Leaving China, India is the biggest and the oldest agricultural country in the world. The salvation of India lies in the permanent progress of agriculture. It is a pity that an agricultural country of the size of India is suffering from the deficiency of food and is knocking at the doors of the prosperous countries of the world for help to feed her population. There is something fundamentally wrong with our agricultural system Some the leaders and economists have suggested co-operative farming as a permanent and quick measure against scarcity of food.
Indian agriculture lacks planning
Our agriculture is uneconomic because there is no planning in it. It is left to individual enterprise. The farmer of India is backward and conservative in outlook As an individual, he is unable to face scarcity of rains and paucity of seeds and fertilizers. His methods of agriculture are primitive as he is not adventurous, ambitious and progressive on account of his illiteracy. There are numberless obstacles in the way of perfect and scientific farming. All these obstacles may be overcome by means of co-operative farming. The co-operative farming means to bring together all the land resources of the farmers in such an organised and united way that they will be collectively in a position to grow on every bit of land to the best of the fertility of the land. In short, individual efforts are to be replaced by collective efforts in the matter of cultivation of land. Four types of such farmings are suggested. They are:
(1) Co-operative Better Farming Societies;
(2) Joint Farming Societies;
(3) Tenant Farming Societies; and
(4) Collective Farming Societies.
Kinds of co operative farming
The Co-operative Better Farming Societies are formed and run by a committee of five or more members keeping in view the size of the piece of land to be cultivated. No member loses the right of ownership of his land but they follow a common plan of cultivation as agreed upon. All the members work as one in the stage of selling grain in the market and share loss and gain equally. The objects of Joint Farming Societies are different. Under this scheme, farming is done on scattered land on co-operative basis to encourage joint cultivation of scattered holding. Tenant Farming Societies are formed by pooling all the land and dividing its amount to the members. These members work as a tenants of the societies on the basis of a fixed rent. A common cropping plan is followed by the members and this plan is always suggested by the society. Each member cultivates his plot and sells the produce through the society. Collective Farming Societies take land on lease or freehold which the members cultivate jointly and collectively.
Co-operative farming is impracticable-Co-operative farming is perfect and possible in theory but imperfect and impossible in practice. Indian farmers love their lands as they love their parents They have a deep seated prejudice against collective and joint enterprise in farming. The State should start experiments upon newly reclaimed land. Co-operative farming as it is done in Russia, is not possible in India. The Russian Government had to use force and violence to make the farmers agree to the scheme of co operative farming which is not possible in a democratic nation like India. An Indian farmer cannot forego the right of ownership even at the cost of his life. Thus, we must evolve a system co-operation in farming which does not deprive the farmers of their ownership. and which is, at the same time, good enough to bring them together in a joint enterprise to produce more profitable crops. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was vehemently opposed by Mr. C. Rajagopalachari, Mr. K. M. Munshi, Lok Nayaka Jaya Prakash Narayan and Chaudhary Charan Singh whenever he proposed to bring co-operative farming in India.