I am with farmer

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- SUSAN THAPA

Jun 13, 2018-Interestingly, from a tender age, a parochial view about agriculture is embedded in the minds of children at school and by parents and the media. I clearly remember when I was in school, many teachers used to say that we would have no option but to become a ploughman whenever we committed mistakes like scoring low marks in an exam, not following the dress code or showing up late for class. It is the teachers’ job to show the correct path to students, and most of the time, teachers do their job. However, it is not right for them to show disdain for farmers.

The example that is set in school leaves a profound effect on a child’s mind and portrays farming as a menial job done only by those who have no option left in their lives. In addition, this effect leads them to not pursue farming or study agriculture-related subjects.

Nevertheless, the example is based on circular reasoning; instead, the teacher should never show the wrong direction by describing farming as a menial job. Teachers should show the bright side to children, the scope and opportunities that agriculture could provide in an agro-economy dominated country. The gulf needs to be filled by agriculture scientists, researchers, enthusiasts, officers and entrepreneurs to make the life of farmers better in the future.

In addition, society is also ignorant about farming. The irony is that everyone wants to eat healthy fruits and vegetables, but very few people want their child to become a producer. I believe it is crucial that we teach our kids to love all the basics about farming so they become close to farming and agriculture when they grow up. It is high time we incorporated the right attitude in life about farming and established a tradition to pass it to the next generation. Including farming related subjects at the primary level could help.

The thing is that the agriculture

sector has always been less attractive. The first image that comes to people’s minds when they hear the word agriculture is hard work. Moreover, about two-thirds of the current generation have parents who have a farming background, and they have seen the problems their parents went through, and most probably, they do not want their children to adopt farming as an occupation.

It is true that agriculture involves drudgery and tiresome work, working closely with the soil, plants, disease and insects day and night. It is also true that when we touch the soil, our hands become dirty. But not all farming professions involve making the hands dirty all the time. There are jobs which require skill and expertise that will help to solve challenges in agriculture like food insecurity and dearth of agri-entrepreneurs, scientists, skilled professors and government staff. Why not embrace agriculture when there are so many slots to fill and possibly create an impact? Who knows, you could be the next change maker.

Published: 13-06-2018 07:52

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