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India’s farmers call for support after six-day march to Mumbai

Although agriculture employs more than half of the population, earnings have dwindled to 15% of the country’s economy.

Tens of thousands of farmers from across western India have arrived in Mumbai demanding, among other things, a waiver of farm loans and fair prices for their produce as India’s agriculture sector struggles amid years of declining earnings.

The farmers reached India’s business capital on Monday after marching on foot for up to six days and plan to surround the state legislature of the western state of Maharashtra.

Agriculture employs more than half of India’s 1.3 billion people but has seen earnings dwindle over the years and now only adds 15% to India’s economy.

Farming in India continues to be largely rain-fed, and apart from poorly thought out policies, has also been harmed by changing weather patterns.

Years of droughts interspersed with unseasonal rains have hit farm incomes hard.

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