What are the biggest problems faced by farmers in India?
It is hard to categorise any problem faced by Indian farmers as biggest.
As every problem is in itself a huge question to their(farmer) survival.
Listing out all of the problems could be close to impossible. They are plagued by in numerous problems in every step of their lives.
Let's go through all the problems along with the process of farming.
First a farmer needs land, so he can plough and start his farming. Alarmingly numerous of willing farmers do not have sufficient land to feed his family. The reason could be due to growing family population and never growing cultivable land in their ownership.
Assuming that a farmer has some amount of land that he can cultivate, he needs a fertile land, most of the Indian cultivable land is saturated by over usage of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. This forces him to further buy chemicals and add so he can negate the old fertiliser effects. This asks for money. Most farmers haven't been able to make any money in their past crops. So now, how does he arrange money? Go n borrow from a private (mostly illegal)lender at an alarming interest rate or promise him the yield(most of these lenders are crop brokers). This only goes to complicate the matter as, the lender will most certainly eye the yield and thus results in the farmer receiving hardly any legal Price for his yield. For this farmer to make profits he should be able to get a bumper crop which in almost all possibilities is a remote one. Because, after borrowing money from the lender for fertilisers and seeds. The farmer has to buy seeds from a fertiliser and seed shop.
Most of the seeds sold are of cheaper quality or in man occasions adulterated (in order to maximise the profits for the fertiliser and seed manufacturing and selling industry).
it is very obvious that a farmer who has sowed a low quality seed will yield less. This could lead him to lose his pledged property( be if gold, land or any other stuff) to the lender as the yield won't be able to clear the lender's debt.
This assuming that the farmer has enough water resources, man power, ability to sprinkle pesticides in various stages of the crop until yield.
Some farmers have water but no irrigation systems, some have irrigation systems but most governments fail to provide sufficient electricity.
How does a poor farmer get to overcome all these obstacles and grow profitable crops??
Now assuming the case of a better farmer
Who has land, water, sufficient money, knowledge of quality seeds and fertilisers and well versed in all fields of farming.
He works hard
Grows a good crop and is ready to sell.
He is faced with a lot of brokers as governments have no proper crop purchasing system in place neither do they have intention to raise the quality of farmers life.
The brokers offer under average prices stating various reasons, lies and more and make sure the farmer who was once a self sufficient guy also ends up losing his battle.
There have been numerous cases of farmer suicides, farmer crimes and more such. Latency Test
The weaker ones have left the villages and have chosen to work as labourers in cities and they only want their children to choose education and city life and never even venture to be a farmer like themselves ( I am one of those children who is now a pharmacist, but the pleasant smell of the land still pulls me no end, I only justify myself that I need to be rich and retire. Only then can I farm, taking it as an hobby and not a profession for survival)
How can the situation improve?
There have been various amazing and appealing theories that could work brilliantly well. But in a house made of cards, you want all card to be perfect.
Government should start off providing sufficient lands to farmers, some farmers have large bulk of land, which can be distributed to the needy, illegal lenders have to be penalised and governments and other rightful legal lenders should join hands for the cause of the farmer. More organic and healthy farming methods have to be invoked. Farmers have to be educated about the benefits of these. Seed quality has to governed and standardised. Brokers have to be driven to extinction.
Usage of technology:
Usage of technology must be limited to educating the farmers, introduce effective irrigation techniques, modernise and make transparent farmer borrowing process, modernise farming ideas adhering to organic techniques, modernise agriculture produce marketing to ensure farmers get what they deserve for the product.