Plight of the Producers in Punjab
- 2 Articles
- Age 18
We all know that it’s the farmers who produce food for all the people. But the irony is that most of the farmers themselves are deprived of food security in many parts of the world. Now let us look at the problems faced by the farmers in the Sangrur district of Punjab which is proudly called as the “Farming heartland of India.” This is a very complex problem, as about 2000 farmers killed themselves in the state of Punjab due to the following reasons:
1. Increasing cost of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides;
2. Decreasing amount of public investment and subsidies on agriculture;
3. Inability to get cheap formal credit- due to lack of collateral;
4. Unstable markets and constant fluctuation of prices – during January 2012, most of the farmers in the Sangrur district of Punjab decided to let the potatoes rot in their fields, as the prices of potatoes were so low that even the cost of harvesting them would be much more than the income that they would get out of its sale;
5. Overpopulation in the agricultural sector which led to disguised unemployment, and
6. Psychological causes like stress and depression due to various reasons such as stagnant agricultural growth, pressure from money lenders, caste discrimination and inequality, etc.
It is alarming to know that, due to all these issues, the farmers went to the extent of deciding to end their own lives. So the children of these victims were forced into bonded labour and could not be educated. Women of these victims' families had to do odd jobs to sustain the livelihood of their families. What can be done to solve this problem of farmers' suicides and to ensure food security to the families of those farmers?