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What is going on in agriculture?

On one hand, we have glowing reports of the growth in agriculture, particularly horticulture.

Horticultural vs foodgrain production in India from 2002 to 2014
Horticultural vs foodgrain production in India from 2002 to 2014. Source: Ministry of Agriculture, FY 2014 figures are provisional.

On the other, we have “Rural wage growth lowest in 10 years, signals farm distress, falling inflation“.

Annual rural wage growth from September 2007 to November 2014
Annual rural wage growth from September 2007 to November 2014

To me, this indicates that farmers are doing more for less. Add to this the drastic disinterest in schemes like NREGA, reduced legal restrictions for land grabs for large projects and the undermining of the right to refuse, India seems headed for widespread rural devastation in coming years. Even where work is done, 70% of MNREGA payments have not been made this year.

I hope I am wrong.

One way to remove poverty is to improve the lives of the poor. Another way to remove poverty is to exploit the poor into extinction. Successive Indian governments seem headed for the latter. Each outdoing the previous.

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