Our country has maintained a startling growth rate over the past few years, yet the state of 72% of the nation’s population, which resides in villages, has shown no signs of improvement. India is in the midst of the worst agrarian crisis in four decades, as a consequence of which most people in rural areas seem to be trapped in a pool of misery and poverty. Poor farmers of our country seem to be the biggest sufferers. The causes, however, are common — repeated crop failure, inability to meet the rising cost of cultivation, and indebtedness. The disappointing state of farmers has drastically affected the lives of people in villages. There’s an increase in poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, migration to cities and towns and several other similar problems. Even after 61years of independence our government has not been successful in making agriculture a viable option for people and this according to me is the biggest cause of the (seemingly) endless miseries of our rural section.
It’s high time to actually take some stern measures and make farming a lucrative option. The manifold schemes initiated by government should be implemented more sincerely and it should be made sure people actually get the benefits they ought to get. It’s imperative to hone the primary education system because most of our farmers are illiterate and consequently not very rational too. What I strongly feel is that without undermining the importance of basic education government should make a sincere effort to produce more efficient, rational and practical farmers. And this can be done by initiating special programs for them wherein there are guided to become farmers, who are certainly more smart and more in tune with the latest technology. An institute in every district, which provides say a degree for specialization in farming or anything similar, would actually help the situation. The course structure should be such that the students are given complete insight into how to improve the agricultural production, what kind of crops to be grown, nature of fertilizers to be used as per the texture of soil they work on and many other essential things. Awareness about various loan schemes, technologies and market policies that are favourable to them should be conveyed too. There are several such programs running but it should be presented in a manner that precisely meets the requirements of the farmers. In villages people generally don’t send their wards to schools for myriads of reasons, but a course like this is sure to attract many people and benefit them too. Government can also take help from corporate sectors to execute these plans effectively. Serious attempts should be made to produce smart “professional” farmers who earn lavishly too and this will build a solid foundation for a highly productive, internationally competitive, and diversified agricultural sector too.
I support the idea of producing “professional” farmers also because I see no point in producing scores of more graduates from our villages because that will only add to urban population doing the same and consequently adding to urban unemployment. At the same time I am not undermining the importance of academics and I strongly feel that education system should be honed to help people who have a faculty to excel in different genres. But there shouldn’t be people who are compelled to leave their homes because by farming cannot sustain their families. Mostly such people end up being domestic helps or mean mud and labour workers. In the worst cases they become criminals too.
Empowering agricultural sector by producing highly efficient farmers will serve manifold purposes and add to over all prosperity of rural areas. Improving farmers’ condition is a sure step to beat rural poverty and miseries. And only then will our country’s progress be meaningful and holistic.
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/298414213/]