‘Why farmers are always hugging those age-old unscientific manners of farming?’, starting an article with this way of question is how much a cliche thing, besides there are so many impulsive cliches in agriculture! Moreover those cliches are addiction of farmers. In that, success of farmers’ profits and government lies in recovering from cliche things of farmers.
Cliche scenes in Agriculture
There are two types of cliche things in agriculture. First one is wholesome cliche, which includes farmer suicide, monsoon failure, declined cost rate of farmers’ production, conflict in input and earning of farmer, dwindling of watershed and farmers’ loan waiving protests, these are yearly cliche scenes that farmers, government officials, newspapers’ editorial columnists alike seem to enjoy.
The another one is individual farmers’ cliche things, which includes ridges and furrow type of irrigation instead of drip and sprinkler irrigation method, copycat farming that is if one farmer sows onion, the whole village would sow the same onion and would eventually dump bags and bags of onion in the market. Thus high production of single crop always yields a low cost to that production. Another similar cliche of this kind is following the same routine of cropping pattern like paddy-onion-paddy, paddy-onion-paddy harvest after harvest. Trustlessness on cooperative societies, unawareness about warehousing facilities and all are individual cliches.
First type of cliche is not in our hands, but it is possible to recover from those by checking actions on second type of cliches. Both wholesome cliches and individual cliches are interlinked, our government realized this and took actions against individual cliche things wisely, but the result is always arrears because of less consciousness in implementation at field level.
And, this time the United Nations trust the concept of ‘Family Farming’ to break the chain of cliche kinds in agriculture all around the whole world. By the success of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) at 2014, Decade of Family Farming is initiated from 2019 to 2028 at the 72nd session of the United Nations. Moreover UN strongly believes that this Family Farming concept would largely help to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
So, ‘Family Farming’, as defined by the UN, is organizing agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production that is managed and operated by a family, and is predominantly reliant on the family labour of both women and men. The family and the farm are linked, co-evolve and combine economic, environmental, social and cultural functions.
‘Family Farming’, as defined as organizing agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production that is managed and operated by a family, and is predominantly reliant on the family labour of both women and men.
This Family Farming concept overcomes discrimination by providing leadership role for women in agriculture, converting individual potential of each family member into reality, multidimensional work on farming, allows to act holistically on various aspects of sustainable development and nexus approach to achieve SDG.
At present, one of the alarming problems is obesity and micronutrient deficiency all over the world, this is because of the fact that our population consumes poor quality diets based on commodities with little dietary diversity. In this situation the poor quality of diet can be measured by family farming that increasing the production and consumption of fresh food, hopes FAO Director General.
United Nations has also declared seven pillars of family farming, they are,
Pillar 1. Develop an enabling policy environment to strengthen family farming.
Pillar 2. Support youth and ensure the generational sustainability of family farming.
Pillar 3. Promote gender equity in family farming and the leadership role of rural women.
Pillar 4. Strengthen family farmers’ organizations and capacities to generate knowledge, represent farmers and provide inclusive services in the urban-rural continuum.
Pillar 5. Improve socio-economic inclusion, resilience and well-being of family farmers, rural households and communities.
Pillar 6. Promote sustainability of family farming for climate-resilient food systems.
Pillar 7. Strengthen the multidimensionality of family farming to promote social innovations contributing to territorial development and food systems that safeguard biodiversity, the environment and culture.
This family farming can be achieved by inclusive work, traditional knowledge sharing, updation of scientific culture, policies enrichment, capacity building and skill development.
Then what is the role of government regarding this? Awareness generation in grassroot level, to concentrate on a lead farmer in the village, organizing the family farming via regulating cooperative societies and Gram sabha meetings, data collection of issues and deliver the extension services particularly to target groups by great policies.
Finally, the UN’s action and our government’s actions are not in our hands, what we do to break those impulsive cliches in agriculture is a matter here. Let’s make our act cautiously and make agriculture interesting.
By Sa. Kaviyarasan, Bio Informatics graduate and Executive editor of Kalanipoo.com, an agricultural Tamil website of IMoT Agri Forum. Besides he love penning poems and short stories.
Reference: Food and Agricultural Organization Portal