December 28, 2016
Bengaluru : We rarely spare a thought for all those toiling in the field to produce food grains for us. The only time we do is while reading our newspaper, reacting to horrific conditions leading to farmer suicides. So, when we have a day dedicated to them (Kisan Divas, December 23), it is imperative to talk about them, their choices and the future of farming in India.
“The future of farming in India should be fewer but educated farmers running highly efficient farms and producing high value goods. Even with Green revolution our average farm productivity has increased only twice,” says Balaji Viswanathan, an academician studying agriculture.
To encourage farming, we have to look at models that are successful and replicate them with government help. For example, German farmers are successful, rich and happy. So how can we improve conditions? “We have to both increase production and decrease labour in farming for our farmers to have an increase in earnings. For production to increase, India needs skilled farmers who can use the best of modern tech, better investment from both domestic and foreign companies, encouragement to look for innovative ways and manage land acquisition effectively,” says VarshaKhandker, Professor, Manipal University.
Amidst all the gloom, there are stories of success that are a huge encouragement. H Sadananda, 51-year-old farmer from Tapasihalli in Doddaballapur, Bangalore, earned a profit of about Rs. 22 lakh a year from merely 2.1 acres. His innovation and constant experimentation with multi-cropping methods helped him reap a rich harvest.
How can we replicate such success? “The biggest reason for misery is the undervaluing of price of produce and labour. The economy is becoming more and more virtual, which is based on printed money, petrodollars, shares and inflation. Farmers are contributing to the real economy through production. Through right price to the farmer we can restore the pride of the farmer and address the nation’s food security,” concludes Binay Ranjan Das, agriculturist.