India was the richest agriculture country. India brought agriculture to the world. Their agriculture, accounted for about one-third of the world’s GDP until the industrial revolution. Due to increasing population in the country, the government of India introduced the “Land Sealing Act” in the 1970’s. This Act gave opportunity for many farm workers to become small landlords. However, these small farms were not able sell their produce for better prices and the large farms were not able to extend their produce to other selling services. Also, in many areas, large farmers switched to orchard farming from regular cultivation. This gave opportunities for the middlemen / agents to dictate the product price and hold control over the farmers.
Since the middlemen did not add any value to the farmer’s produce in packaging, cold storage, transportation or research support, farming became an unviable business for many many farmers. Most of the products were sold only at local markets within a 200-km radius, resulting in a very low price for the farmer’s produce. Furthermore, this middlemen process of doing business with the farmers made it difficult to make a living for farmers and only very lucrative to the agents. As a result, the next farming generation looked at new or other opportunities and quit farming. They moved to urban areas for higher paying jobs and better child education. Thus, many of these farm lands have become “Absentee Farms” – non-producing. Many generations of people who lived at these non-working agriculture lands became absentee land owners, resulting in India’s alarming shrinking agriculture.