Condition of Indian farmers has become worse even when the country's industry leaders have scaled the ranks among the richest in the world, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Monday.
"Sometimes we read reports of four Indians among the top ten richest of the world. We always see that the wealth of families of the Tatas and the Birlas have increased in last 20 years. We also read that the wealth of the current generation of Reliance Group has increased from the previous generation.
"We are happy that some people have become rich in the country, but what is the conditions of farmers?," Pawar wondered while addressing the Kisan Mela in New Delhi.
The minister pointed out that agricultural land has been shrinking because of industrialisation, roads and expansion of cities and villages, while at the same time pressure on land is increasing due to rising population.
He blamed fragmentation of land holdings for the worsening of farmers' plight over the years. However, he paid full tribute to the farming community for limiting the impact of the global downturn on Indian economy.
"Land size has shrunk. The number of dependents on agricultural land has increased. We have to think that we should have two children in our family so that we educate them better. One child should be engaged in farming...While the other should leave agriculture," Pawar said.
More dependence on agriculture is not good for the development of the farm sector, he added.