This will be the new column. Concentrating off and on the ground level realities of Indian agriculture and also of the Indian rural realities. After having run this journal for over a few decades we have come to the conclusion that we have all along been talking of agriculture as if it is a heaven-born field and only those far removed from the ground level realities, in far off Delhi and there has come about a sort of formal protocols to talk of agriculture. Thus we see that even the most fanciful theories and formulations carry much favor in the posh Lytton bungalow zone.
How to sustain agriculture in all its glorious formulations. The use and deployment of fanciful phrases like the Green Revolution was extended to ‘ever-green revolution’ which todays’ latest circumstances of planetary disaster stories, Climate Change and Methane Gas leaks etc. we seem to be very comfortable in such superlative descriptions of what is a harsh reality.
Somehow the urban readers are carried away by such clever formulations that what we see in the other pages of the mainstream pages of the newspaper, the rim surveys and latest stories of population status and the poverty the gender divides and the nutrition deficiencies etc don’t seem to make a comprehensive picture of the total picture of crime and much other dis-comfortable state of affairs.
One of the latest stories is the sustainable agriculture. Yes, this all time favorite is bandied about by everyone interested the subject. There are elaborate explanations and there are various stages of how to reach the sustainable state of promoting agriculture.
There are also other fanciful theories of how to promote sustainability in agriculture. Two formulations are, one organic farming and the other one is the zero-budget agriculture. There was much enthusiasm and even societies and groups in which the big wig of the local farmers gathered the crowds. Now, it looks there is back to inaction and almost dead silence if you open your mouth on this topic!
Simply because there has not been concrete results. In many of the local language agri prints you see often film actors, as one did recently in Tamil Nadu. A prominent film actor, the U Tube video showed some 15 acres and also with the land many other fancy additions like dogs and goats besides other fancy items. The coconut saplings must have been planted some few days ago, from the pictures of the plants we saw they didn’t even give a new leave when shown and the actor was holding forth on the virtues of organic crops and foods etc.
May be he is justified with his enthusiasm for every other new entrants into agriculture, we have carried many such enthusiasts’ stories in our magazines and we can appreciate their dreamy imaginations and what the poor young souls don’t know is that. Agriculture is a long-drawn out process of much struggle and strain and also the path is strewn with so much uncertainty, weather’s unpredictable current fickleness of the weather pattern. Itself an example and at the end of the floods and whether change, who knows our actor friend’s crops are not driven away in the floods there about.
So, in the Glasgow summit we have pledged our country’s resolve to reach a zero emission in the far off date of 2070. As Lord Keynes said famously that in the long run we would all be dead and gone! So, it is better we stick to a short term date and see whether we are sincere and serious.
It is also pertinent to say that we are also taking a political stand and in politics it is much more difficult. The minds of politicians these days, they have their own maneuvers to reach their other goals by making grand gestures and rhetorical pronouncements on world stages.
So, first let us recognize the crucial role and priority of agriculture as the largest employer of the landless labor, nearly 51 per cent. Also, the landless labour’s dependency on the farming sector.
Our memories are still fresh on the state of the migrant landless labour who travelled long through the length and breath of the country during the break of the Corona virus, the trauma hasn’t still gone away. The return of the migrant labor has also now created a crisis for the farmers who trekked long to their original villages are reluctant today to return to the old jobs with farmers are also caught up with their agitations and the Corona’s further fresco at present is becoming more unpredictable.
Farmers in other parts of the country outside the three agitating states, Punjab, Haryana and Western UP, are no less free from the ills that are common to all the farmers in other parts of India. The average Indian farmer is a small and micro farmer only owning less than one hectare and as we say the Indian farmers can be defined otherwise as a debtor or a litigant.
This reality must make the urban-based columnists who write fancy theories and fanciful formulations and become more humble and modest in their writings on Indian agriculture.
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