While much of India has modernized, the agriculture sector has yet to do the same. This has made it very difficult for farmers with smaller amounts of land to stay afloat when inopportune conditions arise. Recently India experienced a prolonged monsoon season that has ruined the crops of several local farmers. Many local farmers do not have the modern drainage systems required to carry the excessive rain away. Many crop prices have soared, onions prices have grown 600%, but the farmers affected by the weather have not been able to reap the rewards of this recent boom.
There is a group of farmers now who are more educated about agriculture who have invested in newer technologies that have allowed them to be more efficient and take on the challenges that Mother Nature throws at them. One of the main innovations is drip irrigation. It is a system that uses about 1/10th of the water that the old irrigation systems use to water the same amount of crops. The government will also subsidize half of this cost, but still many farmers cannot afford to upgrade to this system. The most advanced farms have cold storage facilities, tractors, trucks, and other modern technologies that set them apart from poorer farmers.
The farmers who don’t have these resources cannot keep vegetables fresh if they are not sold right away, and they cannot drive to the areas where they may get better prices for their crops. They are not as efficient at harvesting because of their inferior tools and they are often at a disadvantage price wise because they can only sell their crops at their local markets and must take the price they are offered. To find out more about this interesting subject, watch this informative video from the New York Times.