Who do you blame for the pitiful condition of farmers? Is it Narendra Modi’s led BJP Government or is it Rahul Gandhi’s Congress?
Agricultural distress or farmer’s distress has been an unsolved story of Indian Economics for the past few decades. The reasons behind the agrarian crisis have been different in each decade, and as of today, the crisis exists due to rising oil prices and the government’s poor implementation of policy decisions, such as demonetisation and GST.
However, focusing on agrarian issues has always been of significant value to every political party. The agricultural sector was a key point of focus for the NDA, and Rahul Gandhi and the Congress have also highlighted the problems faced by the farmers. The other opposition parties have also used this issue for electoral appeal. There is nothing wrong with political pomposity. In fact, history repeated itself with the Congress announcing farm loan waivers; and this reinforces the notion that announcing farm loan waivers has become a fashion over the last few decades.
The reality is that no policy or waiver, until today, irrespective of its implementation procedure or achievements, has helped the farmers move out of the distress zone. Despite the farmer loan waivers announced in several states, I have not heard about the mitigation of farmers’ woes. For more than 70 Years, we have been a republic, but the government’s approach to these issues remains the same, they resort to announcing waivers on farmer’s loans whenever they address the agricultural crisis in the nation.
What Is The Biggest Problem With Farm Loan Waivers?
The biggest flaw with these loan waivers is that they come at the end of every agricultural cycle when all the expenses have been made and productivity has already been affected. The state governments need to stand with farmers from the beginning of the agricultural cycle. The State should focus on providing agricultural inputs and financial aid, rather than waiving loans after the crop has been harvested.
Government assistance to farmers should begin right at the stage of procurement of seeds, tractor arrangement, and fertilizer purchases. Major investments should be made by the state government at the input stage as a return on investments would be more profitable than farmer loan waivers.
Extending maximum support at the input stage is bound to alleviate some of the problems faced by the agrarian sector. As political parties try to surpass each other in announcing loan waivers, it is the economy that takes a hit. A simple solution for improving services at the input can be a step forward in helping the agricultural conditions in India.