Agriculture Policy and Farmers’ Right: A Study in Odisha State, India

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Umesh SAHOO, KISS University,Bhubaneswar, India
For centuries, agriculture is the main stay of Indian economy and as well primary source of livelihood of common masses. In past, agriculture was based on self consumption than commercialization. Since mid sixty, under Green Revolution, agriculture growth turned demand driven to market following modern technology, high yielding varieties of seeds and other know how. Since nineties, after liberalization, privatization and globalization process, the agriculture oriented more to export, food security, employment opportunities, etc. Some academic studies idealize such policy as sustainable to agriculture and paving way for eradication of poverty, inequality, promoting rural livelihood, maximizing benefits, etc. Some other studies perceived new agricultural policy as counterproductive to farmers` development. As it has caused loss of farmers own autonomy, self-reliant, self-dependant, using own indigenous knowledge, application of organic farming in production process, rising cost of cultivation, high indebtedness, tendency of suicide and overall agrarian crisis because of inability to cope up with new system and failure of marketing mechanism on receiving value of their product. Over the years , many farmers organizations have staged demonstration and protested government agricultural policies and programs but apathy of state continues unabated without redressing their grievances. In light of this fact, a study has undertaken in backward eastern state Odisha of India which has witnessed above 1500 farmer suicide cases in last five years and their violation right relating to life, food, loan, livelihood, production, receiving remunerative price of their product etc are in dead end. The study follows structural approach of dialectical perspectives linking farmers’ socio-economic conditions, agriculture pattern, irrigation facilities, per capita income, dependency nature on trader, money lender and supportive credit facilities, indebtedness, constraints of repayment, counseling by agriculture department and civil society organizations on adoption of modern method of agricultural application, etc to comprehend the issue in totality.