The income of the farmer is not only Rs. This is a symbolic figure of how cheap agriculture is or how cruel the agriculture market is! We and the Government of India know very well that how much influence middlemen have in the farmers’ market! While being the Union Food Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan surprised the government by making a statement to this effect. Today he is not among us, but another cruel reality has come to the fore. Farmer Rajendra Tukaram Chavan had gone to sell onion crop in Solapur mandi of Maharashtra. The crop was 512 kg. When there was talk of giving onion only Re 1 per kg, the farmer got the first blow. Then the farmer was given a check of only 2 rupees after deducting the commission of transport, wages, freight and agent. That too was after 15 days. That means the total cost of 512 kg onions is only Rs 2…! What a naked bath, what a squeeze! This is the reality when the government’s promise of doubling the income of farmers has passed a year ago. The income has not increased, the farmer is not even able to bear the cost of the crop. Profit is a matter of dreams.
Farmer Rajendra Chavan spent over Rs 40,000 on the entire process of planting and producing 512 kg of onions and earned only Rs 2! How did he manage his household? How to eat roti? How to teach children? How to get daughter married? And how to continue the business of farming? Similar is the story of tomato in Telangana. There the tomato is crying like an orphan. Farmers are saying that pluck tomatoes and take them as much as you want. Apart from onion, tomato, potato has also faced the same cruel reality. Some other vegetables will also have the same fate! In these circumstances the farmer will not commit suicide, so what is the option before him? Farmers are trampling crops under their tractors or throwing them on the roads. This is not a waste of onions, tomatoes, but a crushing blow to the economy. The consumption of onion in India is more than 150 lakh tonnes and the production is more than 200 lakh tonnes. Despite this, onion has been imported. We have not been able to understand this business. Onion is being sold for Rs 3512 per kg in the Philippines. Onion is being sold at 240 in America, 250 in South Korea, 200 in Taiwan and Japan, 190 in Canada and 180 rupees in Singapore. If we talk about our own retail market, the average price is 30-35 rupees. Then why are the farmers not being given the right price for their crops?–
The average income of a farmer in India is Rs 27 per day. This is the fact of NITI Aayog. The farmer earns 5500-6000 rupees without wages. Is it clear from the current agriculture market behavior that farmers are being forced to leave agriculture? Is the government and the mandi punishing the farmers for agitation? Why is the government not fixing the prices of onion and tomato as well that the crop will not be sold at less than that. Why are farmers not being allowed to export abroad instead of mandi? And what is the need for imports when onions are stocked in cold storages or godowns of NAFED? Government’s policies are very complicated! The irony is that the government invests capital in industries, but leaves the farmers to the mercy of nature and weather. Bail-out packages are also for industries. This kindness is not on farming. Why after all? The price of the farmer’s crop is being given at Rs 2 when the country is celebrating the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence. The Prime Minister can distribute a bailout of Rs.6000 annually among the farmers, but cannot prepare a fair price for the farmers and a pro-farmer system.