Acknowledging and Recognizing Farmers - II
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Acknowledging and Recognizing Farmers - II

Life and the existence of the world cannot be imagined without farmers. It is said that everyday at least three times a day, we need a farmer

Post by DR. PARVEEN KUMAR on Saturday, December 24, 2022

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NATIONAL FARMERS’ DAY

 

Agriculture has become a non remunerative sector. More and more farmers are leaving this sector and the youths are not interested in this. The benefits of the different farmer welfare schemes do not reach all. Only a representative group of farmers avail the benefits. Indian agriculture is characterized by the predominance of small and marginal holdings. About 86% of the farmers are marginal and small. They needed to be included in the farmer welfare programmes and it must be ensured that the benefits of different agricultural schemes percolate down to them. The farm women are also an important part of the agricultural sector in the country. This is also a day to highlight various issues confronting the farm sector and the farming community. Farmers are not satisfied with the Minimum Support Price announced by the government every year. Although the Minimum Support Prices are announced by the government every year for 22 crops, yet the farmers are not satisfied with the MSP announced by the government and are demanding an increase in MSP and a written assurance from the government that the MSP regime will continue even after the enactment of new laws.

 

There are also many other issues in the agricultural sector in the country. While men go out for earning a livelihood for the family, they are the farm women who are out in their farms, work in the fields performing different agricultural operations right from sowing to harvesting, post harvest processing and storage. They should also be made a part of the development initiatives. The youth must also be actively involved in agricultural sector by motivating them thorough various income generating activities, their skill development and through various agripreneurship programmes.

 

The government has also been proactively supporting the farming community by starting many programmes for their welfare and rejuvenation of farm sector. PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (PMKISAN) provides financial support to the farming community by way of three installments of rupees 2000 each during the Kharif, Rabi and Zaid seasons so that they can purchase inputs like seeds, fertilizers and plant protection chemicals for sowing and growing of their crops. PM Kisan Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) aims at improving the irrigation potential and efficiency of the irrigation network in the country. Soil Health Cards are being provided to the farmers which contain detailed description of the fertility status of their soils and the recommendation thereof. The marketing structure in the country is also being improved with many marketing reforms. e-NAM is being strengthened to connect all the mandi across the country so as to enable producers in one part of the country to sell anywhere in the country where remunerative price of the produce is available.

 

Organic and Natural farming is being promoted in the country to reverse the negative effects of chemical led intensive cultivation. Credit and insurance facilities are also being provided and their coverage is also being extended to include all the farmers. Special focus is being laid on the farm women and the youths. For the youths several skill development and entrepreneurship opportunities are being provided with proper hand holding and financial support. Many youths have now turned entrepreneurs and are providing job to many others instead of seeking job from others. Efforts are also being made to double the income of farming community by 2022 and a lot of work has already been done which has resulted in profitability and sustainability of this sector.

 

However, despite being the most important source of livelihood for many people, the problems of farming community are often overlooked or remained unattended to. The events of the National Farmers’ Day therefore should focus on educating the public about these issues and empowering farmers with the latest information from the agriculture sector. If we can do anything for the farming community, there is nothing better than to raise their standard of living. December 23 celebration asks us to commit ourselves for the upliftment of this segment of our society, so that the class which provides us with basic necessities like fruits, vegetables and paddy, can be integrated with the mainstream of the society. Besides thanking farmers’ for their contribution in food basket of the country, this is also a day to recognize that persons like Choudhary Charan Singh borne in a farmers’ family, who start from humble beginnings can occupy the highest chairs in the country by way of dedication, commitment and sincerity. This day also reminds of our commitment to recognize the efforts of the farming community, making them aware of the various programmes made for them and also for the farming community to practice farming in ways that are sustainable and do not interfere with the nature.

 

                  (Concluded)

 

(The author is a faculty at SKUAST-K; can be reached at pkumar6674@gmail.com)

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