1. Blog

‘The Conditions of Small Farms in America Today’

Swati Sharma
Swati Sharma
Small farms

Indian Government has imposed similar rules as America did forty years ago, and the results are not good. Whenever we bring any change in the company or at home, we should first check the impact of the same outside. 

Here, we have an example of a developed country America, then why are we not able to learn the lesson from their failures. Let’s know what had happened in America after introducing the corporate sector in farming. 

Los Angeles-based IITian Bedabrata Pain, an ex-Nasa scientist, and National award-winning filmmaker set out a 10,000 km road trip across rural America to documentary their farmers. 

They have advised the recent condition of farmers as below: 

  • 2 out of 3 Farms that operated at the time of world war II in the US no longer exist as the number of farms shrunk from 6 Million to 2 Million today even as US farm output has tripled since 1945.

  • 91% decrease rate in the number of farmers since 1950, there were 23 million farms in the US, but now it is less than 2 Million. The average size of US farms has gone from about 150 acres to 450 acres.

  • Less than 1% of US GDP now comes from farming, down from 8% in the 1930s. And roughly 70% of the labor force in mid – the 1800s, agriculture’s share in employment has fallen to about 2% now.

A landmark in Legislation Affecting US Agriculture 

New Deal Laws: Under post-depression president Franklin D Roosevelt, the US passed a series of farm laws to help its economic recovery. Gave incentives to reduce overproduction, which in turn kept prices in check. Also, they were given loans and protected from eviction. FDR introduces a price Floor system, which considers production costs, living costs, and inflation. The Government also invested heavily in agricultural infrastructure – irrigation, transportation, and electrification. 

Reagan Era: Laws introduced in the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan did aside price supports and subsidies and cut loan programs to make US agriculture globally competitive. But results were not good, and Reagan approved grants and loans, which largely benefited big farms. 

Clinton Era: The Freedom to Farm act of 1996, often referred to as the freedom to fail action by farmers. Removed the link between income support payments and farm prices and eliminated several deal era initiatives. The objective was to make US agriculture more market-oriented. However, it led to another crisis, forcing the Government to spend $55 billion in emergency aid. 

We should take a lesson from the American Government, which has tried to make US agriculture more market-oriented, and results were not good. 

America is a developed country; despite that, they are struggling to come over from the problem. Do you think Indian farmers can handle the repercussion if any comes our way?  

Like this article?

Hey! I am Swati Sharma. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters