The condition of the most of the farmers is horrible. Nearly 80 percent of the farmers in India belongs to Marginal (less than 1 ha) or small farmers (1–2 ha) category. The agriculture supports nearly 50 percent of the employment but contributes only 15 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Everyday there is news coming on farmers suicides from different parts of the country.The people sitting in air conditioner rooms are devising the policies to alleviate the problems faced by the farmers who works under burning sun. They will not come to know the real problems of the farmers . I have heard that the policies are driven after proper consultation with farmers. But, I have never seen/heard any person coming to my village where the only occupation is agriculture to take views /points from farmers.
There are number of schemes introduced by the Government and implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, NABARD and central/state agencies. But I feel not even 10 percent has reached the farmers.Media is focusing only on urban people and targeting them. They will not advertise any of the schemes which will be helpful to farmers until unless it affects the urban. The government has to advertise the schemes in local languages and need to create more awareness programs in villages.A good amount of investment, proper awareness about government schemes and markets to sell, good amount of land and water will give a pleasant life for farmers. We want to turn the situation around. Inspired by Our Founder’s vision, volunteers from around the India have initiated several projects to combat several serious and huge environmental crisis. Projects include large-scale tree plantations carried out under Mission Green Earth, the revival of dried rivers, cleaning polluted rivers, temple waste management, and natural farming that preserves soil quality. Our projects mostly revolve around conserving natural resources and securing rural livelihoods in the process.
The conditions of the farmers in India are as follows.
Money Lenders still play a major role for agriculture credit where the interest paid to them will be more than profit that one can earn from cultivated crops.
MNREGA Effect : It is very difficult to get labours after MNREGA . If some one talks about the de-merits of MNREGA is adjudged as anti-poor. But the reality is MNREGA ruined agriculture with labour shortages and the scheme is anti-agriculture. Instead the government can enrol people under MNREGA and give them 100 days of wage and allow them to work in agriculture.
Productivity vs Price : The crop price is inversely proportional to productivity. If the productivity is more then the price will be less and vice versa.
Good rainfall, good productivity and good prices never ever come together. So the income of the farmers will be either marginal or no profit or loss.
Only the large farmers can get used of machines and get good productivity with less production cost.
Now a days the cost of paddy cultivation is same as the final output . Only the paddy grasses is profit of farmers which they can use it as fodder for cattle.
Crops will be destroyed by too much of rainfall or drought or if everything is good and productivity is more then the price will be less.
Urban consumers who used to get elite media attention will protest if the food prices goes up but they will not understand the problems faced by the farmers.
Cost of tomato: Rs.100 per/kg is a breaking news. Tomato Rs.1 per/kg is no news.
Middlemen: These are the people who earn by sucking the farmers blood. We used to sell for example onion Rs.10/kg but the same I get in town for Rs.50/kg for the most the times.
Every farmer wants their children to move out of agriculture because they know the difficulty of agriculture.
What is Zero Budget Natural Farming?
Zero Budget Natural Farming, as the name implies, is a method of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero.This means that farmers need not purchase fertilizers and pesticides in order to ensure the healthy growth of crops.It is, basically, a natural farming technique that uses biological pesticides instead of chemical-based fertilizers. Farmers use earthworms, cow dung, urine, plants, human excreta and such biological fertilizers for crop protection. It reduces farmers’ investment. It also protects the soil from degradation.
As both a social and environmental programme, it aims to ensure that farming particularly smallholder farming is economically viable by enhancing farm biodiversity and ecosystem services.It reduces farmers’ costs through eliminating external inputs and using in site resources to rejuvenate soils, whilst simultaneously increasing incomes, and restoring ecosystem health through diverse, multi-layered cropping systems.Cow dung from local cows has proven to be a miraculous cure to revive the fertility and nutrient value of soil. One gram of cow dung is believed to have anywhere between 300 to 500 crore beneficial micro-organisms. These micro-organisms decompose the dried biomass on the soil and convert it into ready-to-use nutrients for plants.Resilient food systems are the need of the day given the variability of the monsoons due to global warming and declining groundwater in large parts of India. The drought-prone regions in India is reportedly seeing promising changes already in farms with the ZBNF.Zero budget natural farming requires only 10 per cent water and 10 per cent electricity than what is required under chemical and organic farming. ZBNF may improve the potential of crops to adapt to and be produced for evolving climatic conditions. The four-wheels of zero budget natural farming require locally available materials:
Water vapour condensation for better soil moisture.
Seed treatment with cow dung and urine-based formulations.
Mulching and soil aeration for favourable soil conditions.
Ensure soil fertility through cow dung and cow urine-based concoctions.