Here you can read about the trend in wheat production in India and why it is not helping the income of farmers and what can be done towards improving the situation.
In year 1998 to 1999, India produced 70,780,000 MT. of wheat which rose by 7.93% to 76,369,000MT. in 2000. The domestic consumption of wheat in India in Year, 2000 was 66,821,000MT. which roughly saved us around 9,000,000 MT. of wheat. The storage capacity of Food Corporation of India (including wheat, paddy and lentils) is 28 million metric tonnes.
In a statement issued by FCI, it is claimed that only 30% of grains is managed by organized sector, which leaves a huge responsibility on unorganized sector to store and protect the grains.
The grains stored by unorganized sector are used by people in India for their own consumption.
Now, the reason behind emphasising solely on wheat is the fact that government is spending a huge amount on the production of wheat in terms of subsidy to the farmers for seeds, fertilizers, electricity, diesel and other such requirements.
The irony is that when so much of wheat is not consumed by people, then what reasons can be attributed towards the idea of Government pushing farmers for it- providing subsidy for something makes it easier for farmers to adopt it and produce.
The reasons other than policy paralysis of government is that most of the famers in India have very small farms in their name, which makes them apprehensive to vie for any other crops which will not help them directly in sustaining their existence.
The work done by certain organizations like KGVK – a CSR initiative of UshaMartin Ltd. is changing this trend around the areas of Ranchi and Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India.
The farmers here are trained by organization to produce commercial crops which have high market value and are in demand due to recent boom in aromatic and food processing sectors in India. The crops that are helping farmers improve their lives are vetiver, Pink pepper, Sweet corn, baby corn, jamarosa, citronella and others. These crops are high in demand and have more value in terms of economic improvement for farmers.
I am working with the organization, motivating farmers to adopt the new commercial crops and scientific skills for their production, other than this I have the responsibility to develop process for management of farms (300 acres owned by organization), to improve the efficiency of production of the crops and ensure sustainability of the initiative. The farms owned by organization are meant for R& D and demonstration purposes. It makes it easier for farmers to adopt the newer crops if they can see the crop being cultivated and participate in the process, right from preparing the fields to marketing of the crops.
The crops have contributed significantly in the lives of people who have accepted it and we plan to continue our contribution with the people in making their lives better.