A very obvious question you must have been asked as a kid or you must have asked to a kid “What you wanna be when you grow up?? The answer to this question is quirky and kids do respond like Pilot, Doctor, Teacher, Cop even like his or her father etc.But I am sure none of us have heard a Farmer as an answer to this question. We all need pilots, doctors and teachers in our lives sometime or the other but we require Farmers each day.
“Uncle Sam(US as initials) needs you” was perhaps the first campaign to attract youth to army during World War I. We often come across advertisements of coaching institutes for producing such wannabe doctors teachers or pilots. After they are made also do we see institutions calling for these people.Its rare to see such case for farmers. Neither for education nor for the practice. All our educational institutes engaged in vocation of Agriculture preach its pupil to grab a job in extending loan, selling(seeds and fertilizers) or be an agricultural scientist and thus to never be in recipient’s side.How many of these grads or post grads practice farming?
October,the sixteenth each year is the day when the whole world churns finding the ways to feed the increasing population this includes increasing agricultural productivity through better farm practices, improving distribution networks, minimizing the food losses. But did we ever think about the most important link of this whole cycle the people involved, No.The human resource is the most important link of any business. Its never been emphasized that the people involved in Agriculture and allied services be educated or better informed.Also no where in the world youth are encouraged to get into Agriculture or Farming.
Every nation has its problems and some are unique to its geographical boundaries. India has a problem that most of its farmers are either middle aged or old,the majority of whom has fallen accidently to this non lucrative occupation (not profession). Youth in India never thinks of taking farming as a profession and keeps on running towards white collar jobs and that too in big cities.This is obvious because all of them had not seen it and those who had been, seen only in bad shape. The disfigured shape of Agriculture which only had afflicted pain and misery to its practiser.
The veterans who hold the baton never learned or changed themselves to follow technology and scientific way. And thus the baton (a Farmer always thinks of his future generation not to follow his stink) which of course passed accidently had the same stereo typed fuel with no advancement.The youth today is encompassed with information. If such informed youth get to the Profession (not occupation) a significant change would be immediately seen in present subsistence form of agricultural practices.
The greatest advantage of youth is being a youth.The young people especially of present times are experimental and does not much believe in experiential knowledge . They have an appetite for risk and more years to learn.Informed people can do things in good way.Policies of the government can be utilised in a better way by educated people in farming.An educated and aware farmer is less susceptible to exploitation which by far is the most depressed among all occupational classes.
Even the most developed nations are facing the problem of feeding their rising population. The Indian Agriculture is plagued by depleted soil efficiency, lack of irritation, soil erosion, debt ridden farmers, shrinking agri land and above all vagaries of nature in the form of draught, flood and hailstorm. There can be no single remedy but informed farmer can tackle all these in better way. The government will have to incentivise those willing to take Agriculture as profession.The process of leasing land for such purposes may be made simpler. Also those in government jobs and eager to take Agriculture should be granted sabbatical in similar way as is done in study leave.
Education and information is the key drivers in every aspect of our lives. The time is ripe and we should work in conjugation with nature. Sustainable development is possible only when the closest associates of nature: the farmers, know the means as well as the end.Such informed farmers will take Agriculture to new heights and then it may become a career of choice among kids.