As an agricultural country in the main, we need to understand the farmer’s problems in detail like China, India, and Australia. We have to provide food, jobs, and chances of advancement to more than 70 percent of our people who live in the villages.
What is it that does not let our farmers produce as much as their counterparts (persons doing the same jobs) in the advanced countries like the US, Canada, and Australia are doing? First and foremost is their problem of not knowing the best techniques and methods of farming and not having the latest machines and equipment. It is because they are uneducated and are not in contact with those well-informed about these.
Secondly, poverty and lack of resources is the second major problem of our farmers. In fact, poverty, ignorance, and immobility to use modern farm machinery and techniques go hand in hand with our farmers. Without the purchasing power, how can a farmer get the modern machinery even when he is told or instructed about it? The problem can be overcome and solved if the government takes away the property, lands, and capital in possession of the biggest landowners and uses them for the betterment of the farmers.
Thirdly, the availability of enough water at the time of sowing the crops and during their growth is now a major problem of our farmers. During the last few dry years, the farmers could not get enough water for irrigation as the water level in the few big dams soon went very low during the dry seasons. The best course now is to construct small and big dams across rivers and to have new waterways or canals in different areas.
Fourthly, the non-availability of standard fertilizers and pesticides at low rates is a major agricultural problem. The fertility of many of our lands has been affected badly by the twin ills of waterlogging (too much rising of the underground water table) and salinity (presence of harmful-salts in the land).
Fifthly, the common pöor farmer works on the lands taken on rent from very rich landowners. He is their tenant and has to pay them a major part of the land produce and even rent on the land. This leaves him very little for his own spending and livelihood. It was the duty of the governments to break up and replace this out-dated feudal system.
Sixthly, the farmer cannot easily get loans from the rural banks or loaning agencies to sink a small tube-well, to buy buffaloes or cows, to marry his daughter or to build a house, to get his ailing wife treated, and so on. The government and social welfare organizations together should establish loaning agencies for deserving farmers on easy terms.
It is high time we attended to the above problems. The question deserves to be answered right now. If not now, then when are we going to help our farmers and workers of the soil (land)?