Ride For Farmers Support

  • Event on: 15thJan to 26th Jan 2016
  • Distance: 1000KM
  • Location: Telangana State, India

I use to ride bicycle to create awareness among the people on various issues. Earlier I rode to convey my gratitude as a civilian to Indian Army and Hyderabad Traffic police for their selfless services to the nation.

I have completed a cycle ride to support the farmers on 26th Jan 2016. It was a 12 day (15th Jan – 26th Jan 2016) cycle trip covering more than 1000 kms in the entire Telangana state. The ride was flagged off and concluded by Mr. Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Honourable Agriculture Minister of Telangana State.

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As part of the ride we visited hundreds of villages and met thousands of farmers. All along it was an incredible experience to meet these wonderful people and sharing their views. 

Facts about Indian Agriculture: Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian Economy”- said Mahatma Gandhi. Even today, the situation is still the same, with almost the entire economy being sustained by agriculture, which is the mainstay of the villages. It contributes 16% of the overall GDP and accounts for employment of approximately 52% of the Indian population. Rapid growth in agriculture is essential not only for self-reliance but also to earn valuable foreign exchange. 

Introduction: 

We started our cycle ride for two purposes. First is to support farmers and second is to sensitise youth about farmer’s struggles. As part of this ride we covered all the districts of the Telangana state and interacted with farmers on the way. Our ride started in Hyderabad and covered Rangareddy, Medak, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar and Khammam. Ride ended at Hyderabad covering more than 1000 kms. Based on the interactions with farmers and agricultural officials we came to know some findings about farmers and their problems. So we thought to document it and share it for all who wants to know about our farmers.

Disclaimer: These findings are purely based on our own understanding and views expressed below are personal in nature. We haven’t included any views of third party whether it’s a govt. or private institution. We tried to take the samples from diverse locations and different villagers from all districts of Telangana; although we believe findings are not error free

Purpose for the ride:

  • Providing moral boost and support to farmers
  • Creating awareness about government schemes among farmers
  • Providing information to farmers on how to reduce input costs by natural and organic techniques
  • To have an interaction with agriculture department
  • Advising farmers on the usage of chemical fertilisers. At present farmers using N:P:K as 20:4:1 but required is only 4:2:1. Excessive use of chemical fertilisers leads to two disadvantages such as increases farmers’ capital use and environment degradation on the other hand
  • All Subsidised machinery like tractors should be provided to community of farmers instead of individuals. Came to know that poor and marginal farmer not getting any benefit if these provided to individuals

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To Sensitise youth: 

  • Creating awareness about farmers struggles among youth
  • Metro cities youth thinks that they will get food from supermarkets and pizza huts and hotels. Notion should be changed among Metro city youth on food
  • Youth should help their relatives in agriculture using technologies like internet

farmers-questionnaire

Observations: 

  • Even though first major problem in agriculture is inadequate rains we can’t do anything about it. So we have to concentrate on lowering capital cost than providing good MSP. Farmers expecting one and half price of their input costs 
  • 64% of farmers having insurance but 85% are not happy. This indicates present insurance system is not working properly
  • Almost half of the farmers yet to complete soil tests and more than half needs to get soil health cards

Recommendations:

  • For declaring drought prone areas, village must be considered as unit. And each panchayat must have rain gauge equipment for measuring rainfall
  • Farmer should be considered as unit for insurance claims
  • Farmer’s claims should get approved quickly. If required all premium should be paid by farmers for eliminating disputes subsequently government should reimburse subsidy through direct benefit transfers
  • Government schemes and programs should reach farmers through various media. Restricting these advertisements to government channels and All India Radio will not help. All advertisements printed copies should be sent to each panchayat. Farmers are having very less awareness about government schemes and benefits
  • Agricultural department is highly under staffed. For example farmers have to wait for minimum of 6 months to get his soil test results. This should be reduced to 2-4 weeks. If these happen fast farmers can plan the crop and use adequate fertilisers every time for maximum output
  • Overall Agricultural department infrastructure should be improved
  • Face to face interaction between farmers and agricultural department employees should be improved

I like to give a warm thank you and mention Mr. Balu Koduri’s name for being a part of this ride and my support during this 12 days wonderful journey. Ride For Better India community appreciates the sincere efforts of all Agricultural officers in their respective districts. And a special thanks to all friends and family members for encouraging us all the time.

After I posted my ride details in the social media, many enthusiasts approached me for taking part in the initiative. Hope this resulted in a positive impact on many youngsters. From my hometown many approached me to turn to their native village and turn that into more greener by planting more trees.

Interview with a local News Channel (K6) in Nizamabad & with ETV in Hyderabad  

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