An essay on farmers in India.
India is mainly an agricultural country. About seventy per cent of the population are farmers. They are the backbone of the nation. Hence their importance is very great in our country.
Their present condition
Most Indian farmers are now leading a very miserable life. Industry has not thriven much in our country. Hence most of the people depend on agriculture. As a result there has been a great pressure on land. Each cultivator has got a very small amount of land. He gets only a small income from the produce of his land. So he cannot maintain his family with that income. For this reason he has to run into debt. Thus we see that the farmers as a class are debtors. We cannot describe what miserable life they lead. They live in wretched huts. They cannot always get two meals a day. They have not even ordinary clothes to wear. When they fall ill, they cannot meet the expenses of treatment and medicine. So, for want of food, drinking water, good dwelling houses they fall ill and die in large numbers for want of treatment and diet.
How to improve their condition :
(I) They are to be educated—The farmers are the backbone of the nation. So it is the first duty of the people and the Government of the country to improve their condition. If their condition is not improved, the whole nation will suffer. Generally farmers of our country are not educated. As they are poor, they cannot bear the educational expenses of their children. So they must be given free and compulsory primary education. Thus every cultivator must know how to read, write and do figure works. Then they must learn the principles of scientific agriculture.
(II) The old method of cultivation should be changed— Our farmers do not know how to cultivate the land scientifically. They follow the ancient method of tilling the land with a plough and a pair of oxen. But in Western countries, the farmers use motor tractors. Within a short time they till many acres of land and get more crops. But the Indian farmers cannot till so much land and do not get so much crops. Hence they should be trained to use motor tractors to till the land. The Western farmers use improved manure to make the soil fertile. For this reason also they get more crops. Indian farmers generally use only cow-dung as manure. This also they do not use in large quantities. Hence the fertility of the soil is not increased and the land does not yield more crops.
In Western countries the agricultural land is not divided into small plots. A farmer has got many acres of land in one big plot. It is economical to cultivate such a plot with tractors. In our country, the farmers have got small plots of land and the plots of a cultivator are situated at different places. Motor tractors cannot be used in such small plots. The cost of cultivation also is greater. Hence the farmers should join together and till their land with tractors. It is now done in Russia with great success. This is called collective farming. Like India, Russia also was mainly an agricultural country and the condition of the farmers was very miserable. But now scientific agriculture has been introduced there and the farmers are well off now and the country also has been prosperous.
(III) They should learn thrift—Our farmers should learn to be thrifty. They spend more than what they earn. When they reap the harvest, they sell the crops and get money. At that time they spend money lavishly. They do not then think of the future. Within a short time they spend all their money. Then they are compelled to borrow money. In this way they run into debt.
(IV) They should learn some craft—Indian farmers are not engaged for all the time in cultivating their land. Sometimes they have to remain idle. If they learn some handicrafts, such as spinning, weaving, they can earn some money and supplement their income from cultivation. They can thus be free from want.
Duty of the Government—As the prosperity of the country depends largely on agriculture, our Government should try to improve the condition of the farmers. They should set up agricultural schools and model farms to educate the farmers free of cost. They should irrigate the land to make it fertile. They should lend money to the farmers at a nominal interest during the season of cultivation. They should distribute good seeds and manure to the farmers. The farmers may not be able to buy tractors. Our Government should lend tractors to them at a nominal charge.
India is mainly an agricultural country. Hence her prosperity depends largely on the improvement of agriculture. This can be done if the condition of the farmers can be improved. If agriculture is neglected, all classes of people will suffer. There had been, for some years, shortage of food crops in India. We had to buy food crops from other countries at a very high price. Hence we all now feel the importance of growing more food. So for this reason at present there has been some improvement in this respect. More food crops are being produced now. As a result, our country is now self-sufficient in the matter of food crops. The farmers should get every facility to grow more food. If we can depend on our own food crops, we can save much money. This money may be spent in buying machinery for the development of industry. Considering all these, the Planning Commission has laid great importance on the problem of growing more food. In Community Development Projects also, our Government is trying to improve the condition of the farmers in all possible ways. All India Radio has a programme for the farmers. It is called “Krishi Kathar Ashar”. It is very useful for the farmers. They may learn many things to improve their knowledge of cultivation if they listen to this programme.