The Famer’s Day in India is observed in remembrance of Chaudhary Charan Singh, who was a great kisan/farmers’ leader. He was known for his farmer-friendly policies.
Some of his remarkable works are abolition of the zamindari system, the introduction of Debt Redemption Bill 1939, and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953.
Why is the Farmers’ Day important?
In India, nearly 80% of the rural population, directly or indirectly, depend on agriculture for their sustenance.
In Odisha, the figure is a staggering 65%, and they contribute to 26% of the state GDP.
Odisha has 64.09 lakh hectares of arable land. Odisha is majorly a monsoon state with an average rainfall of 1452 mm.
Thus, it is evident that agriculture plays a major role in the state’s economy and the livelihood of the majority of the populace.
In contrast, only 1.25 ha of land is the average holding size of the farmers.
The total food production from the state accounts for 4.06% of the national food production. Agriculture in Odisha has been characterized by low productivity.
Issues faced by the farmers of Odisha in 21st century:
There is lack of assured irrigation and the agriculture mainly depends on seasonal rainfall, low seed replacement, low mechanization of agricultural processes, minimal value addition to products, low level of fertilizer of consumption, etc. A recent Economic survey 2019-2020 has revealed that because of these above-mentioned issues, the farmers of the state are quitting farming.
This issue can be dealt with policy intervention and providing them with higher incentives for optimal use of land, as suggested by the report.
Apart from all this, the government of Odisha aims at filling these gaps with the New Agricultural Policy 2020- SAMRUDHI, which focuses on the social and economic well-being of farmers, landless farmers, and sharecroppers.
The policy aims at ensuring agricultural growth in the state that is environmentally, technologically and economically inclusive.
Some of the innovative market reforms are National Agriculture Market portal, market information system creation, and Gramin Agricultural Markets.