Jai Kisan

Times are changing, really.  People wanting to become farmers. The numbers may not very large. But it’s true that there individuals who do not like to be an IT consultant, a banker, a doctor or an engineer.

GG, a lecturer in a Engg. College in Mumbai, is planning to “go back and settle in a village.” A city bred and a diehard urbanite, he plans to become a kisan.  No. he’s serious. And of sound mind.

He‘s preparing for his new soon-to-be-taken-livelihood for over two years now. Whenever he gets times, that means come vacation he leaves the city along with his wife and 10-year-old son visiting farms spread all over the country, meeting individuals who are doing pioneering work in agriculture or plainly those who follow organic farming and are making a respectable living while caring for the Earth.

“I need to learn as much as I can,” says mid thirties GG.

I ask him whether there are people he knows who have similar dreams of choosing to become a farmer. And he provides me examples of several of them.

This winter vacation he was at Deepak Suchde’s farm in Harad in Madhya Pradesh. Suchde is originator of Amrut Krishi, a farming system which while incorporating certain good aspects of organic farming, goes much beyond organic farming both in terms of philosophy and science.

If all goes according to his plans GG will leave Mumbai and relocate to a village in Bijnor, UP to become a part of a community farming group made of people from different walks of life. But with one purpose: becoming a farmer.

Is becoming a farmer easy? What does one need to be a farmer?

I came across this interesting post in the blog Barrows Farmer. wordpress.com.

Let’s just take a look at all the things you need to know to operate a farm.

You need to be a:
Meteorologist – knowing your climate is very important for crops
Agronomist –  in areas such as crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, plant physiology, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, insect and pest control.
Chemist – chemical compositions of soils and forages
Veterinarian – for animal health and welfare
Geography – to understand the land, the soil and soil compositions, and water movements
Ecologist – to know and understand impacts of the environment and wildlife. This also includes pest management
Biologist – to understand what makes plants grow and how they grow, to understand the evolution of life
Geneticist – to understand breeding and reproductive qualities
Engineer – for waste management, flow through patterns of livestock, water irrigation

Having being a weekend farmer for over two years now I also believe being a farmer is not that sexy as it looks.


3 thoughts on “Jai Kisan

  1. Since we have been educated in the western system, we first get educated and then we do. If we see the traditional method, of say an apprentice working and learning with his master/father etc, the learning never stops. Quitting an urban life and going to farming is in that sense a big challenge as you said. You just cannot start being in ‘agriculture’. It might take time to seep in.
    Also the traditional farmer who was in ‘agriculture’ as opposed to ‘agribusiness’ might not know how to measure pressure, but could just feel that the rains are coming. Another thing that is noticeable is how we have become too individualistic. We want to solve all our problems ourselves. My grandfather was an expert in cow/bull diseases, and most of my village relied on his wisdom. GGs plan to go into a community farming model looks very promising. If we could use and combine the existing traditional/folk knowledge with our theoretical/scientific knowledge, that would be the best.

    1. hiraman

      You’re so right. We have so much demand on our time that we are not able to develop expertise. But then see the bright side when we have experts all around we can hire their services, at a cost may be.
      The other issue you’ve raised about disappearing traditional methods. The Internet is a great medium, at least I have realised and it has taught me so many things on a subject which I knew nothing. In fact, many thing I’m not an expert. I can only say that I’ve learnt from others experience. I have enriched by others experience.

  2. Thanks for including our “list” of what it takes to be a farmer! I am glad that someone else is passing the word along on all the things that farmers really do on a day to day basis.
    I agree with the statement of taking the old and combining with the new. We have learned a great deal along the way but sometimes we forget the basics of what really should be done. Like pastures, look at the intensive grazing systems that cut down on harvesting, transportation and other additional costs. It’s baseline comes from the old method of turning cows out because you didn’t have the equipment or storage to harvest enough food for 365 days a year. Now the new methods are providing the best of the best and transitioning from field to field, paddock to paddock to provide the animals with high quality forages that aren’t harvest by anything other than a cow, sheep, goat, etc.
    Again, thanks for sharing. Now, I am off to read more on your blog!

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