Revitalising the Indigenous Agriculture for Sustainability

D Pamei

Career Counsellor, Shillong 

Since the wide spread of COVID-19, the world has witnessed the deaths of 506,064 souls and 10,268,839 confirmed cases of COVID-19, globally, as of 8:18 am CEST, 1st July, 2020, as reported to WHO. The fear psychosis of wellbeing has become subsequently vulnerable to stress, disquiet, panic; insecurity etc and more earth-shattering is the needs for daily life. As thousands of migrant workers sprint for their safe haven leaving a profound negative brunt on the economy due to this unprecedented pandemic, only God knows what’s next? Therefore, we have to find a way to live with Covid-19 because things will never be the same again, let us be clear about it. I don’t want to sound like a cynic; even so to bounce back for healthier days look grim at the moment. The projection for India’s economy by World Bank sharply scaled down India’s economy, forecasting 3.2 per cent contraction in the fiscal year 2020-21 due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown. It had earlier predicted 1.5-2.8 per cent growth. Our future seems so grim at the moment no matter how optimistic we want to be. 

This unprecedented pandemic has exposed us to assorted psychosis, such as concern for our own health, mental wellbeing, career and daily needs to sustain our life. Optimism for brighter days is what we long for each day, yet apprehension about tomorrow persists to torture our psyche. If the food commodities supply cease to pour in from the central India with thousands of labours heading homeward. 

The haziness lingers such as, are we resourceful enough to stand on our own feet and provide the needs of our families and our community at large without much agony? How long can we prolong ourselves with the resources we have in our region? Do we have surplus to share with the vicinity villages? These uncertainties persist to defy and torment our psyche.

Consequently, this unprecedented pandemic had human existence to mirror on numerous topics, as the present pandemic do not categorize rich or poor, have or the have not’s. Moreover, it knows no race, tribe or colour; yet knocks into every mortal being evenly. Today, if we retrospect the career path in agriculture, which the agrarian society like ours practices since time immemorial has recur and today this pandemic remind us, the significance of agriculture sector for sustainability without any qualms for tomorrow. Which most of us often consider not a stately career or profession and perceived this practice as a past thing; however it’s the otherwise, at the moment cultivators in our vicinity are the lucky and blessed ones, as our future look grim? The fact is there is a tremendous opportunity for sustainable development in agriculture; if we can amalgamate the modern technical knowledge with traditional approach definitely it can accelerate the means of sustainability to ground-breaking altitude in our region and employment opportunities simultaneously. There is an enormous prospect to produce surplus and become the merchant in our vicinity. 

Hence, for a change if we could psycho educate the younger generation about the career choices in the fields such as agriculturist, horticulture, animal husbandry, farming, dairy farm, lives stock and managing land resources, as we have marginalise these career path and professions for too long. Our career choices frame has been about attaining MSc/MA/PhD, Civil Service Officers, Professor/Teacher, Engineer, Military and Dr to name a few or the white collar professions. Though not undermining these degrees or profession and occupations, indeed in the process there is a need for holistic growth but at hand pandemic has exposed the pressing need to look beyond current trend and cultural/community influences in the career choices. As our resources have been left marginalise for various reasons, which could have been a boon of blessing to our families and community at large in supplying food commodities and job avenues for many unemployed youths of the society today.

Therefore, if our society can look at career in agriculture from different perspectives and considers stately profession as any other career choices existing today, then there is a substantial potential for sustainability and development of employment opportunities for younger generation in our society in the near future.


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