ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Farmers' Suicides and the Agrarian Crisis

There are growing disparities between the agricultural and nonagricultural sectors and a deterioration in the quality of public services in rural India. However, the Planning Commission is mistaken if it thinks an acceleration in the growth of manufacturing and services will pull agriculture out of its present crisis. And contrary to much common belief, indebtedness, low levels of investment and import liberalisation are not the causes of the agrarian crisis. A radically different approach is required to make the farm sector grow by 4 per cent a year.

In recent months several unfavourable trends in Indian agriculture – farmers’ suicides, declining prices of several crops, widening disparities between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and a marked slowing down in the rate of agricultural growth – have attracted much comment and discussion in the media, among scholars and in public forums. Cumulatively they have contributed to generating a sense of a deepening agrarian crisis in the country.

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