Ours is primarily an agrarian economy, with much of rural India still practising agriculture as their main occupation. As cities continue to expand, devouring chunks of cultivable land, our poor farmers struggle to arrange for their daily bread. It is terrifyingly ironical that the one who puts food in our bowls prays for a grain in his.
Yes, the changing governments are always coming up with one scheme or another to help out the farmers. Yes, there are kind people in our country who do their bit. These government subsidies, grants, the donations from charities and individuals, have been of some assistance to the farmers. Yet, the number of farmer suicides in our country continue to claim headlines in our dailies. There is some help, of course, but certainly not enough. The need of the hour is a thorough inspection of the current condition of Indian farmers, and to take steps towards easing their present state.
Before we talk further about what we can do to help out the poor farmers, let us take a look at the existing schemes and policies being run by the government for their benefit.
It is a Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare initiative, aimed at providing agricultural insurance and technological assistance to farmers. Under this scheme, the Indian farmers also receive a reimbursement in case they suffer a loss of crops. The provision of agricultural insurance provides the farmers with a sense of security. This scheme, although very beneficial for farmers if implemented in all its practicality, has not been of much help till date. A lot of farmers are still unaware of it, and keep falling prey to the conspiracies of private moneylenders. We need a sounder way of providing agricultural insurance to the poor farmers.
For farmers who have internet access, the Ikisan portal can prove to be a great tool. It is an online repository of agriculture related information which provides farmers with guidance on farming techniques. It keeps them updated with the new developments in the field of farming, and tells them of the new innovative procedures in crop handling. This website also presents the peasant with the much necessary knowledge about market prices for their crops.
How can you and I help a farmer in distress?
Direct intervention is almost always the best way to help someone out. Although, with our busy schedules, we may not always have the time to be physically present to serve a cause we strongly believe in. We can, however, extend our help through someone who cares just as much as we do. Rajasthan Bal Kalyan Samiti is one such charity organisation which dedicatedly works towards the upliftment of farmers. They are a Give Assured non-profit entity catering to various social issues, and are currently running a programme focused on providing support to poor tribal farmers.
In case you want to know more about this program and thereby make a contribution towards it, please click here. Your donation will help a farmer have a secure agricultural season.
Another practice which can help farmers feel more financially secure is the introduction of sustainable agriculture into their regular farming routine. Let us know more about it:
Practicing Sustainability in our Agricultural Endeavours
Sustainability is the way to go when we are working with limited resources and need to preserve them for the future generations. The traditional methods of agriculture rip the soil off the essential nutrients. The excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides is one of the main reasons behind luscious pieces of land losing their fertility. If we start using organic alternatives for these chemical products, the health of soil can easily be restored. Organic farming is one of the best ways for practicing sustainable agriculture, and quite easy to implement as well. The harvest and animal byproducts of the farm make for the best manures, when appropriately cultured.
As a society, we should try and encourage these sustainable methods of agriculture, as they are quite nourishing for the soil under cultivation, good for our economy, and of course, very benefiting for our dear farmers!
Aprajita is a writer and editor who loves to play with animals. She hopes to publish her first novel sometime soon.