How can you help the Indian farmers?
1. Buy Indian produce-Apples, walnuts, oranges, dry fruits, etc. Buy local produce even if it is at a higher cost.
2. Buy value added agri-food processed products made in India.
3. Do not haggle with the thelawala or any fruit and vegetable vendor who comes to your door. Allow him to make a reasonable profit as his viability/profitability drives ability to pay down the chain upto the farm gate.
4. Pl do not compare prices of vegetables, fruits and other agri products with what you paid for them when you were a child 10/20/30/40/50/60 years ago. You don't do the same when you buy manufactured products and other services. Do not put pressure on your local representatives or through the media when the prices of these products rise. Pl remember that these are rare opportunities for farming families to make decent incomes. For middle classes/upper classes food/agri products are a small percentage of the household spend. Pl bear the increase in prices as your contribution to farmer well-being. The Govt has support systems in place like PDS etc for urban poor.
5. Encourage as many initiatives as possible that buy directly from Indian farmers and supply to Indian households in cities. Your encouragement will grow these small businesses into scalable supply chain entities that would create competition in procurement of farm produce.
6. Please buy produce where possible from KVIC, Farmer Co-operatives. Farmer owned organisations like Amul, Farmer Owned Companies that have started supplying farm products into cities.
7. Please increase consumption of coarse cereals and pulses that are grown by the poorest of dryland farmers across some of the most backward districts of India. These are also having tremendous health benefits as most of you are aware.
8. Buy as much farm produce as possible when you drive out on highways between cities and towns. Your stopping your cars to buy farm produce will encourage more farmers to attempt direct selling to consumers.
9. Each high rise society campus should have a Farmer centre where nearby farmers can come daily and sell F&V and other produce. Consumers in metro cities should should install compact flour milling machines in such centres which will generate employment for farmer kids for managing such centres besides fresh produce. Such farmer centres could/should be proposed in each building society with 100+ families.
10. Upper classes/middle class keen on contributing towards agriculture must be encouraged to form groups and adopt villages to do their bit. They could contribute towards farmers well being by contributing skills as well as donating resources in cash or kind especially to the families that have seen suicides by their bread winners.
11. Farm visits of youngsters especially school kids in urban areas should be organized to build empathy in their minds for farmers and farming from an early age. We don't want to produce generations that think that working with hands and legs on farms is non-noble work being done by lesser beings.
12. You could also help farmers if many of you could follow the practice of the millions of households from Gujarat who buy many seasonal agri products in the flush seasons and consume it over the off season months. This when done at countrywide level can have an effect of price smoothing in commodities between the on season and off season prices. The win for households is good quality purchased at reasonable prices and stored as per desired parameters for household storage.
13. Please save water. 2015-16 was one of the worst droughts on record and hundreds of millions of farmers were affected. Most cities are assured drinking water supply and any wastage in cities is to the detriment of farmer well being. Most farmers are also realising the importance of saving water through micro irrigation as well as creative innovative structures on their farms or on common property resources.
14.We request all those interested in agriculture/food sector to join at the IAP group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/ and also like the ISAPindia page at https://www.facebook.com/isapindia.org/. Pl invite your friends and colleagues interested in agriculture sector to join this group by inviting them to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/ by email. You can also add your friends by using the "+add people to group" box on the top of the right hand side of the IAP page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/agribiz4u/
15. We request our Agriculture professionals to use this platform to share success stories of farmers in crop and animal agriculture as well as aquaculture and other products and services which would help other brother farmers also benefit from the good work being done by their brethren in various sub sectors within this vast sector.
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