For Mamtesh sugarcane proves sweeter
Mamtesh Devi narrated her real-life story before an audience of agriculture experts, agro-scientists, representatives from the farming community, policy framers and high officials at the Agriculture Conclave and NACOF Awards 2022 in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Sanjeev Kumar Balyan. At the event, organized by Rural Voice to mark the second anniversary of the interactive digital media platform, Jaiveer Singh was awarded for his 'Exemplary Work in the Field of Farming Practices'.
Sugarcane cultivation proved sweeter for Mamtesh Devi than what her high academic degrees tasted once she was baptized by her prodding husband to embrace agriculture, shunning the academics she was involved in.
Having done MA and BEd, the woman from a nondescript and remote village in UP's Bulandshahr district — synonymous with sugarcane cultivation — had taken the plunge into teaching as her profession.
Her husband, Jaiveer Singh, was equally armed with high academic degrees — an MSc in Agriculture — and as an agronomist, he specialized in crop production, soil control and soil management.
Mamtesh insisted that since her husband was highly qualified, he should try for a good government job to lead a well-to-do and hassle-free life.
But her husband was adamant. Agriculture was his first love. His father was a farmer whose one eye got damaged by a sharp-edged sugarcane leaf. It was at this point of time that he asked Jaiveer to carry on with the family profession — sugarcane cultivation — instead of looking for greener pastures.
Learning this, Mamtesh decided to stop pestering him anymore to apply for jobs. Instead, she too joined farming, lending a helping hand to her spouse, whose ecstasy knew no bounds after the unflinching support he got from his better half.
"Now we farm together," she said and summed up her experience in a self-composed lyric that was highly applauded by everyone.
Mamtesh narrated her real-life story before an audience of agriculture experts, agro-scientists, representatives from the farming community, policy framers and high officials at the Rural Voice Agriculture Conclave and NACOF Awards 2022 in New Delhi on December 23 (Kisan Diwas) in the presence of Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Sanjeev Kumar Balyan.
At the event, organized by Rural Voice to mark the second anniversary of the interactive digital media platform, Jaiveer was awarded for his 'Exemplary Work in the Field of Farming Practices'.
The Conclave also heard with rapt attention the experiences of another woman agriculturalist Dwarku Devi, who grows apples in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.
"With the right blend of technology and machine and the use of good-quality seeds, cultivation will be successful," she said.
But there is a catch. Along with these, training is equally important, she said.
Dwarku suggested that the government should relax formalities for getting subsidies and provide remunerative prices for their produce.
While owners of big orchards make a profit, small farmers are driven to suicide, she lamented.
Dwarku narrated how she had organized 20 Self Help Groups (SHGs) in her village and was currently involved in setting up FPOs.
At the session, Umesh, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh, referred to climate change and how it was affecting farming, especially productivity.
Earlier, Prachur and Debjit Roy from Socratus, a Bangalore-based organisation that was the Knowledge Partner at the event, explained the concept of Citizen Jury, while Harvir Singh, Editor-in-Chief, Rural Voice, spoke encouraging words to boost their morale and thanked them for coming all the way from distant places to attend the event.