Dr. Debasis Mazumdar & Dr. Tapan Mondal

Prof. Dr. Debasis Mazumdar, PhD
Former: Professor, HOD, DR,DIC,IC-RRS-NAZ (BCKV) & Vice Chancellor, DR, (UBKV), WB

This article is jointly written by Dr. Debasis Mazumdar and Dr. Tapan Kumar Mondal. 

• Fragmentation of farmland is the most acute problem for a farmer. He cannot go for lucrative farm enterprises, e.g. plantation of crops, organic or natural farming, green houses/ shade-net houses/ glass houses etc. as his plots are scattered and located away from his home.

• Farmers live in a Nuclear family today unlike a few decades ago. So family labourers are very less. In a two-child norm family, only the parents and two sons and/or daughters serves as the family members engaged in farming. Maybe, some aged grand-parents can add up to this list. Sometimes the sons/daughters are juvenile and have to follow studies alongside farm activities. Farm family is a combination of enterprises like farming, livestock raising like cattle, duckery, poultry, goatery, fishery and small business apart from farm businesses. Some farmers have intelligent sons and daughters who engage more time on their studies as well. For others farmers their off-springs just don’t want to be engaged in farming to-days as they just don’t like farming as a profession.

• An Adage goes in Farmers’ circle that, “Farming is a profession of the Demons”, as farming involves a lot of physical labour, hard labour under very harsh natural situations. And it brings not that remuneration worthy of the hard toil, sweat and tears! And farmers have so many enterprises to maintain which is very tough and unthinkable for others.

• Farmers have no Leisure time. They have to work from morning to night, till they are awake. Not like even the labours who might have some leisure hours and a lot of assistance from the Governments.

• Farmers have no organisation. This is most Tragic. They are actually voiceless. Is it for the reason that they possess different amount of farmland? Anyway, it is for this unique reason that they cannot organise protest even they are not given fair prices of their fruits of labour like their outputs. They cannot raise their voices when they have to pay more for
their inputs and receive less for their produces!

• Farming is covered with so many hazards. They have to handle with deadly pesticides. They have to transplant under thundershowers, storms, snowfall, dire sunshine, their legs dipped under the mud! Poisonous snakes threaten their lives in their crop field and mud-houses. They also have to face drought and flood. Most unfortunate is that they may have to
starve even after all these!

• But their life is not covered under nil/minimum insurance! When anyfarmer is struck with lightnings and die haplessly, he is paid no insurance!

• Cooperatives may bring the farmers together, if maintained properly. So presently there is special drive for forming FPOs (Farmer Producer Organization) and FPCs (Farmer Producer Company) throughout India along with Farmers’ Cooperative for varying Trade viz. Fishery, Dairy, Mango, Litchi, Flowers, Spices etc. Every village must have Farmers’ Club where farm newspapers, journals, TVs and Training facilities should be available. Framers’ Organisations should be organized to give them voice against oppressive situations in the farm front!

• A lot of Common Property Resources (CPR) like Fallow land, Carcasses Disposal Land, Roadside lands, Water-bodies, brooks and streams lay unutilised or underutilised, which can help farmers and others stakeholders to Capacity Buildings. Fishery, Livestock and Fruit and Timber Plantation can bring forth a lot of Revenues! They cultivate Common land for their Village Deity to gather Puja Festival expenses. So, they can do this as well if managed properly with discipline and ethics! Villagers maintain a “Sholo Ana” Resource Materials like Shamiana, Utensils, Hajak Lights, Torch Lights for R. G. (Resistance Groups) Party. So, there is no reason to show that farmers and villagers cannot act Cooperatively!

• Micro-Small-Medium Enterprise (MSME) Based Development:
These are the following avenues, whichever applicable wherever on the basis of ITK, which can be brought under active consideration to change the dependence on large industry

(a) Skill development for Bio-Char; Water harvest structure; RURBAN farming; information sharing on varying services, maintenance of farm Machinery; green/ live mulching; minimum/ zero tillage; Indigenous Technical Knowledge; weed management; establishing Custom hiring centres; plant health clinics; soil testing laboratories; micro entrepreneurship development; small/ micro cooperative rural entrepreneurship; integrated multi-layer natural farming/ food forest choosing the proper crop from traditional knowledge to implement natural farming; Post harvest and preservation etc.

(b) Developing farm to fork marketing chain involving various rural, semiurban, urban youth groups with latest technology in communication, preservation & transportation

(c) Reducing huge quantity of harmful emission through common/ cluster utilization processes such as common/ community kitchen, common sanitisation, using local conglomerate of identical domestic uses, using local youth and women for educating the rest.

(d) Training of the trainers- selecting them from the local outfit with good skill and performing ability.

(e) Network of FPOs/ FPCs for sharing inputs/ outputs within country/ state/ district not only for production but also for storage and post harvest and sharing of ideas for sustainable development.

(f) Local low cost innovations wherever needed using prevailing opportunity.

(g) Creating stock of local vegetation/ Nursery and seed village.

(h) Storage of seeds for better viability/ maintaining local germplasm bank. Awareness on PPV&FRA and Organic certification.

(i) Contract farming for assured price of farmers’ own produces in collaboration with local lead bank & NABARD.

(j) Village adoption practices/ Farmers’ academia.

(k) Archiving ITK in the form of compendium, Lab to Land or Land to Lab linkage through extension service.

(l) Digital agriculture through skill development towards digital banking/ KCC/ Crop insurance/ Credit for crop-production promoting local bred/ using smart phones and it’s applications related to agriculture production, marketing, good agriculture practices (GAP).

(m) Development of MOOC in Bengali/ using portal for market price and supply chain development.

(n) E-Pathshala for online skill development/ Ham Radio / TV channels mapped with SAUs, Kisan Rath etc.

(o) Plastic free & climate resilient agriculture.

(p) Inclusion of agriculture as a livelihood in school syllabus and assured extension services by local banks/ post offices/ block offices (by all line departments) regarding Govt. schemes.

(q) Optimum utilization of Govt. owned godowns, mandis, lands and other resources by for community use in a befitting manner under supervision of village panchayat.

(r) Community heath care programme in rural level.

(s) Empowerment of rural women and youth. Policy makers, Govt. & Private initiatives to go hand in hand for Atmanirbhar Paschim-Banga/ Bang 

Share on social media