By S Banerjee: Bhubaneswar-based organisation, Samadrusti, organized the Rajendra Memorial Day (that is annually commemorated on March 27th) at Lohia Academy, Bhubaneswar on 27th March’2015. The day was celebrated to talk about and analyse the status as well as the different problems faced by the farmers of the State.
Sudhir Pattnaik, the head of Samadrusti, moderated the whole programme. Prof Swadhin Pattnaik, highly regarded organic farmer- Natwar Sarangi, noted economist- Golak Behari Nath, noted mathematician and social scientist- Dr Dhirendra Naik, former Professor in Utkal University and JNU and now associated with farming- Dr Bal Gobind Babu and President of Bargarh Krushak Sangh – Lingaraj, attended the programme and expressed their views.
The revised edition of the book by Natabar Sarangi on Indigenous Farming, to make farming and farmers safe and secure, was released during this programme. The book was originally released in 2006 and it is supposedly very popular amongst farmers. This, the revised and enlarged edition of the book, was released at this function.
All the speakers mainly focused on the apathy of the Govt to the Agriculture and Farming sector. The State Govt came under heavy attack for doing precious nothing and on the contrary putting up eyewash in front of the whole country as far condition of farming and farmers in the State is concerned. Lack of water and irrigation facilities and suicide of farmers was a topic that came up for serious discussion.
The bleak future of farmers, low income which is gradually going down more and a good percentage of farmers switching to other avenues from farming, also became a topic for discussion in this meeting. The speakers were also unanimously against the Land Acquisition Ordinance and they opined that the already existing problem of land grabbing of fertile agricultural land by the big corporates will become acute and spin out of control once this Ordinance becomes Law.
Sudhir Pattnaik said that time has come to not merely protest but think of the alternatives that will help the farmers. He said that it is imperative to free farming from the bindings of the market and capitalist controls. It was left to economist Gokul Behari Nath to put up an analytical study of the agri-sector in the state, supplemented with facts, figures and data.