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Problems Faced By Farmers In Usa Case Study

Agriculture is one of the most important pillars of the Indian economy. The contribution of agriculture and its allied sectors to India’s GDP stood at 13.9% during 2013-14 (Agriculture 2013). More than half of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture for its subsistence. Since the beginning years of economic development, it has been one of the main drivers of growth of the economy as it supplies was a major source of raw materials to most of the manufacturers.

In spite of its great significance to the Indian economy, the share of agriculture and its allied activities in India’s GDP is continuously declining over the years. In 2009-10, it was 14.6% which declined to 13.9% in 2013-14 (Agriculture 2013). The following figure depicts the trend in the agriculture growth from 2007-08 to 2013-14 as compared to the overall GDP growth.

Source: Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India

Scarcity of water is a major problem faced by the farmers

India is home to 16% of the world’s population and it is endowed with only 4% of the total available fresh water (Division 2007). In addition to the growing pressure over the water resources within the country, there is a high regional disparity in the availability of water resources and which is further accentuated by the growing demand for drinking water and other necessities accompanied by the rapid pace of industrialization and urbanization. Under utilization of existing irrigation resources due to the lack of field channels and other minor investments has also become the area of high concern, as far as agricultural productivity is concerned (Division 2007).

Infertile land and lack of infrastructure in the agriculture sector

Another major problem responsible for low agricultural productivity is that the soil is contaminated by the increasing level of river and canal pollution which is caused by high industrial effluents and toxic metals day by day (Division 2007). Furthermore, soil erosion which is one of the significant causes for land degradation is also taking place at rapid pace by ravine and gully formation, water logging, and shifting cultivation. Inappropriate use of fertilizers and pesticides also causes lack of nutrients in the soil that are necessary for healthy agricultural productivity.

India lacks modernized infrastructure for promoting the agriculture sector. Rudimentary policies and old fashioned equipment’s and practices used by farmers in India are not sustainable, resulting in low yield for many agricultural commodities (Dwivedy 2011). Low level investment coupled with the use of obsolete technologies results in declined production, inefficiency and higher costs that in turn becomes one of the causes for food inflation (Dwivedy 2011).

Illiteracy and inequality and lack of finances

Illiteracy, lack of awareness about recent developments in the field of agriculturel, and poor socio-economic background of the farmers are some of the fundamental reasons for continuously decreasing agricultural productivity. In addition to this, high level of income gap between rich and poor farmers, agricultural and non agricultural employees are are responsible for non-fulfillment of even the basic necessities of Indian farmers (Dwivedi 2011, Division 2007).

Inadequate finance, untimely finance and inconsistent or contradictory policies of government have aggravated farmers’ problems severely (Dwivedy 2011). Timely and sufficient availability of credit on regular basis is one of the enabling factors that are responsible for high agricultural output. Availability of formal credit influences the output in many dimensions; for instance, it can be used to purchase good quality seeds during the seeding season that enables a farmer to maximize the yield over the cultivated area or it can also be used to replace the informal credit which is more often than not accompanied by high rate of interest (Narayanan 2015).

Gravity of the problem

Agriculture, especially in the context of India, constitutes the back bone of the whole economic system. It provides employment opportunities to millions of Indians in addition to providing necessary inputs for high industrial growth. It also supplies fodder for India’s huge livestock and has become a major way to earn foreign currency. Therefore, required attention in the form of realistic policy measures such as timely availability of formal credit and other inputs to the farmers, creating the awareness about policies and programs of the government meant for educating the farmers through different media platforms is the need of hour on the part of the Indian government. Agricultural growth can be seen as an enabler of the overall economic growth of India.

