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8:29pm, 23rd June, 2016

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4 min

Most of us might still remember our social sciences’ class, where we used to learn that India is majorly an agrarian economy, with around 60% of the population engaged in agriculture and related activities. This hasn’t changed much in the time elapsed, even with the onset of the sparkling start-up generation. What has also not changed are the incidents of farmer suicides per year. The government has apparently been increasing the relief activities for struggling farmers year after year, so everything should be taken care of right? Wrong. Farmers still find themselves in the midst of a make-or-break situation, similar to what a start-up heading towards bankruptcy would face.
So, following are the reasons why you should care about their situation while reflecting the reasons in the context of a new start-up:

1. Farmers get only 25 % of the final market price.
Imagine a situation where you get only 1/4th of the final price for your start-up’s product, your brainchild, and the rest is pocketed by some middlemen who you know nothing about, whose only job was to get your wares to the market. Think you’d be pissed?

1(8)

Image source : http://www.thenational.ae

2. Farmers are pressured to be productive even with irregular weather patterns.
Farming is a process where all the necessary conditions are to be fulfilled to be productive. The weather is a condition which is in God’s Hands, rather like the initial seed funding required by any start-up; it’s all in God’s (Investor) hands. Wouldn’t it be harsh to tell you to succeed with inadequate funding?

 

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Image source : http://indianexpress.com

3. Farmers are entrapped into taking large un-repayable loans.
All entrepreneurs dread taking large loans which they deem unpayable. Once in a while, it so happens that a loan shark gives them a deal too good to be true. And it turns out that way in the end.

 

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Image source : http://indianexpress.com

4. Farmers are ill-educated and unaware of all the advancements of agricultural technologies.
Most people would agree that without proper awareness of the market and the correct technology required for the production of their products, it would be very difficult for any start-up to survive.

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Image source : d152j5tfobgaot.cloudfront.net

5. Government relief does not always reach the farmers.
The situation where you realize that the funds promised to you do not reach you at all. In fact, they were being whittled away by the subordinates of the investor of your start-up.

 

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Image source : thebetterindia.com

6. Farmers are also human beings.
Entrepreneurs are human beings. Farmers are human beings. You and I are human beings. Would you let anyone, stranger or a loved one, suffer such despicable injustice?

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Image source : foreignaffairs.com

Clearly, the current conditions of the farmers are beyond wretched, leaving them no option aside from suicide. Though we may ask ourselves what we can do about such a major issue; I say, even speaking out about this issue would be a step in the right direction. Let the government and the farmers realize that we are aware of their situation and that we care. I leave you with this quote by Martin Niemöller which is apt for the situation:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Image source : feature- farmingfirst.org, smartautomation.in

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