Got Food on Your Plate? Thank a Farmer!
From the wee hours of dawn till well past dusk, the farmer works on his field to feed us. He battles the rain, sun and all changes in weather to tend to his crops. He has a thankless job, to say the least.
India has just about 120 million farmers who produce food for the entire population of the country. They represent just under 25% of the country’s workforce and 9% of the country’s population. Most Indian farmers grow food on micro or small sized farms with limited output and little technology to aid them along.
Farmers face a lot of challenges, which include growing hardy crops in harsh weather conditions, preventing the growth of weeds, pests and insect on their farms. Some regions see drastic fluctuation in temperature and rainfall causing crops to wither or rot. Globally, pests and plant diseases are known to lay waste to almost 40% of a farmer’s yield, a number which could double without the use of pesticides.
What does Monsanto do?
We work with farmers to understand these challenges and develop products and solutions to help our farmers tackle them. Monsanto develops seeds through GMO and non-GMO techniques, which can grow in difficult weather and improve yields. We also collaborate with farmers to help identify and implement best practices in agriculture to conserve resources and even improve soil health on farms.
We strive to continuously innovate and help our farmers grow more, grow better and meet the ever growing demand of produce from the nation. Our BT-cotton seed, the most widely used GM cotton seeds in India, has been the primary driver of success among cotton farmers in the country. Empowered by BT-Cotton, farmers have managed to convert India from a cotton importing nation to an exporting one – with yields increasing over 150% to 491.38 kg lint/ha in just a decade.
Spread the farmer’s voice
There are several organisations that work closely with farmers and help improve their lives with technology, support and education. Actively communicating our endeavours with the public can help people see the benefits and understand the farmers’ perspective.
On this National Farmer’s day, we encourage you to spend a little time thinking about the farmer and how he impacts our daily lives. Each time we sit down for a meal, let us remember to thank a farmer who has worked hard to feed the nation.