Farmers in India are often dependent on more than one sources of income. While the primary source of income remains farming for most people in rural India, they also earn through animal husbandry, fishing, and through small cottage industries. One of the reasons why farmers are unable to depend entirely on farming is that they are usually unsure of the yield which in turn depends on the rains.
Many women who help in farming also try to support their families by carrying out small-scale businesses like embroidery, making pickles, jams or in weaving. Depending on the area they are in and the materials that they can source, they may end up contributing towards a large part of the family’s income.
Some farmers find it easier to concentrate on farming only, but this means that the quality of the yield decides the income on which his family will have to survive on. If small farmers have to give more time to other work, then their produce can suffer. So for farmers, it is important to strike a balance between the time they give to farming and to the other sources of income. This can ensure that they are able to sustain adequately.
While our lives in the city may not be able to provide us with the least experience of the life led by farmers, we can hardly overlook their importance and their contribution towards our economy. The farmers suffer extensively due to lack of infrastructure, lack of capital and lack of technology in the agricultural sector. If they end up looking for additional sources of income then it is mostly because their families are unable to survive on farming alone.
Development is the key. By helping farmers embrace new technologies and by empowering the next generation of farmers, we can make the agricultural sector a strong contributor of our economy.