Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A risky business called farming

Thanks to the green revolution of the mid-Sixties, Indian agriculture has made rapid progress in raising the production and productivity of different crops. Foodgrain production has increased from around 60 million tonnes in early 1960s to over 210 million tonnes today. But studies show that over the years farmers have not been able even to recover the cost because of the higher risk in cultivation and the uncertainty in price.

The risks the farming community faces are many; they relate to natural calamities such as drought and floods, high fluctuation in the prices of output, domination by middlemen, spurious inputs, and so on. Of late, there have been many cases of desperate farmers ending their lives in different parts of the country.

Recognising the risk faced by farmers, the Government of India has been making efforts to reduce the income-related risk through direct and indirect interventions. Agricultural insurance is one among them. This book, using both primary and secondary data, aims at identifying the problems and discusses the prospects of agricultural insurance in India. It also suggests ways of improving the coverage and effectiveness of the scheme.

Full report here Hindu

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