OUR FOOD…OUR FARMER…OUR FREEDOM
Do we feel indebted to the farmer? Each morsel of food, each thread of cotton is imbued with the intense labor and the selfless love of farmers, so that we are fed and clothed.
While AID has worked on agricultural projects for over a decade, the crisis has become increasingly acute. About two farmers commit suicide every hour in India due to debt, misguided policies, unscrupulous forces, advent of chemical agriculture and other challenges.
This Independence Day marked 70 years of India’s freedom. Many of us enjoy relatively unfettered freedom and economic independence. AID has created the Annadata campaign to promote awareness, so we invest in our farmers and free them from the shackles of indebtedness and despair. Please join AID in this campaign.
Annadata Sukhi Bhava!
Indeed, we are what we eat! Our choices of food have a significant effect on our well-being. Unfortunately, in India, about 200 million people and about half the children are malnourished. With rampant overuse of fertilizers and pesticides to generate unsustainable short-term higher yields, the health of even the economically advantaged is significantly compromised. Should we not be reverting to farming methods that are sustainable and nutritious?
It is also important that farmers flourish so they can provide the food that India thrives on. However, while striving against overwhelming odds, innumerable farmers have struggled to subsist. Unfortunately, there have been over 12000 farmer suicides annually, mostly in despair with their inability to meet financial obligations. Should we not be investing in these farmers so future food security of India is assured?
Please join AID as we learn more about agriculture issues, understand more about harsh ground realities and invest in the well-being of farmers and, thus, the welfare of the entire nation. Let us give a hand to the hand that feeds us, www.aidindia.org/farmers. Annadata Sukhi Bhava!
Our Farmer Stories
Becoming a Farmer
Before: Low Wages, Migration
For as long as she could remember, Lakshmi Devi, like her parents, worked on other people’s farms for daily wages. While her husband was in bonded labor, she worked double shifts and just barely got enough food for the family. When he became free, both of them migrated to work in brick kilns for six months per year. Low and unequal wages were not sufficient to meet the entire family’s needs.
Six years ago, along with the agricultural workers union, Lakshmi Devi began the process of identifying government land and applying for it. In 2015 she and 18 women in Cherukuvaripalli, AP obtained land with titles in their names and formed a seed bank where they collectively manage native seeds of minor millet and lentils, thus ensuring their own food security.
After: Livelihood and Food Security
Since obtaining land, Lakshmi Devi has transformed her life. She cultivates ragi, jowar, lentils, vegetables, pulses and groundnuts. The ragi and lentils she grows are enough to meet her family’s needs for the year. Moving from hunger to self-sufficiency in food production is great. In addition the social status upgrade from landless “coolie” to farmer is a big jump for a Dalit woman.
AID extends solidarity to the Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vrttidharula Union (APVVU) which upholds the rights of farmworkers. AID also supports Sahanivasa, which promotes sustainable techniques in agriculture and health
Profile in Courage, Despite all Odds
Ashwini was 13 when her father farmer took his life due to debt. She worked at a brick kiln to support her family. With support from AID, she now attends college. We are humbled by her courage to overcome tremendous adversity.
We can invest in the future of distressed farmer families like Ashwini’s and help struggling farmers…for the future food security of all of us!