctors who can diagnose ,the crisis of the farmers and work with the households to address the agrarian problem.We have decided to follow the following path.
- We have categorized farmers in Yavatmal in different farming groups depending on different soil type ,irrigation facility ,social background ,other livelihood alternatives,lends size ,cattle owning, proximity from cities etc.
- We have identify around 100 farmers from different groups(from Pathari,Borisinh,Shivni,and Malkhed villages)who are ready to work with us for 3 years.
- We have studied a number of list dependent farming practices in Yavatmal. These Practices(in Yavatmal. or elsewhere),our understanding of the crisis ,study of the agricultural literature,bottom up approach, and our field level investigations serve as guidelines to decide interventions for different farming groups.
- We are forming a group of socially sensitive people who can be social agrarian doctors.
- We have started working with the farmers and social workers to develop social agrarian doctors.we will develop various techniques and practices for diagnosing the agrarian problems and their treatments for different farming groups.
Mitigation of agrarian crisis would develop self -reliant,sustainable,able make confident to agrarian system.Mitigation of agrarian crisis boots and energize the farmers and make them ready to fight their own battle
Dr.Vijay Honkalasker and Mr.Nikhilesh Bagade from IIT,Powai, Mumbai are assisting us in this project.We are thankful to them.