The land of 5 rivers is now well past sustainability with 110 blocks out of 137 falling under the 'Over Exploited Groundwater' category, harbinger of 'Green Revolution' is on the verge of starvation, it's people known for zest of life and "Punjabiyat" have 70% of youth afflicted with drugs.
With unemployment rate higher than the national average, agriculture based economy facing decline, contaminated water resources, pollution causing life threatening ailments, we still gaze our representatives hopefully for better future and this HOPE stands belied once again.
The need of the hour is to transparently and honestly identify the reasons for the slippage in the economic conditions of Punjab.
We have tried jotting down the reasons for the misery and downfall of agricultural sector of Punjab that has registered a negative growth rate of 0.5% leading to thousands of suicide cases on account of crushing indebtedness:
Limited Investment: Punjab is an agro based economy with on average 50% of produce being consumed in household. Thereby leaving very less for sale, which further decreases investment in terms of technology, equipment, fertilizers, etc.
Water Scarcity: Water table is low and the irrigation systems are incompatible to needs. Moreover, inadequate use of water and lack of good extension of services add up to miseries.
Lack of Literacy: Policy utilization and technology implementation both suffer due to lack of literacy. Moreover, skill level is also at downtrodden level.
Climate: Our agriculture is basically weather dependent. Rainfall and temperature effect the crop production and yield. Unique geo-climatic conditions make India vulnerable to hazards and disasters, both natural and human indeed.
Small Land Holdings: Marginal farmers find it difficult to escape from starvation. Most of the produce is consumed in household leading to indebtedness. According to National Sample Survey Office data 0.33% of all farm households have less than 0.4 hectares of land. Such farmers face a life that is poor, brutish and short.
Crop Pattern: Farmers of Punjab practice multi-crop harvesting which led to more high tech machinery and equipment, thereby increasing basic investments. Crop diversification is also absent.
Role of WTO: World Trade Organisation's Anti - MSP stress on reforms is laying deep impact on our policies and reforms. MSP serves as lifeline for climate-driven economy like ours.
Over Agro Dependence: Our dependence on agriculture is adding to the miseries, along with the gap in demand and supply and thereby rising prices kicking the stomach of commons.
Food Insecurity: Procurement, storage and distribution of food grains is a known issue. Wastage is known phenomenon in Punjab, still government is not keen to use it in Public Distribution System.