Farmers Fear Demonetisation Will Ruin Wheat Season As They Don't Have Money To Buy Seeds

15.11.2016

While, millions of people across the country are standing in queues to change their currency notes, and some are sharing their photos and videos on the social media, there are many who are bearing the brunt of this sudden move by the government.  

Vipin Dabas, a young farmer in outer Delhi has 16 acres of land to sow wheat, but he doesn't have money to buy seeds. He planned to buy seeds for the season and kept money for it. However, everything changed on November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation.

"I have seeds to sow in four acres, the rest 12 acres are lying vacant when the prime time of sowing wheat running out. I don't have notes in smaller denominators and traders who sell seeds now ask for payment with Rs 100 notes. Long queues outside banks have further made my life difficult because since I have to plough fields, I can't afford to waste my time standing in queues," said Vipin.

Vipin isn't the only farmers facing this crisis as this is the story of all farmers across Punjab, Haryana, Western UP, Outer Delhi and other parts of north India where wheat is the prime Rabbi crop. Punjab and Haryana are among the top three wheat producing states in the country.

Money is one issue, time is another

According to farmers, as far as agriculture is concerned, the timing of the decision is awful.

"Though one can sow wheat till December 15, the prime time is between November 1 and November 20.  If wheat is sown later, it affects the production," said Bir Singh, a farmer in Gurugram.

Land holding among north Indian farmers

Wheat sowing in cereal bowl states (Punjab and Haryana) has taken a beating as usually the area under the crop is likely to cover normal acreage of 35 lakh hectares in Punjab and 25 lakh hectares in Haryana, but till date, it's believed that nearly half of the land is still lying vacant waiting for wheat to be sown.

If we see the average land holding, both Punjab and Haryana have average land holding of three acres per farmer and the cost of sowing wheat in one acres or Kila, the acre is popularly referred to, is a colossal Rs 5,000 or more.

It Takes over Rs 5,000 to sow wheat in one acre whereas bank only give Rs 4,500 a day

Most of the small farmers with land holding up to three acres don't own tractors and they get their land ploughed on rent. Normally, before the seeds are sown, a kila is tilted at least four times at rate of Rs 400 each time which takes the amount to Rs 2,000 even before they seeds are sown.

It takes another  Rs 400 to sow the seeds finally. But before the seeds are sown, 50 kg wheat as seeds costs around Rs 1,200 along with DAP fertilizer, which again costs hefty Rs 1200 along with Rs 500 spent on diesel or electricity to irrigate the land in order to get it ready for sowing.

The whole process of sowing wheat in one acre costs around Rs 5,000 which is higher than the amount given by banks on one account in a single day.

Forget seeds, farmers standing in queues to deposit money earned from Paddy

Since the announcement of demonetisation was sudden, like most of the people of the country, farmers too were taken aback. October last or November first is the time when farmers have money because they end up selling Kharif crops like Paddy etc.

Therefore, the decision became a double assault on farmers as now neither they have time  and money to buy seeds to sow wheat nor they have patience to stand in queues to deposit their hard earned money, they got after selling Kharif crop.

"I wanted to keep Rs 2 lakh I got after selling Paddy produced in seven acres, but now I have to stand in queues to deposit it while my fields are lying vacant because I neither have seeds of wheat to sow nor the time and money to buy it," said Ved Prakash, a farmer in Outer Delhi.


indiatimes

 

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