Recently I participated in the 18th Orientation Course Programme for faculty of Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University (SKRAU), conducted by Directorate of Human Resource Development-DHRD (SKRAU), Bikaner, (Rajasthan), India during 13th to 26th February, 2013.
On its second day of the program, there was one lecture on “Agricultural Education: Perspectives and Prospects” delivered by Dr. M. P. Sahu, Dean, College of Agriculture, SKRAU, Bikaner. In his lecture, at first, he asked us to think by ourselves whether we are really relevant to the farming community.
I do not know whether other participants were but I was shocked to hear this question. Why is he asking this question? Are we really not relevant to the society? We have completed degree up to Ph.D. level in agriculture, published many research and popular articles, participated to many national & international seminars/symposia/conferences and achieved a good position in our profession, then how are we not relevant to our farming community?
But let us think, are we really useful to the farming community? Are we really visiting farmer’s field to solve his problem? When we visit farmer’s field, are we really able to identify the problem of the field? Are we really able to solve field problems? Are we having remarkable identity among farmers so that they recognize us for our expertise? Do our researches at M.Sc. & Ph.D. level really have any importance to farmers for so they adopt it?
If there are many questions, answers of which are no, then we are really not relevant to the farming community. Today, most of researches by agricultural scientists are not applied in the field. It remains either only in thesis or in research papers. What is the use of a research if it is not applicable to farmers?
Agricultural Development must be the prime most goal of every person linked to farming community and I think that should be a largest initiative, because agriculture is everything which leads to life of men.
What would be more important than a life for any person? We understand that if life is there we can get everything. But life is there till agriculture is there. Thus, everything is there till agriculture is there. So we say if agriculture is there everything is there otherwise nothing. Only agriculture can result all the rest. I think we have to change our mind set towards agriculture. We see agriculture only in view of either a profession or a default job. Most of us do not see agriculture beyond these things. If we are not giving importance to agriculture then who will care of agriculture?
Our view to see agriculture should be in such a respect that other people who are not in direct link to agriculture also compelled to care about agriculture.
Helping farmers by listening and addressing their specific needs, providing information about more productive farming techniques and technologies, enabling them for greater access to markets and government policies that serve their interests would improve their yields and livelihoods. When farmers grow crops then only we get food, if they don't, imagine the scenario without food. Doing research which really is helpful to farmers only will lead to our agricultural development.
If every researcher in the field of agriculture promises to contribute at least one applied technology in his/her whole life, that would be enough to make a drastic improvement in our agriculture.
If we are not contributing then we are just consumers of the things. Let us be contributors, not mere consumers. Let us be relevant to the farming community and start to do something significant for improvement in our agriculture from today itself and pay for what we are getting from farmers.