Resilient Future: Small Holder Farmers
Suniti Costa, a 55 year old farmer from Bangladesh, cultivates several types of drought resistant and short duration crops. She says that she can cultivate twice a year and from this income, she is able to feed her family of five. She uses seeds produced by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) which are neither local not hybrid.
Farmers from Lok Chetna Manch came to participate in the conference
The story of Mrs. Costa is inspiring to say the least. She feeds her family with utter resilience with the help of latest technology.
Caritas India held a conference on ‘Small Holder Farmers’ to shed light on the need of the farmers and the technology that could help them optimize their output. Experts from across countries took part in the conference providing inputs on the various facets of farming.
Mr. Nitin Gadkari said that farmer need to worry a lot less
Union Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari suggested that farmers only need to invest their precious time and energy to farming and leave the concerns about food security on the government. It will add value to their profit margin. Mr. Gadkari further warned the farmers about not to depend too much on God or government. According to him farmers need to work on economically viable farming practices.
Dr. T. Haque, in his opening remarks, pressed for free and quality education for the children of farmers. He clearly stated that farmers in the country are in bad shape and need immediate attention. Government of India needs to be responsible towards their farmers.
From Bangladesh with ideas
Mr. P. Subramaniam, the chair for the day, said that there is a need to engage with research analyst. Collaboration between Research Analyst and the farmers could go a long way benefitting the farmers. Indian farmers need to break away from the market controlled farming. In the current system the farmer is seen only as a land owner, which belittles their efforts as well as their status. Climate is another aspect which needs to get sufficient attention. Climate cannot be controlled but access to knowledge and simple technologies could be worked out.
Farmers need to spread their knowledge. It would help other farmers better equipped for their crop’s future. They would be able to manage resources in a much better way. It would make them resilient.
Dayanand Joshi was unsatisfied with the conference
However, Dayanand Joshi, who came from Almora, Uttrakhand, says, “The government has failed the farmers of his region, time and again. My principle concern was the monkey menace in our district. But we did not get any answers for it. I had approached the state government many a times but no one seems to care enough”.
Mrs. Rewa Bai, Jharkhand says, “We only heard about stuff. People don’t allow us to speak. They say they have time constraint. If you have time constraint then why are you inviting us? Our minister says that don’t believe in God or government. Then who do we approach for out plight.”
The conference is a convergence for stakeholders working for small farmers. The European Union (EU) was also in partnership for the conference.