182,936 farmers have committed suicide since 1997.
Why has this happened?
After several years of Green Revolution, we have the liberalization regime, and suddenly the range of debt, the depletion of soil nutrients seems to have taken it toll.
- growth rates which was around 3 %, dropped down to 1.5 % in
(put graphic about growth rate) by 2007.
- food demand is tones and production is 220 tones in 2007-2008.
agriculture is 10% of GDP compare to 37% in 1983.
The numbers engaged in farming remain disproportionately high with the average holding size standing at 1.06 hectares in 2002-03.
Avarage size of holding is .. This is unviable in the industrial, or green revolution pardigm. Yet small farms can be viable when they grow different varieties of crops per unit area.
At the beginning of the 20th century, over 30,000 varieties of rice were cultivated across the country. Today more than 75% of the rice comes from just 10 varieties. Prior to the green revolution, as many as 41 varieties of wheat and 37 of rice were grown in Punjab. Today three varieties each of wheat and rice dominate. Likewise, a loss of biodiversity has been reported from most parts of the country where monocultures were introduced.
Sheshgiri rao on groundnut monoculture..
increasing demand for land for industrialization and urbanization, not only is the area under cultivation shrinking.
diversion of farmland for non-agricultural uses is being actively promoted. Shrinking farmlands and reduced size of landholdings is forcing farmers to produce more by adopting intensive agriculture practices. This in turn is putting severe pressure on the natural resource base; in many cases the devastation is irreversible.Bhaskar Goswami- Seminar. http://www.india-seminar.com/2009/595/595_the_problem.htm
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