I had a very fruitful and interactive session with about 70 senior children.
We talked about farming and the woes therein despite the serene and uninhibited lives we think rural people enjoy.
Low incomes, especially to cater to unusual expenditures like illnesses, marriages, crop failure, force them to borrow at exorbitant interest rates and die in penury attempting repayment.
Low prices due to high retailer margins of their products, and high wastage, are another bane that could be addressed through direct marketing venues like in some places in Tamil Nadu have.
High use of chemical fertiliser impoverishes the soil requiring more and more application every year with lower yields.
Lack of knowledge of best farming practices often result in crop failure or low yields for many marginal farmers.
Out of all these the biggest disappointment for a farmer is the drying up of his ground water, which as we know, is getting depleted faster than it’s getting replenished.
Drip irrigation which saves 70% water with a host of other benefits explained to the children, is a potential saviour. Government schemes exist but do not reach the farmer. The children were asked to give their views on how this could be bettered.
Another topic discussed was the recent ban of Nestle s Maggi. The children were given the pros and cons of the decision to ban it and asked to write their views.
Keep up the good work. Make a difference!