Oct 19, 2009

A Twin Solution: Agricultural Agony


The name is Ville. FarmVille. Though it's the name of a town in Virginia, USA, Farmville is best known as one of the most fasinating, addicting online game of alltime for all ages. Anyone having a 'Facebook' account can play this game for free. Farmville has 6 Million+ active users out of which around 25% from India alone. It is increasing rapidly.

Why is it so fascinating ?

The objective of the game is entirely different from the rest. For the folks who play racing & shooting, Farmville scenario is entirely different. You are given a farm. You are given an intial amount. You need to grow crops. Earn Money. That's it.
All the standard procedures such as, plowing, planting, harvesting are well implemented. Farmville provides a diverse collection of crops to plan such as Wheat, Rice to fruits like grapes, strawberries and Trees like Lemon, Banana, Apple & Cattles like Cow, Sheep, Goat. That's what it made it unique & special. This wide range of features supplemented by a rich looking user-interface, it's one of my best. You would love farming.

What is the Agricultural Agony ?

Agony is on what happens in real-world agriculture. Shutdown the PC & See outside. India 'WAS' (may
be, 'IS') one of the most dominant player in Agriculture. Our crops are exported all over the world. But these days, the growth rate is rapidly decreasing. The prices of groceries like Atta, Maida, Sugar, Oil are disturbingly increasing. Red gram price (துவரம் பருப்பு) is doubled. Everything is increased because of one reason. 'less production'.
I foresee a 'shocking shift' after which we may end up importing rice & wheat. A day was there which had only two castes. Farmers and Landlords. Agriculture was found to be the only (or foremost) occupation for EVERYONE. Generation after generation, history continued. But
today, October 19, 2009, the story is completely different. Agriculturists are scarcely spotted and farms are rarely seen with lush green crops.
It was the present generation, the typical youngsters who born after 1980's, seem to have taken a diversion. Options are ubiquitous. Be it, Engineering, medicine. Far too many which are not common in the 1980's. There are very few, especially the un-educated in village do agriculture.
People farm online for fun but will they do it in real-time ?

Why people quit agriculture ?

I'm just 22 and honestly i haven't been farming in real-time. But my father does. He is so passionate about it. He served the canara bank for 25+ years but still he was doing agriculture all the time. He always wanted me to learn it. But i hated it. I go to our farm thrice a day. To give him breakfast, lunch & dinner. He voluntarily retired from his job but still, he is doing agriculture. With my limited knowledge and from what i am seeing and hearning, these are the problems that exhausts agriculturists.

  1. Farmers Scarcity: Farmers are difficult to locate. Even after locating one, their wages are twice than what they were paid 5-10 years back. Before the 90's, farmers respect the landlord. They always talk with their hands crossed. But these days, story is different. That too, most of these are now carpenters or plumbers or electricians in metro cities where those giant real estates & shopping malls are built earning triple the money than what they earned as "farmers".
  2. Water Scarcity: Water is difficut to find. Unfortunately, Rain is also rarely seen. There was a tamil quote that states, "மழை முகம் காணா பயிரும் தாய் முகம் கானா குழந்தயும் ஒன்று". I don't know whether it's the increasing number of cars & bikes that affects the environment with their fuel emission, but the crops rarely get the touch of a rain-drop. Even the under-ground water is also not easy to bore. More shockingly, a state exists that claims the river as 'their own'. 20 years back, people will literally laugh if you tell them, "Drinking Water is filled in a plastic can and sold for money!".
  3. No Profit: Even after growing the crops, the profit gained doesn't seem to be satisfactory. The government or the person who buys the crops are not giving a fair price.
  4. Compensation: There are lots of risk & trust factors involved in agriculture. The growth will be affected if there is NO or MORE rain. Farmers eventually committed suicide on a lot of occasions failing to owe the borrowed capital.
  5. Other options: More than that, people did found more options to earn money than to hell with the farms.
I am proud of Dr.S.Kabilan, one of my best friend and a chemistry professor who still farms with his 1 acre land for one reason. "Environmental Care". There are people urging him & even threatening him to sell the land just to convert it into a residential plot. There are lot other people who also does agriculture part-time. My uncle, Mr.Sethuraman, a high-school teacher is one among them. I recently heard that the government does give a fair price for rice crops and also a convincing compensation upon a loss. But too much corruption was heard to be involved.
  • What is the end of it ?
  • Where do "you think" this will end ?
  • Do you have a solution for this ?
  • If everyone leaves behind agriculture & go after their occupation, who will take this onus?
  • If given a convincing price & resources, will you switch over your occupation to agriculture ?

My proposed solution

This is my idea of resolving this problem. From a bird's eye view, everything boils down to MONEY. We all are going after MONEY. As there are more options, we quit this risky 'agriculture' option. I want the government to take a bold act.
  • 'EMPLOY' people to do agriculture. He who does agriculture will be a government servant.
  • His Farm is his office. Give him a convincing salary. Just like the Police or Public Works form an Agricultural Team. Whether or not the crops grow, he must be salaried.
  • Based on the role played, give designations and salaries.
  • Give him/her incentives for extra profits so that he is motivated.
  • Crops harvested will belong to the government. Any dealer can buy it at an affordable price.
  • Citizens already doing agriculture with their own farms can continue the good work. Government should ensure that the crop prices are satisfactory and compensation are convincing upon loss.
  • Give more job preference to agricultural graduates. They absolutely deserve it more than anyone else. It even encourages more people to graduate in agriculture.
Doing it this way, every one makes money. There is no loss to any individual. The government might incur loss but it's one of the options we can motivate people to come forward.
We have vast-waste lands.
We have uneducated & unemployed people.
Why can't we do this ?

Have your say.

9 comments:

  1. very interesting article..esp to start off this topic with the introduction to Farmville..day by day ur writing style is improved..good one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This agriculture method is not possible.....
    then agri will become like govt offices.....

    no response
    no outcome
    no sincerity

    lots of bribes......

    -Vinoth

    ReplyDelete
  3. This method is not possible....
    then agri will become like govt offices.....

    no response
    no outcome
    no sincerity

    lots of bribes......

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with Madhu.. You've stated a true problem.. But ppl are going after money, the govenment too, and nobody will try to solve the problem, as long as the cream-population - the affluent/wealthy population - can afford to buy the limited production.. Nobody seems to bother about the next generation.. All we care is for ourselves.. "naama vaazhara varaikkum power supply irukkum, oil supply irukkum, food supply irukkum; namma vaazhara varaikkum plastic-aalayo, matha pollution-aalayo serious environment problems vandhudaadhu.. after 100 or 200 yrs ku apram dhaane indha environment problem, scarcity ellaam.. namakkenna.." - ppl have started thinking like this.. And they r wrong.. According to me, true professions are those which give the basic needs of life - like agriculture and textiles.. ppl should take up agriculture as a profession.. parents should welcome it.. saappaadu illanna panathaiya saapda mudiyum?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Like other government servants, they too wont work and start unions out of which they start corrupting and threatning government. Nowadys they dont go for strike, if any ideas blossoms as ur suggestion, they will also stage thier own strike ...
    Does it sound good?
    Definitely not.

    Viki, it is a bad idea but its a great intension and involvement to protect our environment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @All:
    Thanks everyone. For taking time to read and providing your feedback.
    @Kanthan, Vinoth
    I am also afraid of the same reason. corruption :(

    ReplyDelete
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  9. Such an article from a IT professional is impressive....

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