The connected Indian farmer

What are the thoughts come to mind when you think of the Indian farmer?

  • someone who is unscientific and does not like change?
  • backward and unconnected?

Well, think again!

On Jun 17 2015, the Central Govt. took a decision to provide a bonus of Rs 200 per quintal of pulses.  The news item goes on to say:

in view of a large surplus of cereals in contrast to huge deficit of pulses, the Cabinet made an exception and decided to give a bonus of Rs 200/- per quintal for pulses over and above the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

“This is expected to give a strong price signal to farmers to increase acreage and invest for increase in productivity of pulses,” the government said. The decision is based on recommendations of CACP for the price policy for kharif crops for the 2015-16.

On Jul 4 2015, there is another newspaper report that gives us this tidbit:

Pulses have been sown in 2.26 million hectares so far, more than double the 0.97 million hectares sown by this time last year.
The high acreage under pulses could be on account of farmers taking a signal from the soaring prices in the market.

Yet another article published on the same day, provided this input:

On asset ownership, the survey shows that over 68% of rural households own a mobile phone

You might have already made out the connection. Between the Govt. indicating the increased Minimum Support Price (MSP) on Jun 17, and the sowing coverage report on Jul 3, the farmers have already responded to the incentive on offer! Not sure that most media, barring All India Radio, would have given the news item of the MSP increase sufficient coverage. Mobile phone conversations to pass on the message are most likely the reason for this quick response in increased cultivation.

Three cheers for “The connected Indian farmer”!

These are still early days for Kharif sowing, and the monsoon has still a long way to go. We shall see the results later this year. Hopefully, it will be a good one for all of us.


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