In spite of the bright outlook on India’s current economic growth, a significantly large portion of India’s population lives in poverty. This population, estimated at 700 million people, is almost entirely made up of rural folk, comprising of small and marginal farmers and the landless labourers from India’s agricultural sector.

Needless to say, agriculture is the be-all-and-end-all of their lives. Impediments such as natural calamities, shortfall in or untimely rain, influx of pests, unprecedented loss in production, or changes in economic demand are fatal to their livelihoods and their lives. In such situations, it is not uncommon to find farmers committing suicides.

For those farmers who brave the vicissitudes of nature and global economic exigencies, there are other challenges: small land-holdings, irrigation, agricultural inputs, access to information and agricultural best-practices, finance, access to markets, and higher prices for their produce. For the landless labourers looking for employment, earning a livelihood can be even tougher.


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