National Farmers Day
If agriculture goes wrong, nothing else will have a chance to go right in the countryMS Swaminathan
Kisan Diwas is a day to celebrate the farmers and their work for the country. To promote awareness among the countrymen to understand the importance of farmers’ contributions to society and the overall social and economic development. December 23 was chosen to commemorate the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh. He was the man behind bringing many farmer-friendly policies. He was one of the pioneers who worked for the welfare of farmers in the country. Kisan Diwas is being observed from the year 2001. Farmers day is celebrated on different days in different countries.
When you talk about farming and farmers, it is essential to emphasise and value all agribusiness activities such as transportation, marketing, distribution, processing and storage. Agriculture is everything involved with growing plants and animals. Nearly everything we eat; wear and use came from a plant or an animal raised on a farm. Agriculture includes science, technology, and engineering. It is the development, design, production and sales of everything farmers use – tractors, equipment, buildings, fertiliser, and more.
Even though enhancing farmers’ income has remained a high priority for the Government, Significant challenges are yet to be realised. While significant achievements have been made in increasing agricultural outputs, no commensurate rise in farmers’ income, especially for small and marginal farmers, has taken place. Productivity per person in farming remains much lower than in other sectors. A significant challenge is not merely to enhance the small farmers’ income but also to increase it to make small farming attractive and sustainable. Migration of youth to non-agricultural sectors and labour, low profit remains the challenges to be addressed.
Exploring newer models like producer-to-consumer. Consumer financing farming and in return, getting the products at reduced cost would be a win-win situation. Bringing awareness about the possibilities is one crucial aspect to be initiated to enhance marginal farmers’ status. Create a volunteer pool to liaison with the small farmers to make them aware of the possibilities. Volunteers can emerge as a bridge between the farmers and the government agencies. Bring awareness and facilitate things to happen.
While celebrating Kisan Diwas, we can do many things to support the farmers. Buy fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market, invest in cooperative farming and visit farming places to understand agriculture. Movements like Organic Mandya and the success it has seen is changing things. Recall the famous slogan of late PM Lal Bahadur Shashtri, ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’. We need to go beyond the slogans, we need a “Kurian for farming”, to make small farming a success.