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AGRARIAN CRISIS IN INDIA, TRACING THE TRAJECTORIES SINCE REFORMS: A STUDY OF TELANGANA


Dr.Jagan Kanthi
,
Abstract

Agriculture has become a complex sector in India, facing crisis at multiple levels, which exacerbates the food quality and security crisis, the environmental crisis so forth. Suicides of farmers are the cause of concern. The number of suicide cases in rural parts has been mounting. Since mid-1990s more than three lakh farmers are dead by this distress. In the present liberalized trade market, farmers are exposed to price volatility because of fluctuations in domestic production and international prices of agricultural commodities. The most serious aspect of this crisis is deceleration in agricultural growth. The crisis in Indian agriculture is not a recent phenomenon. The severity of the crisis can be easily accessed from the series of increasing farmer suicides and farm debt. Take tenant farmers, those who cultivate the land owned by others, paying a rent in cash or with a share of the produce. Most tenancy contracts in India are in formal and not recorded. So, tenant farmers struggle to get bank credit, causing indebtedness to moneylenders, as a result committing suicides. However, with no record of identity, tenant farmers have all along been undercounted in the farmer’s suicide category. The economic crisis is reflected in the increasing costs and decreasing returns, reducing budgetary support and increasing indebtedness. According to the Economic Survey 2015-16, agricultural growth was below 0.2% in 2014-15. Maharashtra, AP including Telangana, Karnataka, MP and Chhattisgarh are the ‘Big 5’ states of farmer suicides. The crops in Telangana mainly depend on rainfall, the region in general has the history of prolonged dry spells, high incidences of rainwater run offs causing soil erosion. Change in climatic conditions has also severely impacted on farming community with shortage of rains greatly reduces yields and profits. Most farmers in the State are tenants and majority farmers are small and marginal farmers. According to NCRB report, majority farmers who committed suicides are small and marginal farmers accounting for 74.2 per cent. On the other hand, non-agriculture sectors are not willing to provide employment to the large numbers leaving from agriculture. By and large, this paper attempts to throw light on the persisting agrarian distress in India in general and Telangana since reforms in particular. Methodology for this study includes the secondary data sources like National Crime Report Bureau (NCRB) Report 2016 which is used to analyze national level tendency of farmers’ suicides and the possible reasons and the to explain the situation in Telangana. The primary sources of the data have been collected through a questionnaire from the families of deceased farmers and the major observation focuses on age of the deceased farmers, social relations in the villages, and major causes of the farmers’ suicides This paper Hypothesizes that with changing policies in the name of reforms, the agrarian structure manifested into grave distress, subsequently the small and marginal farmers are the most affected.

KEYWORDS: Agrarian Crisis, Small and Marginal Farmers, Changing Policies

Keywords:
Journal Name :
EPRA International Journal of Economic and Business Review(JEBR)

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Vol : 5
Issue : 9
Month : September
Year : 2017
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