Thursday, June 8, 2017
Why a problem of plenty is hurting India's farmers.
Why a problem of plenty is hurting India's farmers. In western Maharashtra state, they have been on strike for a week in some seven districts now, spilling milk on the streets, shutting down markets, protesting on the roads and attacking vegetable trucks. In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, curfew has been imposed after five farmers were killed in clashes with police on Tuesday. Last month, farmers in southern Telangana and Andhra Pradesh staged protests and burnt their red chilli crop. The farmers are demanding waivers on farm loans and higher prices for their crops. For decades now, farming in India has been blighted by drought, small plot sizes, a depleting water table, declining productivity and lack of modernisation. Half of its people work in farms, but farming contributes only 15% to India's GDP. Put simply, farms employ a lot of people but produce too little. Crop failures trigger farm suicides with alarming frequency.more