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More than 75% farmers want to leave their occupation

A survey reveals that 62% never heard of MSP

Sanjeeb Mukherjee  |  New Delhi 

In a grim reminder of the condition of almost 12 crore farmer households in the country, a survey shows that almost 76% of farmers would prefer to do some other work other than farming, while 60% wanted their children to migrate and settle in a city.

The survey done by Centre For the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Lokniti for Bharat Krishak Samaj among 5,000 farmer households across 137 districts in 18 states in December 2013, showed almost 47% felt that overall condition of growers in the country is bad.

Titled ‘Report On The State Of Indian Farmer’, the sample for the survey included 20% Scheduled Castes, 12% Scheduled Tribes, 40% Other Backward Caste and 14% minorities.

It showed that 40% of farmers felt that their economic condition has improved in the last five years (2009 to 2014), while 37% said there was no change. Around 42% of total surveyed farmers were optimistic about the economic condition to improve in the coming years.

Among the issues which concerned farmers most education, health and employment were the most prominent, while repayment of loans stood as being the least priority.

On political issues, an overwhelming number of farmers said that price rise is the main issue in 2014 General Elections, while corruption was not high on their priority.

The survey showed that though the UPA government has been publicizing the regular hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) since 2004 as one of its biggest achievement, almost 62% of farmers surveyed were not even aware of the MSP and among those who have heard about MSP almost 64% were not satisfied with rates.

A staggering 74% of the surveyed farmers said that they do not get any farming related information from agriculture ministry officials, while just 3% said that they get it on a regular basis. Around 85% of the surveyed farmers did hear about UPA’s flagship programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, whil0e just 51% got benefit under it.

Interestingly, just 10% of growers felt that government schemes benefited small and marginal farmers while an overwhelming 90% felt it helped only big and rich farmers.

Among central government schemes meant for farmers, the survey showed that almost 53% of farmers had heard of the loan waiver scheme implemented by UPA government in 2008, while just 10% actually benefitted from the it. On the UPA’s land acquisition law, the survey showed that 27% of the farmers have heard about it, while 57% said a farmer stands to lose because of the Law.

A whopping 83% of the farmers have not heard about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in agriculture and of those who have heard about the same almost 51% felt that it should not be allowed as farmers would stand to lose their bargaining power once FDI is allowed in agriculture.

Region Satisfied With Household Economic Condition* Not Satisfied With Household Economic Condition*
North India 59 34
East India 35 62
Central India 71 24
South India 48 41
West India 47 36
*In percent

First Published: Tue, March 11 2014. 19:22 IST