Being best is not enough for Indian farmer

We were invited to meet the prize winners for the best rice farmers of last year in all of India. Clearly, that is no small achievement. We had lunch at their house -- a wonderful affair -- and spent time talking with a few of the local farmers. After hearing about the success of their rice growing we learned that they had switched some of their crops to ginger in order to make more money. The problem is that many other farms had the same idea and the price for ginger collapsed. Because the land they are using is leased for five years, they are trapped producing at a loss and perhaps loosing everything. The economics of agriculture are brutal. Produce a lot and the price goes down and when prices are high the reason is due to no one having product to sell.

This visit illustrated the importance of information. Here is a great farmer who made what appeared to be a wise decision only to be almost broke.


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