Vikas Rawal, Professor of economics at JNU, speaks to Newsclick on how the farmers in India have been facing severe distress due to the policies followed by successive governments ever since the onset of economic liberalisation in the country. Agricultural research bodies have been underfunded, input costs have risen and at the end of the day most farmers are unable recover their paid out costs.
The argument that farmers are not taxed is not correct, as they incur heavy indirect taxes on fuel. Local level procuring units for perishable food crops have to be opened. Farmers have to be encouraged to cultivate pulses for the sake of food security and as an import substitution measure.