Tuesday January 23, 2018
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Farmers welfare: What Indian agricultural sector needs to learn from Denmark?

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By Prachi Mishra

Every day, from breakfast to dinner, our lives are touched by the farmers as the food we eat is cultivated by them. But never even once, a thought crosses our minds about the sacrifices peasants make so we can enjoy our daily bread.

This year itself, thousands of farmers have ended their lives because they were unable to provide basic sustenance to their families.

The poor farmers are vulnerable to a larger variety of risks, which not only affect individuals, but their households or the entire community. Other than the risk of injuries, accidents, underemployment, these farmers also have to deal with the risk of natural calamities like heavy rainfall, droughts, cyclones, etc.

The condition of the farmers in India is deplorable, and over the last 67 years since Independence, the political parties have used them only for political gains. Indian politicians, instead of coming up with solutions to the woes of the farmers, keep lamenting about the situation.

What is needed by the government is to adopt the policies, which have been tried and tested in the nations where farmers live a dignified life. One such example from which India could take cues is of Denmark.

Denmark is renowned for its profitable agriculture sector. In India, the farmers, who cultivate food for the country, cannot provide their own families with two square meals, while in Denmark, the farmers produce food sufficient to feed three times of its actual population. The farmers in Denmark are given proper education of around 4.5 years to enhance their skills and competency. The marketing and food companies are owned by the farmers themselves, unlike India where the agro-based companies are owned by industrialists who eat away the farmer’s share of profit.

Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has laid down certain rules regarding the storage of manure, livestock farming, handling and storage of manure. Some of the rules are:

·          Cover on manure storage

·          Education for farmers using chemicals

·          Updated list on safe pesticides

·          Safe storage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides

India should take up Denmark as a model to improve the livelihood of its farmers. Instead of handing over the control to multinational corporations, the government can form farmer cooperatives, which could look into the production as well as the marketing of agricultural goods. Farmers should also be aided with proper education and infrastructure.

It’s not that India does not have plans to provide the farmers with subsidies and welfare schemes. Every now and then, we see political leaders supporting pro-farmer movements and coming up with new proposals to aid them. Several NGOs represents the vulnerability of farmers and urges the government to support them. Then, why are the Indian farmers still sustaining in a deplorable condition?

We have enough social protection plans in our country to redress the grievances of the farmers. It’s just that these plans are not implemented properly. Therefore, instead of coming up with new schemes, the government should make sure that the existing welfare program are exhausted to their full extent to benefit the farmers.

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  • In india schemes r just on papers and r only to fill their own pocket.In india Talent and merit r given second importance.Double faced few indians like to be called Progressive but the truth is they love their backwardness.Denmark is also know for its Cattle breading milk production….
    Long way to go but this is a beautiful and encouraging articles.

  • In india schemes r just on papers and r only to fill their own pocket.In india Talent and merit r given second importance.Double faced few indians like to be called Progressive but the truth is they love their backwardness.Denmark is also know for its Cattle breading milk production….
    Long way to go but this is a beautiful and encouraging articles.

Next Story

India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.