Economy Lounge

Indian Public & Farmers Welfare are an Irony

I find it ironical!

The general public and the politicians at large in India say they want to see farmers of our country grow and prosper, and, Government should protect their livelihood, give cash handouts, and, concessions.

At the same time, the media screams whenever price increases for any of the farm produce. The recent one being the ill-famed (thanks to the untimely comment of Hon’ble Finance Minister) Onion price rise.

I see basic economics at work here – of supply, demand and elastic pricing of a free market. Hold your horses about hoarding, middlemen making the bulk of the profits with farmers getting little of the upside and the onion being the staple food for the masses. I get all those.

There are ways to solve each one of them by ‘effective’ governance – which is difficult for any Government in a large diverse country like India. One way will be to give food coupons or subsidised onions to the poor through the public ration system (be vigilant on who gets them) and let others pay the free-market price – and ensure a portion of this gain reaches the deserving farmers. The middle class and the rich of India can very well pay the higher prices.

Disclosure: I am a Tam-Brahm, and I love Onions and Garlic in my plate! They both have a lot of health benefits and they taste divine!

Did you know? Botanically, garlic (Allium sativum) seen above in a bronze utensil is considered a vegetable.
Did you know? Botanically, Garlic (Allium sativum) seen above in a bronze utensil is considered a vegetable.

Update 15/12/2019: Times of India newspaper carried this story today on “Onions make debt-ridden Karnataka farmer crorepati“. This is what I was saying, that we should ensure the benefits reach the farmers.

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