Appreciating Their Contribution On Farmers’ Appreciation Day
A famous saying goes by, “Once in your life, you need a doctor, a lawyer, and a police officer. But every day, three times a day, you need a farmer. “When tillage begins, other arts follow.” said Daniel Webster, “The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.” Today is Farmers’ Appreciation Day, a day for ensuring our sincere support for the farmers, the backbone of our society. Above all, farmer is not merely a person who plants seeds and grows crops. He is the one who is the ultimate incorporation of cultivation and perfection of human beings. A farmer is a man of utmost patience, an artist, a craftsman of the highest order.
WHY IS AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IMPORTANT FOR INDIA?
India is a global agricultural powerhouse. India is an agrarian country. Agriculture and its activities act as the primary livelihood source for more than 80% of the population of rural India. It employs approximately 52% of labour. Its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is between 14 to 15%. This growth in itself represents a remarkable achievement in the history of world agriculture. India is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices. In addition. it is also has the world’s largest cattle herd, as well as the most significant area under wheat and cotton. It is the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, cotton, sugarcane, farmed fish, sheep and goat meat, fruit, vegetables and tea.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FACED BY THE FARMERS?
Due to the high growth rates of Industrial and Services sectors, agriculture’s share in India’s economy has progressively declined to less than 15%. As the population continues to grow, the workload of farmers also expands. The number of challenges the farmers face every day is uncountable. They are the reduction of rural poverty, raising agricultural productivity per unit of land, managing irrigation and promoting new technologies. Intervention in areas of high growth commodities, switching to organic products, developing markets, agricultural credit and public expenditures and last but not the least, sustaining the environment and future agrarian productivity is the need of the hour.
VEDIC AGRICULTURE EXISTED BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF MODERN AGRONOMY, DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Two Vedic terms of farmers, karsivana and kinasa, the linguistic basis of later world Kisana, remind us of the motto of Indian agricultural society ‘jai jawan jai kisan’. It is the Vedic agricultural system that formed the backbone of modern Indian agronomy. Food is the basic need (jīvanti svadhayā annena martyāḥ) and for which a developed agricultural system is most essential. Vedic seers have also given top priority on the same (annaṃ vai krisih). The Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa gives a clear description of four important stages of agricultural crop-production:
(i) act of tilling or ploughing a land (karṣaṇa)
(ii) sowing of seeds (vapana)
(iii)reaping or harvesting a ripen crop (lavana) and
(vi) threshing (mardana) of corns for getting the grains (kṛṣanto ha smaiva pūrve vapanto yanti lunanto ‘pare mṛṇantaḥ śaśvaddhaibhyo’ kṛṣṭapacyā evauṣadhayaḥ pecire ).
Different types of farmers, cultivation, agricultural land, ploughing with bulls, sowing the seeds of the best quality, irrigation, fertilizer or manure, agricultural implements and preservation of scops in granaries etc. give us the basic idea of Vedic agricultural system which lies in the core of Indian Agronomy.
WHAT IS BHAVYATA FOUNDATION DOING TO DEAL WITH THE CHALLENGES?
According to Joseph Joubert, Agriculture engenders good sense and that sense is of a first kind. Bhavyata Foundation ensures the fact that Agriculture is the greatest and fundamentally the most important of our industries. The cities are but the branches of the tree of public life, whose roots go deep into the land. We all flourish or decline with the farmer. Towards sustainability and improvement of rural livelihoods, Bhavyata Foundation, under its initiative, Sowing the Seeds, is promoting the ‘Samriddhi’. It is a campaign to educate and empower farmers for crop productivity with cost-effective natural inputs. Experts say, natural farming brings sustainability to agriculture-based livelihood and reduces the costs of cultivation. Thus, increases the net incomes of the small and marginal farmers. Therefore, Bhavyata Foundation stands by the farmers and rural people by giving them support for market linkages and modifying the rural infrastructure.
Agriculture is the noblest of all alchemy; for it turns earth, and even manure, into gold, conferring upon its cultivator the additional reward of health. On this auspicious day, let us bow our heads down to the heroes and appreciate them.