By Umesh Chandra Sahoo
The Gandhian economy has much luminosity on the rural economy for the development and self-suficiencies for the farmer and for the state, but the contemporary India has much disregarded the farmer in context of price, pride and pension. How far the union government and the state government like Odisha emphasis towards our farmer and secondly is Gandhian village economy relevelence these days?
The devastation trend of Agriculture in India has instituted since 2000s. The share of agricultural GDP has been incessantly diminishing. In the context of Odisha, production and agricultural price turns out to be a vital issue for the government. In order to handle the circumstance the state under the BJD government has plunked the separate africultural budget and The BJD government has kicked off a number of steps for the growth of agriculture and allied sectors. For enhancing the financial support to the farmer, the government of Odisha has also granted special prominence in the allocation of funds to these sectors in form of separate Agriculture Budget started from the financial year 2013-14 with the budgetary expenditure of Rs13181.89 crores for this sector. During 2016-17, it has further been proposed to enhance to Rs14930 crores. With a view to empowering farmers of the State, The Department of Agriculture has been renamed as Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Empowerment, created a separate Agriculture cabinet as a Committee of Cabinet to monitor and provide direction and focus to plans and policies related to agriculture & allied sectors. The State Agriculture Policy 2013 came to exist in 2013 for rapid growth in Agriculture Sector by granting to enhance support to the farming community and other stakeholders of the State. The government has much focused on high-yielding, higher productivity with sustainable agricultural practices and foster inclusive growth to strengthen agricultural economy and the policy also aims to double the farmer’s income by providing of subsidies and efficient production technology, post-harvest solutions by making of linkages in the market mechanism with the substantial price as not below the Minimum Support Price.
The recommendation of the Swaminathan Committee asserts in the hike of the MSP in Paddy in 2006 accordingly to this report, the MSP should be 50 % more of the total cost of the production. For this, Government of Odisha has decided with the recommendation of the all parties meeting of the assembly house committee, the MSP for the year of 2017 would be 2930. The Union Government has lingered hush on the recommendation of the house committee. While the union government has fixed the MSO of rupee 1580 per quintal of the paddy in India, this year, the Government of Odisha has established the spot account payment system of the selling of the paddy to the farmer in Mandi, but the issue of FAQ quality, dictatorship of Agent and Millers and uneven cutting of paddy per quintal become headache for the farmers.
Several Farmers Organization celebrated Diamond jubilee of “The Farmer’s Day” which was first observed at Brundadeipur on September 1, 1938 by the Utkal Krushaka Sangha, led by Nabakrushna Choudhury, Malati Devi, Sarangadhar Das and Paramananda Mohanty. And the farmers’ agitation assumed as ‘Prajameli,’ was a resist against the Fudalism and the British Rule. But in contempary india, the farmers are resisting against neo-colonialism and neo- capitalism with negative gobalization effect. The farmers neither have social security nor prestige. They do not even get the right procurement price for their produce. Hence, they demand price, prestige and pension for the farmers,” Odisha as a state of natural catastrophe desires special attention and hence special package especially in agricultural sector. So, the demand for special staus to the state of Odisha is neither political nor fiscal, but exclusively social. The peasants demanded provision of Rs5000 monthly pension, social recognition, compensation to the families of farmers who have committed suicide over crop loss and payment of insurance amount against crop loss due to drought during last kharif.
On the one hand the farmer suicide in Odisha is smaller quantity compare to other state but on rampant and the quest of the MSP avows a short period solution only. The number of farmer committed suicide has reached to 2600 from 2001 to 2016.The Official mechanism has not recognized the most of farmer suicide is the product of agricultural phenomenon in Odisha. They have reported that lots of farmer has committed suicide due to the non- agricultural and non- creditable but they have forced to do this for their family disputes and other issues. Perhaps the government is endeavoring to disprove the Emile durkheim theory’s of farmer suicide. But later on the Agricultural Minister has urged in the assembly that the imperatives of farmer suicide is the exploitation by the indigenous bankers and failure of state credit policy to reach to the beneficiaries.
Today the giant challenge for farmers in Odisha is problem of share-cropper, irrigation facilities and more importantly water issue as it remains a inter-state issue. Land owner takes the benefits of Government schemes and the land-tiller becomes a gawp. Moreover the issue of money lenders becomes a chronic disease. Adding to this natural calamities like farm-locust, drought, flood, off-season rain, thunderstorms, in coastal areas Tsunami like situations and low pressure maximum time creates hevoc for the survival of the Farmers. Besides this, the MGNREGA in Odisha fails to suplliment the employment burden on agriculture. So, the chronic and cyclical state of farmers can’t be addressed with MSP only. Already Govt.of Odisha has endowed with RS 100 as remuneration since 2015. So the circumastance for Odisha is a different one. We face both scarcity of water and flood. We face both thunderstorms and low-pressure. An Umbrella mechanism should be made to counter, control and guide this. We need to understand that this is a chronic disease not distress. So, long-term solution must be restored to overcome this challenge.
In the nutshell, price, prestige and pension with interlink ages to MSP and farmer suicide, it would be advocated that Jaya Jawan, Jay Kishan as mytn and Gandian Economy of rural development would be fallacious, if the union government and state government has been coordinated in the agricultural policy making, sharing of cost burden , efficient paradigm of the MSP and finally aggravated the social security and socio-economic strata to the farmer. After all, Odisha situates as third larger producer of rice, doubled the farmer income and a role model of efficient manager of MSP.
Mean while the Govt.of Odisha has proposed to amend the Land Reform Act to extend the benefits of various government programs to share croppers to overcome a lot in technical legal issues. Moreover issues regarding farm and seeds, government special programs on crop and it’s information, is a vital factor which can relieve much pain of farmers which they are facing everyday. As the situation worsening day by day we feel the State and Union Governments are likely to increase the focus on agriculture in their budgets. But the question remains: When will Farmers receive the benefits of all these plans and programs? How will they overcome this persistent crisis? How the Governments are going to relieve the pain of this chronic disease which Odisha faces everyday?
Umesh Chandra Sahoo
Phd Scholar, CPS, JNU
Email- [email protected]