The need to institutionalize Agriculture!

Agriculture, in India, is still majorly carried out by individual farmers and their families. In the absence or lack of farming (for the reasons mentioned below), a farmer only suffers a financial setback whereas, we as a nation, suffer from a deficit in food production. We need to understand this.

There is an urgent & crucial need to institutionalize agriculture for the following reasons:

  1. Personal Problems: Individuals are prone to many personal problems like sickness, death, family problems or family functions. In such events a farmer ceases to farm for a particular season.
  2. Income: Farming is majorly carried out for income. So, if there are farmers who have sufficient income from other sources, they cease to carry out agriculture or just farm in one cycle instead of two or three.
  3. Migration: The next generation farmers are well educated and are moving to cities for better employment opportunities. In such cases, the farms are often neglected or are not used to their optimum capacity.
  4. Farming of non-food crops: If certain non-food crops fetch better prices, the farmers carry out farming for those non-food crops rather than food crops.
  5. Agricultural Problems: On an individual basis it is difficult to fight natural problems like shortage of rainfall, lack of labor, etc. On the other hand, institutions, being well financed, can easily tackle these problems by implementing solutions like rain water harvesting, mechanization, etc.

For all the above mentioned reasons and more, we suffer from lack of production. While many believe that institutionalizing agriculture may be detrimental for farmers, I believe it will be very beneficial for them as they can earn – rent for their land, salary for their work and a share in production.

I believe we can turn any situation into a win-win one!

Happy Farming! 🙂

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The Food Plate

Let’s discuss different types of crops here. How do you start studying about crops?

I found out the best and the easiest way – Have a look at your food plate!

Lets say for example you’re having a rice bowl (Pulav/Biryani/Fried Rice)

So now you know the main ingredient is rice. Then we make a list of all other ingredients that may have been used.

  1. Oil
  2. Vegetables
  3. Spices
  4. Herbs

So each day we study one of the above ingredient. Let us first start with Rice. While a generalistic search on google or YouTube asking “how is paddy/rice grown” helps, its always better to know certain parameters within which such activities take place.  The following is a suggestive list of questions that will help you study the crop.

  1. What category does the crop belong to – Cereals (Grains) or Pulses (Legumes) or Vegetables or Fruits or Herbs?
  2. In which season does the crop best grow?
  3. How much Rainfall or Irrigation is required by the crop?
  4. What is the best suitable region for growing this crop?
  5. What is the kind of soil required for growing this crop?
  6. What is the most suitable climate for growing this crop? (PS: Climate and Season are two different things; hence two different questions.)
  7. What kind of nutrients are required for growing this crop?
  8. What is best way to provide these nutrients to the crops?
  9. Does the crop require pollination?
  10. Is the crop prone to any disease or pest attack? If yes, what are the ways to fight them?
  11. How long is the crop cycle (period from sowing the seed to harvesting)?
  12. How is the crop harvested?
  13. What is the post-harvest processing technique?
  14. Lastly, how is it delivered to your place/super-market?

Its a great idea to google up the images or have a look at the video showing how the farming of actual crops is done. Perhaps it is also a great idea to visit a farm in the particular season if it is feasible.

The more crops you study on these lines, the more you realize that all the grains are, more or less, grown in a similar way. Also, you’ll know that all the legumes exhibit similar properties and growing methods. So is the case with Vegetables, fruits and herbs.

I hope the post helps!

Happy Gardening!

Happy Farming!

Understanding agriculture

The Journey Begins!

Understanding Agriculture was the first crucial step to becoming a farmer. So here I was completely baffled as to where to do I start from.

Does it begin with understanding crop cycle?

Does it begin with understanding soil?

Is it the region, climate and rainfall?

The irrigation…

The different agricultural practices…

How and where do I start?

Now that’s the beauty. You know the journey has begun when you don’t know where to start from. The state of uncertainty is what defines the journey!

The upcoming posts are about how I started to learn about different aspects of farming; My research and the sources of my research. If you have similar interests, I hope it helps.