The growth and prosperity that has brought better times to so many is not reflected in the condition of the smallholder Indian farmer. Those earning larger farms are making nearly 10 times as much as those with 1-2 hectares or even less. The smaller plots of land they won mean that have less product to bring to the market, the fragmentation of holdings also makes it more expensive to utilize better seeds, fertilizers, have access to credit, and most of all, to get the water that they need. Of the total 141 million hectares of cultivated land in the country, only 65 million hectares is irrigated. The rest are dependent on paying for drawing groundwater or waiting for the monsoons. Evidently, major changes are needed, prime among which should be public investment in irrigation, reducing post harvest losses and facilitating farmer access to finance and technology.
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