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On the ground work:

Broadly there are two types of problems

1) Problems for the farmers who get high yield

The main problem with high yield crops is Price - Cost is very low (some times negative). The reasons for these are
1. Bad government policies (example: NREGS, limitations on export etc)
2. High production costs.
3. Inefficiencies in supply chain.
4. Lack of unity in farmers is a primary reason government is not resolving their problems.

Production costs mainly consists of 1) Labor 2) Fertilizers 3) Pesticides 4) Seeds. Apart from this, the cost of living has also gone up high due to the lack of support from government (bad govt education, medical care etc). The cost of living is not taken into account when deciding the minimum support price.

Government has significantly reduced the subsidy on fertilizers. As the Phosphorous remains in the world are almost over, the price of the fertilizers based on that have gone up high.

The hybrid seeds do not give the yield promised by the companies. The produce from the hybrid seeds also can't be reused as seeds again, so the farmers are forced to buy hybrid seeds again.

Due to the over use of the pesticides, the pests are becoming resistant, and the residual on the produce also increasing. Due to this, the farmers are unable to sell crops like dry mirchi (which is never washed).

The agriculture labor are migrating to cities or working on the NREGS projects (100 day work guarantee). This increases the labor costs for farmers.

Potential Solutions:

The production cost related problems can be addressed by low cost farming, and reducing dependency on chemicals by educating the farmers. For this, Ravindra (Bay Area) and I spoke to a scientist who is working on the ground with farmers. He has an NGO firm called Center For Sustainable Agriculture. There are several people in this firm who works with him. They form as different teams and setup camps in clusters of 5 villages. They work with the farmers and make small changes in every crop. Over 4 crops (2 years), they are able to decrease the production costs significantly. Their model was implemented in various districts (Guntur, Vijayanagaram, Vishakapatnam, Khammam, Warangal, Anatapur, Cudappah) over several villages. I think we have an opportunity to workwith them.

2) Problems of farmers who get low yield.