It’s almost become trendy to discuss agriculture and the plight of the farmers. No social or political debate is complete without a reference to the subject. News channels are also always bellowing how farmers are neglected by the government resulting in their committing suicide.
But is the government alone to be blamed for the precarious condition of the farmers? Aren’t we as public also responsible for it?
As a society with strong agrarian roots, we have collectively failed our ancestors. The shift in our mindset is responsible to a large extent. It all started when we stopped empathising with farmers and all the hardships that they endure for our sustenance. Rapid urbanisation led people to think that farming is a mean task fit for people who can’t excel in other intellectual endeavours or high-end jobs. We just took crop production for granted, which no one wants to do but everyone wants the produce.
As living beings, food is our basic necessity but we are least bothered about who produces it how. This apathy has had a disastrous effect on a majority of the farmers who don’t want their progeny to have anything to do with agriculture, for which we and the government are to be blamed. When their work isn’t provided the respect, worth, and acknowledgment that it deserves, obviously no parent will want their future generation to pursue it. So in a way, we have denigrated the source of our 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 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 empathise with the pain they endure. This doesn’t mean that everyone should start farming. It just means that agriculture has to be prioritised. 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. Fieldwork under the unrelenting scorching sun, rain, and cold is not everyone’s cup of tea. The monetary benefit that an average farmer gets is incomparable to the physical and mental work that they put in, not just for themselves but the society as a whole.
Although the government is taking a lot of steps for the benefit of the farmers in terms of subsidies and other sundry benefits, it is still too less and at a slow pace.
Who among us would like our children to pick farming as a career choice? We need to understand, inspire and support the younger generation to choose agriculture-related vocations. We must create an environment to draw the youth towards agriculture.
Such a collective approach by the people will also compel the government to fast forward its efforts for the welfare of the farmers. The ongoing pandemic has shown 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 to establish a successful agrarian society.