Problems of Indian Agriculture: During Economic Reforms
Several problems arise when we start to learn something new, like when we want to learn a new skill; maybe learning how to ride a bike for the first time, then we face problems of balancing, practicing, falling, hurting ourselves, etc. Similarly, when new economic reforms were introduced, Indian agriculture faced several problems:
- Lack of irrigation facilities: Since crop farming in India is highly dependent on rainfall due to lack of irrigation facilities, Indian agriculture becomes vulnerable, as good rainfall leads to a good harvest, whereas drought causes loss of output.
- Lack of finance: Due to lack of funds, farmers were mainly dependent on non-institutional sources like money lenders, who used to charge them a very high rate of interest. The high cost of borrowing led them to the vicious circle of poverty.
- Outdated technology: Despite innovative farm technology, Indian farmers continued to depend upon old methods.
- Small and Scattered holding: Holdings in India are not only small but scattered as well. Smallholdings do not allow the use of modern technology. This contributes to the backwardness of farming and the poverty of the farmers.
- Exploitative Agrarian relations: It refers to the business relations between the landlords and the tenants. Landlords used to exploit farmers and charged them with high rents.
- Lack of organized marketing system: Agricultural marketing system is highly unorganized. A vast majority of the small farmers continue to sell their output in the local markets at reduced rates, due to an obligation to sell their produce to moneylenders.