Farmers are truly the backbone of India’s economy. The community contributes to urban and rural prosperity, and holistic nutrition for the population. Around 60% of the working Indian population do farming for a living. While farmers work tirelessly on a daily basis to tend to the land and grow crops, the truth is that the average Indian farmer earns only around 5,000 INR a month. This may come as a surprise, since on a daily basis, we do not pay heed to the importance of their contributions. One of our country’s initiatives to honour and appreciate the nation’s responsible, hard-working farmers for their determination, grit, love of the land and the efforts they make is called Kisaan Diwas or National Farmer’s Day. This day is celebrated every year on 23rd December.
Let’s talk more about Kisaan Diwas and what it means as a thank you for farmers in the nation. Then we will talk about what it means for us and the OZiva Kisaan Vikas Program.
8 Amazing Facts about India’s Farmers-
- The average Indian farmer owns around 5 acres of land, the majority of which they use for agriculture
- Indian farmers do not have a separation of duty – they often have to take on the roles of mechanic, weatherman, businessman, animal caretaker, marketer and crop scientist in addition to growing crops. They are many times a one-man army.
- The average Indian farmers uses the internet and other technology to get relevant information about the weather
- In the absence of rainfall as a reliable source of irrigation, farmers use wells as the second-most common source of water for fields
- As of 2013, India is the country with the second largest agricultural output in the world. It is also the 7th largest exporter of agricultural goods across the country
And Some More
- India is the biggest producer of milk in the world. It is also the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world.
- India is the world’s largest producer of ginger, okra, potatoes, onions and other vegetables. In fruits, India achieves the first position in the production of fruits like bananas, papayas and mangoes (and other seasonal fruits).
- India holds the first position in organic farming in the world. Sikkim is India’s first state to claim 100% organic farming. Other states that also dabble in organic farming include Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh
Why was Kisaan Diwas born?
Kisaan Diwas was set up to commemorate the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, India’s fifth prime minister, who was a farmer before he became a political officer. In 2001, the Indian government decided to recognise his contributions to the agricultural and land sectors by celebrating his birth anniversary as Rashtriya Kisaan Diwas.
Here are some of Charan Singh’s contributions to agriculture:
- He is credited for being the driving force behind several reforms and new agricultural policies in India
- Was also a popular author and wrote notes and articles about his views on farmers and issues related to them and some remedies.
- Came from a poor farmer family. His upbringing helped him understand the real conditions and problems of the farmers in India, and was determined to do his best to support them
- In the 1979 budget, Charan Singh designed it to fulfil the demands of farmers in all respects. The 1979 budget introduced many policies that helped bring farmers together against landlords and moneylenders.
And Some More!
- He founded the Kisaan Trust, a non-political and non-profit making body, on the day of Kisaan Diwas 1978. The aim of the Kisaan Trust was to educate India’s farmers against injustices.
- Charan Singh implemented and framed the famous Zamindari Abolition Act, which helped abolish the zamindari system in 1952.
- Set up the Land Holdings Act in 1960, to reduce the ceilings on land holdings to make it uniform throughout the state.
- Introduced the Agricultural Produce Market Bill in the assembly, to guard the welfare of farmers against dealers.
- Conducted the battle against the collectivist land-use policies of Jawaharlal Nehru to protect Indian farmers.
As of February 2021, there are around 29 centrally sponsored government schemes to give a boost to the agricultural industry in India and increase the income of farmers around the country. Other seminars and programs are organised for farmers. Political leaders visit Charan Singh’s Samadhi, also known as Kisan Ghat, in New Delhi, which is dedicated to him due to his contributions to agriculture.
What Is Done for Farmers on this day?
- The government of India announces new and fresh policies related to farming, agriculture, seeds and other technology for the benefits of farmers around the country.
- Indian farmers are also educated further on agriculture insurance schemes and other chit funds that they can participate in to grow and preserve their fields
- Workshops and seminars for farmers and themed around farming are arranged throughout the country at the divisional, district and block levels
- The nation’s agricultural officers and agriculture-focused scientists sit down to educate farmers about the newest data in the agriculture industry, in these seminars.
- Science and agriculture venues open their doors for even more seminars featuring farmers.
- The district rural development firm conducts further seminars, exhibitions and festivals which elaborate several facts on agriculture and rural development
How We Celebrate Kisaan Diwas
OZiva has always had a close relationship with farmers, and have looked out for an opportunity to give back to them for all their support. This year, to honour Kisaan Diwas, OZiva launched the Kisaan Vikas Program to empower 10,000 farmers with a brighter future by 2030, and empower them.
We plan to support:
- Education for their children, beginning with a 100 kids
- Helping them with better nutrition
- Teaching them industry best practices
- Creating opportunities to empower the farmers by sourcing key ingredients for our upcoming products
Read more on the OZiva Kisaan Vikas program here!
And see more on why we started this program here!