References

  • Agriculture, D. of, 2013. Annual Report(2013-14), Delhi. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C3CC90220J [Accessed November 2, 2015].
  • Division, B., 2007. Report of the Expert Group on Agricultural Indebtedness. Ministry of Finance. Available at: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/PP-059.pdf [Accessed November 2, 2015].
  • Dwivedy, N., 2011. Challenges faced by the Agriculture Sector in Developing Countries with special reference to India. International Journal of Rural Studies, 18(2), pp.2–7. Available at: http://www.vri-online.org.uk/ijrs/Oct2011/Challenges faced by the Agriculture Sector in India.pdf [Accessed November 2, 2015].
  • FAO, 2015. The Impact of Natural Hazards and Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security and Nutrition, Itlay. Available at: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4434e.pdf [Accessed November 3, 2015].
  • Narayanan, S., 2015. The Productivity of agricultural credit in India. Indira Gandhi Institute of Develoment Research. Available at: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2015-01.pdf [Accessed November 2, 2015].

Pamkhuila Shaiza

Research analyst at Project Guru

Shaiza worked as a Lecturer inKannur University, Kerala before, but after deeming it as boring and monotonous work, she turned herself to writing. She is an enthusiastic writer on 'entomophagy'.

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Farmers are faced with new challenges and opportunities every day -- from feeding an expanding global population while meeting strict new emissions requirements, to producing more food on fewer acres while minimizing their environmental footprint.

As part of its commitment to help farmers meet their challenges, Case IH issued a survey to gather farmers' perspectives on the leading issues impacting their operations. Case IH offered the survey to a group of farmer guests attending this year's Ag Connect Expo, as well as to farmers visiting CaseIH.com.

"The survey results not only help define the challenges facing farmers today, but also identify future opportunities," says Jim Walker, Case IH vice president of North America. "Farmer input is crucial for Case IH to develop equipment and technologies that fit farmers' diverse needs, and allow them to farm the way they want to. Case IH's producer-driven innovations help farmers solve their challenges so they can succeed."

Issues identified in the survey include:

• Supplying the growing global demand for commodities arising from developing economies and world population growth

• Availability and price of land for expansion

• New government mandates and regulations

• Stability, development and fluctuations in global financial markets

• Impact of global trade policies on food security and the supply and demand for commodities

• Development and use of bio-based fuels

Farmers were asked to rank the top issues that would impact their business, both in the next year and five years out. The number one issue is new government mandates and regulations, with nearly 30 percent of the Ag Connect farmer group ranking it as having the most impact on their business within the next year. Availability and price of land for expansion, and stability, development and fluctuations in global financial markets are tied, with 24 percent of respondents ranking them as the second most impactful issue.

For the Ag Connect farmers' five-year impact projections, new government mandates and regulations top the list again, with 33 percent ranking it as the most impactful. Nearly 24 percent of respondents rank availability and price of land for expansion as the second most impactful.

Other key findings from the Ag Connect survey:

• Nearly 25 percent of respondents indicate that equipment dealers/experts will be one of the top advisors to influence their decision making, along with their financial advisor and agronomist advisors

• 89 percent anticipate operation growth in the next five years

• Online farm audience shares similar, but not identical concerns

While the Ag Connect survey attracted primarily large farmers -- 65 percent report farming more than 5,000 acres, and all have a minimum of 1,000 tillable acres -- the CaseIH.com survey attracted more mid-size and smaller-acreage farmers. More than 70 percent of online survey respondents identify themselves as "predominantly cash grain producers" -- of which nearly 54 percent farm 1,000 acres or less, and more than 41 percent farm between 1,000 and 5,000 acres.

About 25 percent of CaseIH.com survey respondents rank availability and price of land for expansion as having the most impact on their business within the next year, followed by stability, development and fluctuations in global financial markets (21 percent). Other top issues include new government mandates and regulations, and supplying the growing global demand for commodities arising from developing economies and world population growth.

Their five-year impact projections not only track closely to the rankings for business impacts within the next year, but also emulate the Ag Connect survey results. Online respondents rank availability and price of land for expansion (26 percent) and new government mandates and regulations (21 percent) as the top issues impacting their business in the next five years.

Another key finding from the CaseIH.com survey: almost 82 percent anticipate operation growth in the next five years.

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