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Many Small Farmers Want Their Children to Take up Salaried Jobs: Study

Agriculture labour, MNREGA, dairy and livestock, and income from other family members are the farmers' other sources of income. While MNREGA contributes 4% to 12% of income depending on the number of days worked, most farmers preferred it because they thought it was a simple task, according to the interview.

Abha Toppo
Farmers working in field
Farmers working in field

According to a study based on in-depth interviews, small farmers in Karnataka believe that it is better for their children to take up jobs with a regular salary because income from agriculture is low and crops are frequently damaged due to the vagaries of nature.

Farmers with one to five acres of irrigated land and up to seven acres of non-irrigated land were examined in Koppal, Raichur, Kalaburagi, and Hubballi as part of research conducted by The/Nudge Institute, Centre for Rural Development in Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

Approximately 66 percent of the farmers who took part were over the age of 40. As many as 89 percent of respondents said they did not want their children to go into farming. Between November 2021 and February 2022, 107 farmers were interviewed.

Multiple Sources of Income

Farmers earn their living from three to four sources due to low agricultural income, including taking additional land on lease or sharecropping, which has an advance rental payment with no compensation benefit to the tenant farmer in case of crop damage.

"Although they identify as farmers and are dedicated to their work, the majority of farmers do not want their children to become farmers." "They believe farming is a difficult profession with low income, high effort, and high risk," according to the study.

Agriculture labour, MNREGA, dairy and livestock, and income from other family members are the farmers' other sources of income. While MNREGA contributes 4% to 12% of income depending on the number of days worked, most farmers preferred it because they thought it was a simple task, according to the interview. Farmers are well-served by Prime Minister Kisan Yojana, PDS, and other DBT programmes.

Crop Loans

According to the findings, as many as 67 percent of farmers had crop loans, with only 16 percent repaying them. Most others are not being repaid or are only paying interest in the hope of receiving a loan waiver from the government.

Informal loans are obtained from friends and family, moneylenders, and other farmers at a monthly interest rate of 2%. Based on data from Kalaburagi, Koppal, and Raichur, a farmer has a loan of 2.4 lakh in a fiscal year on average.

As many as 90% of farmers do not have their soil tested. Even when the soil was tested, farmers were either unaware of the results or were aware of the deficiencies but did not use fertilizer as recommended.

Despite the fact that crop insurance is included with all bank crop loans, half of the farmers with bank loans were unaware that they had crop insurance. While most farmers had a mobile phone, they mostly used it for communication, entertainment, and rate inquiries, rather than for improving agricultural practices.

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