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Farmer, Market and Price

An AIR programme “vayalum Veedum” aired on 19-03-2015 with a discussion between Muraleedharan Thazhakkara and Chandrasekharan Nair in Malayalam. There are so many farmers who are saying that farming is profitable. Unfortunately they don’t know the real facts. The faulty calculating system on Inflation by the economists all over the World is responsible for the trouble suffered by the farmer. The significant jump has been arrived at by simple arithmetic – shifting the base year from 2004-05 to 2011-12 to reduce the figure of Inflation. Measuring the market prices in addition, the GDP for the current fiscal is projected at 7.4 per cent. No body is bothered on the reasons of suicide attempts of farmers. The agricultural loss is the main reason for the suicide attempts of farmers. Inflation is the reason for the DA hike of Government servants and pensioners at both Center and State. DA will be merged periodically with basic salary. An old study by Dr Yageen Thomas who was the professor and head of Statistics Dept, Kerala University lime lights the reason for the suicide attempts by the farmers. As per the study in 1983 the basic salary including DA for an university assistant grade 11 was able to get Rs 798 (HRA and other allowances are not considered as it changes from place to place), a person freshly posted as Assistant Grade-11 during 2015 would draw Rs 25020 basic pay and DA. Hence, by considering 1983 as the base year, the salary index of Assistant Grade-11 during 2015 at the entry level is 3135%.That is the present salary at the entry level of the post has been swelled to an extent of 31.35 times that of 1983.

From my personal diary, I too have noticed that labourers who were engaged to do agricultural works in the premises of my house during 1983 were given a wage of Rs. 20/- per day. But for the same work in 2015 March, the wage given was Rs. 750/- per day. Hence, by taking 1983 as the base year, the wage index of Agricultural labourers during 2015 is 3750 %. That is the present wages of Agricultural labourers has been swelled to an extent of 37.5 times that of 1983. The above indices will reflect the overall growth of wages/salaries over all sectors of Kerala.

Approx price of a medium size coconut at present is Rs 12.5. Thus I conclude that, if justice has to be done to coconut farmers, the Government have to give a salary of Rs. 7.58  x 798 = Rs. 6049/- per month to an Assistant Grade-11 instead of the present total salary of Rs. 25020/- or the price of coconut has to be increased to Rs. 31.35 x 1653 = Rs. 51822/- per 1000 nuts of medium size.

In order to do justice to the rubber farmers, the Government have to increase its price of rubber to Rs. 31.35 x 16.7 = Rs. 524/- per kg for RSS 4 grade sheets.

The following audio broadcast by AIR Malayam at 6.50 PM on 19-3-2015

An opinion of the same by Dr Thomas Varghees, Retired Professor and head of Soil Science Dept, Agricultural University, Kerala