67% of our people still depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Good quality inputs delivered on time are critical for their survival.
There are several laws and control orders giving the officials of agricultural department the responsibility and power to enforce standards in seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. The extension machinery of the government has a duty to spread the knowledge about the use of appropriate inputs to suit the soil, season, crop and pest.
However, farmers are cheated consistently leading to tragic consequences. Frequent crop failures result from either poor quality inputs or because of natural causes like droughts, heavy rains or cyclones.
Huge subsidies are given by the government on fertilizer, water and power. However the farmer loses much more than what he receives, through price controls, trading controls and compulsory levies. Through these regulations and controls the prices of farm products are maintained artificially low at the cost of the farmer.
As a result, India is the only major country in the world, in which farmers' interests are deliberately hurt by the government policies, instead of helping them. In many Western and Asian countries farmers get subsidies ranging from 30% - 70%. But in India farmers suffer a net loss of their market value on account of price and trading controls to a tune of 30% or more on most commodities.
Farmers are the only section of our population who do not have the right to store and transport their products at their discretion, or sell wherever and whenever they decide at a price that the market can bear. While other producers are encouraged to export and are given incentives for that, farmers are discouraged and penalized for exporting or selling within the country at a remunerative price.
Such a situation is often made worse by bogus seeds, sub-standard fertilizers or adulterated pesticides. Poor enforcement means that while laws are there, farmers do not get the benefit. In addition, failure to spread knowledge keeps farmers ignorant. As a result, there are bad managerial practices causing crop failures