This book locates the malignant causes behind the factors leading to farmers' suicides in India. It argues that not only a combination of innovative managerial and economic policies is required to make farming profitable, but also food production within the carrying capacity of soil, water, forests and economic and social resources must still be maintained. It brings together diverse themes, such as farming development and suicide statistics, as well as the developmental inertia evident in farmers' welfare policy history. The book stresses the need to go beyond the narrow crop economics of minimum support price utility and towards recognizing the farm household economic nature of farming, reinventing the uniqueness of farmers as a productive class engaged in converting cosmic elements into food and adopting the budgetary support approach to bail out the farmers from the suicidal, debt-multiplying, production support approach.
Lucid and topical, this book will be useful to scholars and researchers of political studies, political sociology, agricultural economics, political economy, public policy, sociology, agrarian and rural development studies, as also to policy analysts, governmental bodies and civil society activists.
P. C. Bodh is an Indian Economic Service officer of the 1987 batch and is currently senior adviser to the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers' Welfare, government of India. He was formerly director of the Planning Commission. With thirty years of experience in six ministries of the government of India, he has significantly contributed to policy making, research management and monitoring and has initiated the India Agricultural Outlook Forum. He has several academic and literary books to his credit and has been editing and managing the Ministry's flagship publication - the monthly journal Agricultural Situation in India - and reports such as Agricultural Statistics at a Glance, State of Indian Agriculture and Glimpses of Indian Agriculture (2018).
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List of Abbreviations
Part 1 Genesis
1. Demystifying Farmers' Suicides
2. The Farmers' Suicides Horror Statistics
3. Are Farmers' Suicides a Growth Tragedy?
4. The Indian Farmer Now and Then in Godan
Part 2 Probing into the Matter
5. Did India suffer myopia or fail her farsighted policies?
6. Suicide Trends and Conventional Agricultural Outlook
7. An Outcome Analysis: X-Raying Farms in India
8. The National Policy for Farmers 2007: An Action-Impact Matrix Analysis
9. Farmers' Suicide in Drought-Prone Districts
Part 3 Beyond Surveys and Their Findings
10. The Core Areas of Concern
11. The Welfare Focus
12. The Socio-Philosophical Insights
13. Farmers' Suicide in Australia
Part 4 Humanizing Farm Economics
14. Redeeming Agriculture's Inviolability
15. Crop Viability or Household Viability?
16. Triple Bottom-line Farming
Part 5 Innovative Economic Policy: Beyond Science and Technology
17. Innovative Managerial Solutions
18. The Internet-based Farmers' Welfare Scheme
19. Farmers' Budgetary Plank Approach
20. Conclusions and Policy Prescriptions