Demonetization and Agriculture – Farmers in Peril

Demonetization inflicted mayhem in general but the medium and small farmers were harshly affected. They had to go through immense difficulties in retrieving their own money to purchase materials and their sell their crops. It has been over a year and several farmers are yet to recover because the supply chains are upset and the demand is miserable. Not to forget the unpredictable use of arbitrary export bans on specific crops which has barred farmers from getting lucrative prices for cash crops. On the other hand the ensuing lift profited the traders more than the cultivators.

The chart clearly reveals how income from agriculture and associated activities has hardly grown. Our government had estimated a certain growth in the agricultural sector but the real growth can be clearly seen since April, 2014. The rise is less than 8% over the last four years. If calculated in per capita terms it would have been lesser. If everyone clearly remembers there was a double growth promised.

India experienced a wonderful monsoon in 2017 and the agricultural production was wonderful. Bad luck was awaiting the cultivators who faced a down market. Soon they were forced to destroy what they had laboured to grow because of the low prices they were offered. Our farmers cannot afford to store their growing so they can sell them in future leaving them no other options than to garbage them.

Farmers are tired and they are angry. The economists of our government should by now have understood that flouting the agricultural section of our nation is only jeopardizing the prospects of our economy. These are serious concerns which have already begun impacting the incomes of those who are dependent on agricultural activities for their livings along with nation’s food sovereignty.

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