Economic security of the farmers in Himachal Pradesh: Challenges and solutions

Authors

  • S K Sharma
  • B K Sharma

Keywords:

Farmer income, basic agriculture inputs, food processing industries.

Abstract

Farmers have always been the backbone of this country from pre-independent era to the present times. Many people have scripted success stories in other fields, there is none from agriculture where a poor farmer has become immensely rich by virtue of his farming activities. On the contrary, the reports of farmers committing suicides are regularly noticed in the electronic and print media. A thoughtful analysis of the circumstances reveals that sincere efforts to actually improve the economic status of the farmers were woefully wanting. Therefore, the present push to double the income of the farmers by the year 2022 is laudable as it attempts to improve the economic condition of the farming community. Earlier research efforts to improve the agriculture sector were largely directed to enhance food grain production. Consequently, tremendous progress in production of cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables occurred following scientific intervention by the state and central agricultural institutions. Still, the desired change in the economic condition of the farmers did not happen. This is because the surplus produce was not procured at remunerative prices. The reason being that the requisite storage structures to scientifically store the surplus production were not set up. Perishable produce of vegetables and fruits requires quick disposal. But, food processing units were not established to absorb the surfeit production. Hence, large quantities of precious food grains and perishable produce were wasted. It adversely impacted the farmers economically. Also, an ideal situation for farming guaranteeing availability of quality seed, assured irrigation, quality pesticides etc. does not exist in many parts of the country including Himachal Pradesh. Irrigation facilities are largely lacking and the farmers are dependent on the timely rains for successful farming. Many a times unpredictable weather plays spoilsport and damages the crop leading to economic losses. Thus, any effort to improve the economic lot of the farming community must give due emphasis on improving the basic infrastructure related to farming. Small, medium and large food processing industries need to be established to ensure proper disposal of the produce at remunerative prices. Famers may be insulated against weather vagaries and glut production by assured procurement at remunerative prices. Sincere and concerted efforts to address these issues can help in improving the ecconomic condition of the farmers and assist in the noble endeavor towards doubling their income by the year 2022.

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Published

2021-04-06

How to Cite

Sharma, S. K., & Sharma, B. K. (2021). Economic security of the farmers in Himachal Pradesh: Challenges and solutions. Indian Journal of Plant Protection, 48(3). Retrieved from https://epubs.icar.org.in/index.php/IJPP/article/view/111533

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Section

Articles