A few years ago, the family of a farmer in Uttar Pradesh’s Chhattisgarh state, which has the world’s highest concentration of such farms, sold its farm land to an international farm company, hoping to turn the farm into a model for other small-scale farmers.
But the farmer has had to deal with the fact that he has to pay the local government a high rent to operate the small-holder agriculture (SSA) sector in the region.
In the end, he ended up giving up his farm, and now he says he will only be able to grow his crop at his local farm.
The story is familiar.
According to the World Bank, the number of small-holding farmers in India is growing by about 5% every year.
The growth of the SSA sector in India has also become one of the fastest-growing in the world.
In a country of a billion people, the SAA sector accounts for only 5% of the total farmer population.
But these farmers have been faced with problems in the past.
A couple of decades ago, a few farmers in Jammu and Kashmir were being forcibly evicted from their farms because they didn’t pay a regular rent.
They were given three months to pay, but when the farmers failed to pay this amount within a week, they were forcibly evictions and were left with no choice but to move their families to neighboring states.
Then in the early 2000s, a similar story happened to the farmers in Chhattasgarh.
A couple of years ago a group of young farmers from Jammu region were trying to make a living farming small plots in the district.
It was the first time that they had to move out of their farm and settle in other parts of the state.
Soon after, the local farmers decided to evict the young farmers.
“The first time we were forced to leave the farm and move out to other parts, we lost our livelihoods and our savings,” said Shabnam, one of them.
Now, with no land left to return to, the farmers are stuck in a state of economic limbo.
One day, they decide to stay and take over the land, but as soon as they leave, the other two farmers from the same farm family also decide to move to another state.
“They are all moving to different states,” said Khaled, another farmer from the village.
Even as they are faced with the hardship of not being able to continue to work, the young people are not giving up.
“We are determined to go to another place,” said Soha.
“We will work our entire life in the fields.”
The situation is similar for other farmers, said Kamal, another one of their members.
“I was trying to do something to get out of the situation, but I realised that I cannot leave my family.
I will not give up my farm and I will be there for the rest of my life,” he said.
According to a report by the International Federation of Small- and Medium-sized Farmers (IFMSF), India is the only country in the global Saasia region where there are more than 1,000 farms that produce less than 5,000 tonnes of produce annually.
If the situation were not so dire, these farmers would have been able to start their own businesses and grow their own crops, which would have given them a better standard of living.
So why have the farmers not been able so far to make this transition?
“If the farmers had gone to other states, they would have had a much better standard for living,” said Naveen, one farmer.
What could have been the answer to this problem is a simple one: the government could have helped the farmers out with some subsidy, said Nadeem, another member of the IFSMF.
But that would have taken too much time.
Instead, the government was left to provide help to the families.
The state government has been paying for a large part of the expenses incurred by the farmers and also helped them pay off the debt of the farmers.
According the government, the farm loan, the first of which is around Rs 25 lakh, is the main source of financial assistance to the farmer.
But it is unclear how much support the farmers have received from the state government.
“Even after paying the farm lease and taxes, the farmer is still left with the problem of not having enough money to pay his rent,” said a farm ministry official, who did not wish to be named.
Farm loan payments have also been a sticking point for the farmers, with some of them refusing to accept any payments at all.
Despite this, the state authorities have been doing their best to make sure that the farmers can continue to live their lives.
Earlier this year, a government committee set up