>> This was supposed to be a good year for India's 260 million farmers, after years of drought, they got rain. But then Prime Minister Narendra Modi took 85% of the country's cash out of circulation, in an effort to stamp out corruption. Now time is running out for farmers to plant their winter crops, but they're stuck with empty fields because they have no cash to buy supplies.
Experts say that Modi's cash crackdown is hitting rural communities hardest. Reuters's Mayank Bhardwaj reports from a farming village on the outskirts of New Delhi.>> Farmers will find it difficult to buy inputs like seeds and fertilizer. Productivity will fall, production will fall, rural demand will fall. People will face hardship.
That's going to last for a while, perhaps for another six months. Practically, the government can't do anything about it at the moment.>> Authorities were supposed to rush new 500 and 2000 rupee notes into circulation, but that's been delayed. They've also taken some emergency measures to get money from banks to farmers, but experts say it's not much help because there simply aren't many banks in the countryside.
Meanwhile, farmers are struggling to get by.>> Our lives are a lot harder now that there's less cash in circulation. Not many shops accept card payments, and we have to scramble to find a way of supporting ourselves day to day.>> Farmers say they can't afford to wait the season out, planning to plant later when the cash comes in.
Experts warns this means that India's key winter wheat harvest is going to take a hit, along with farmer's incomes.