Good days are ahead for the country’s agriculture, which has been through several ups and downs in over six decades of independence, said K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore.
In sharp contrast to the frequent complaint that agriculture was a cost-intensive and not-so-remunerative profession pushing farmers to indebtedness, distress sale and finally to suicide, Dr. Ramasamy painted a rosy picture, with more and more farm families returning to agriculture.
“Youngsters are not running away. Our people are getting back into farming with a lot of faith and hope. Having reached the zenith of their career, corporate honchos such as the Vice-Presidents and Directors of top-notch firms are back to their village, ready to till the land,” he said.
His observations came at the meeting on ‘Impact of The Hindu ’s Farmers Notebook on Technology Literacy of farmers,’ organised by the Welfare Organisation for Rural Development (WORD), a Tirupati-based NGO dealing with natural farming here on Saturday.
Prof. Ramasamy said the deterioration started when the focus shifted from cattle-based to machinery-based farming. “Agriculture was a way of life earlier, but now it is a market-oriented system,” he said in a mix of English and Tamil in his address to the farmers of Chittoor district on the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border.
K. Venkat Reddy, former Vice-Chancellor of Sri Krishna Devaraya University, Anantapur, sought steps to enhance the farmers’ knowledge on good agricultural practices through mass media.
V. Rajagopal, former Director of Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod, complimented The Hindu for its ‘Farmers Notebook’ column which ushered a sea change in the awareness level of farmers, especially by highlighting their creative side, such as production of novel machinery and adoption of commendable farm practices.
Kannaiah Naidu, heading the ryots involved in natural farming, sought special incentives for providing non-toxic yield to consumers. WORD General Secretary K. Gangadharam conferred the title ‘Krishi Bandhavudu’ on M.J. Prabhu, the agriculture correspondent of The Hindu .