Manoharbhai Patel College of Agriculture established with the major responsibility of imparting Agricultural Education. Research and front line extension started functioning from August 2009. The College now annually admits 120 students of which about 30% are the girls. The students are mostly from rural background and belongs to agricultural families.
As I’m being the founder of this college running on private partnership mode, I’ve been asked an imminent question by people as “Why the Farmers are under distress even after achieving the success of green revolution?”
Let me share my views on these issues of farmers. Our sincere efforts must ensure to develop a competent and skilled manpower for the management of agriculture sector in all spheres in order to achieve the sustainable growth required to meet food need of presently 1225 millions of people which may touch to the mark of 1500 million by the end of 2030. Here is a “Wake-up Call” and everyone has to respond to it by understanding agri-crises or agri-maladies and the efforts and policies to resolve it.
Agri-crises, the acute agricultural distress is now witnessed in the country at various stages. Probably this is one of the causes of farmer’s suicide. It is the symptom of a deep seated malady arising out of natural vagaries and inadequate public investment or insufficient public actions in recent years. Adversity of Climate factor aggravates these problems. The ecological factors such as land, water, bio-diversity, forests, and atmosphere are under varying degrees of anthropogenic pressures. Water tables are going down year by year. Average size of farm holding is declining. About 25% of farmers have less than one hectare of land. There are now nearly 125 million farmers, most of them belonging to the small and marginal farmer category. Farming indebtedness is increasing in every political or ecological region in the country. All these have to be overcome by taking necessary and appropriate measures to achieve the goal of helping farmers.
The spreading up and preaching the scientific knowledge and technology in agriculture adequately to every farm holding will form an integral part of a key of food production. In that strengthening human resource development in agriculture is of prime importance. The current level of spreading agricultural knowledge is for lower than expectation. If it is assumed that, one farm graduate may suffice for guiding, advising, developing, up-skilling, propagating and managing all sort of agricultural activities required by 1000 farmers, there would be necessity of 8 Lakh farm graduates currently. Comparing the current rate of passing out of farm graduate there required 50-60 years to meet above target of development of Human Resource for spreading agriculture literacy adequately.
Thus the present level of dissemination of agricultural education by Govt. agencies is far behind and much time lagging. And hence involvement of public partnership mode was thought an appropriate way to solve the crises in spreading of agricultural education and promoting agricultural literacy. This will meet adequate food supply and access to it by all.
The Govt. of Maharashtra, one of the most agriculturally progressive and liberal state has taken the initiative to involve the participation of people of state (NGO/Trust) to establish college of agricultural to train the Human Resource and to spread up the scientific skill and art in agriculture to reach to target expected in future. The establishment of Manoharbhai Patel College of Agricultural in Aug. 2009; by Bahujan Hitay Navyuvak Shikshan Sanstha, Hiratola is one such College offering agricultural education in remote, tribal and Naxallite affected area in extreme eastern part of Maharashtra (Dist. Gondia). I assure that this college will excel and fulfill the commitment of the people of the state in meeting challenges to ensure food for all and will provide quality education in Agriculture field.