“If the farmer is happily satisfied, he can increase production a lot, but also if he is somewhatéducated to use modern tools and machinery.”
A farmer’s life in our country is, on the whole (overall), neither comfortable nor hopeful. It is so because he either owns land in small uneconomical units, or he works on the land of big landowners as a tenant or labourer. On his own land, he works a lot, but cannot produce much because his agricultural methods are out-dated and the size of the land is small. When he works as a tenant, he has to give a large part of the produce to the landowner or landlord called ‘batai.” Often he is under the burden of heavy loans taken from the master landowner.
The farmer begins his day’s work with the cows or buffaloes he has kept with his family. He provides them fodder and milks the cows with his family people, especially his wife in his company. Then he has his breakfast of “lassi” and bread with some curry or pulses (“dal”).
It is when the harvesting starts in early summer that he really gets busy. He cuts the grain plants with his sickle or with a hired harvester. In big stacks (piles) he places the plants on the ground to dry up in the sun. The work is so much on his hands that the farmer has to hire extra labour to finish his harvesting, and he pays them the wages and part of the produce with difficulty. The farmer is equally busy with the winnowing (separating the grain from the chaff or the dry outer covering) when he throws up the dry wheat with his winnowing fan. Here, too, he sometimes hires the chaff-cutter, the machine that quickens his work.
The farmer is happier with his other crops like those of the potato or rice or sugarcane which bring him better returns. But his job of looking after the plants and fields is harder. In any case, whether it is the idle season or the sowing or harvesting season, he has to keep the boundaries of his fields well defended or has to fence them. Otherwise, there are thefts of his cattle, implements or produce. When the thieves are stronger, he and the members of his family have to fight against them. In the idle season, when there is little fieldwork, the farmer visits nearby markets and towns to watch the latest price-levels of grains (wheat, rice, grams, etc.).