Being sensitized to a farmer’s pain is the only way to a successful and effective agricultural awareness
Nowadays agriculture is a trending topic in our country during budget, during economic debates, social discussions, on educational platforms and many more platforms. We can hear news anchors bellowing how farmers are neglected by the government and committing suicide. How their hard work is going in vain and they aren’t living the life they want. We hear a lot about agriculture daily and by a lot I really mean numerous times. But is the government only to be blamed for the precarious condition of farming? Aren’t we as public also responsible for it? And the answer will be a yes. As a society that has the strongest agrarian roots, we have collectively failed our ancestors. Our change of mindset plays a very important role in its downfall. It all started when we stopped empathizing with farmers and all the hardships that they endure for our sustenance. With the shift of our lifestyle from rural to urban, society started tagging farming as a minimal task only fit for people who can’t excel in other intellectual endeavours or high end jobs. We just took crop production as a granted work which basically no one wants to do but everyone wants the produce. As living beings food is our basic necessity but majority are least bothered about who, how and when it is produced. And now this change is having such a disastrous effect that majority of the farmers don’t want their future generation to get involved in agriculture, for which we and the government are to be blamed. When their work isn’t provided the respect, worth and acknowledgement it deserves, obviously no parent will want their future progenies to pursue it. All this shows how we humans repository of the highest level of consciousness and intellect on earth have denigrated the source of our own survival.
The only silver lining in this precarious situation is that we still have time to take a u-turn on our narrow outlook. We have time to retrospect and bring about a change in our approach before it’s too late to revert back and all is lost to our false sense of luxury. This can only happen when each one of us directly or indirectly provides a helping hand towards our farmers, be a part of their noble work and empathize with the pain they endure. This doesn’t mean that everyone should start farming or that all other jobs should be neglected. It just means that agriculture has to be prioritized. We have to understand that farming is not a layman’s job. A farmer is a scientist as well as an artist. It takes a lot of knowledge about climate, soil, plant care and patience to garner a successful produce. Field work under the unrelenting scorching sun, rain and cold is not a cup of tea for all. The monetary benefit that an average farmer gets is nothing near to the physical and mental work that he/she has put in, not just for themselves but the society as a whole.
Yes we can argue that agriculture is getting the limelight, research and development is underway, agriculture education is getting prioritized in schools and universities, government is providing subsidies and people are slowly becoming woke about it. But the pace and the spread is still less and the shortage of workforce for it is increasing day by day. In our society, even after reading a lot of news and facts about successful entrepreneurs in agriculture, most parents will not want their child to be involved in farming, but they will be happy if he/she works an average paying job in any MNC or any government institution. This demeaning thought is what needs to be changed.
We need to understand, inspire and support our younger generations who want to become a farmer or take up jobs related to agriculture and allied sciences. We have to create such an environment which will show the youth that practicing farming is equally important and worthy as all other jobs. They need to be sensitized about how important farmer and farming is for the well being of our society, see a farmers’ sacrifice and crave a future that can be helpful for them. Such collective approach by the public will also force the government to fast forward its efforts towards it. The ongoing pandemic situation showed us how important sustainability is for our survival, and nothing makes a country sustainable as complete food security for the residents. So it’s high time that we change our rudimentary thinking and bring about a revolution for establishing a successful agrarian society.
Pragnya Paramita, Feature Head, Shyamala Subarna