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Kisan Diwas to be Observed on 23rd December

Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day will be observed across the country on 23rd December to celebrate the birthday of Chaudhary Charan Singh, who was the 5th Prime Minister of India.

Chander Mohan

Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day will be observed across the country on 23rd December to celebrate the birthday of Chaudhary Charan Singh, who was the 5th Prime Minister of India.

On this day, seminars and programmes for the farmers are being organized at divisional, district and block levels.  Political leaders will pay tribute to the 5th PM of India on his birth anniversary. Leaders will also visit the former PM’s Samadhi at Kisan Ghat in New Delhi. Government in 2001 had decided to observe 23rd December every year as Kisan Diwas.

Krishi Jagran will also observe and celebrate the Kisan Diwas in a massive way. The organization that brings magazines in 12 languages with 23 editions is dedicated to the services of the Farmer, who became the Prime Minister of the country. With this Krishi Jagran is paying Tribute to the First Kisan Pradhan Mantri. 

Chaudhary Charan Singh (23 Dec 1902 - 29 May 1987) was the 5th Prime Minister of India. He served as the Prime Minister from 28 July 1979 to 14 January 1980. During his tenure as the Prime Minister, Singh introduced many policies to improve the life of farmers in India.

Here are the views of the legends in the farming field: 

India: Moving towards Green to Evergreen Evolution - R B Singh, Ex-President NAAS 

On the occasion of National farmer day my best wishes to our food provider. India, through the Green Revolution process ushered in the 1960s, followed by the White, Yellow and Blue Revolutions, had witnessed unprecedented 5 to 7 times gains in food production during the past 50 years or so, transforming the nation from the state of ship-to-mouth to the state of Right to Food based on home-grown food. As a result, India today is the second largest agricultural economy in the World.  

Protecting agriculture from onslaught of pests and diseases is an age old practice. As we know, Late Potato Blight caused by Phytophthora infestans devastated the entire Irish potato crop, the main source of food and cash, in 1845, causing the infamous Irish Potato Famine: The Great Hunger, which killed over one million people and caused mass exodus. Hundred years later, in 1943, in India, the devastating Great Bengal Famine caused by Helminthosporiumoryzae epidemic wiped off the main food crop rice, causing millions of human deaths. These epidemics more than underpin the urgency of establishing science-led reliable plant health management systems to eliminate such devastations. 

In India, estimated annual crop produce losses due to pests are as high as 20 to 25 percent, estimated at US$ 45 million. Further, spurious and counterfeit pesticides and illegal imports are not uncommon. The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers Welfare of the Ministry, is in process of bringing out and updated pesticide Management Bill.  

Transforming India through Agriculture: Shri R.G. Aggarwal of Dhanuka Agritech Ltd 

First I would like to congratulate to our farmers, because of them we have nutritional food security and just because of their hard work we are the second largest country after China in Agricultural GDP. I offer my gratitude to our farmers and their families. 

Let's recall the time of 1960s when India faced ship to mouth situation to meet its food demand and was importing wheat from US under PL-480. The country overcame this difficult situation by developing high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, which were highly responsive to chemical fertilizers, pesticides and water, which made India a 'Food Self Sufficient' Nation. But still there were some gaps left in the production system against national nutritional security because as per 2018 Global Hunger Index India was ranked 103rd out of 119 qualifying countries which is a disturbing figure for a population of 133 crores. 

Another important concern is low productivity of crops in comparison to developed countries; and wide yield gaps amongst States and within district. Therefore, Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has called for productivity increase of food grains while doubling the farmer's income by 2022. This needs multi-facet approach including improvement in productivity, resource use efficiency, lowering cost of production, diversification towards high value crops, preventing crop losses due to pests and above all expanding reach of improved technology to farmers.

Agri Input sector play a major role in doubling farmers’ income which include good quality and treated seeds, fertilizers which should be used as per the soil test report, judicious use of agrochemicals and market opportunities. There is one another input which is essential for agriculture is water. 54% India is facing water stressed condition and in India around 80% of fresh water has use in agriculture. Now it’s time to move towards Drip and Sprinkler irrigation system in farms. We have to save every single drop of water for our future survival. 

I call upon all the stakeholders to work towards a higher synergy for raising the farmer's income of our nation. Government of India may appoint an Agriculture Attaché in its Embassies to create a favorable climate for export of ethical Indian agriculture commodities. I am sure with such holistic approach, we can again bring back the era when India was called “Sone kiChidya” of world. 

Breaking MYTH of Agrochemicals: Dr. Debabrata Kanungo 

The Pesticide Registration System in India is quite comprehensive and robust in comparison to global standard practice. In India before allowing registration to a pesticide it is ensured that the generated toxicological data is evaluated as per prescribed guidelines and satisfy as per the safety norms of human, animals and environment. Even then most of the times pesticides used in India are declared as the cause of many diseases including cancer and birth defects, without reviewing tested and certified statutory regulation. To ensure the safety of human beings from pesticides, all toxicological / safety parameters which inter alia include are evaluated on three important parameters i.e. carcinogenic property, effect on reproduction system and Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) of pesticide in various food crops.

While prescribing statutory limit of MRL, it is verified that any consumption is not exposed to pesticide residue from food to water body. Exceeding the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) that is usually expressed on body mass basis (mg/kg bw/day), ADI is further divided by 100 to obtain the No Observable Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL). A lower dose to LOAEL is identified which is the highest dose where the animal does not show any adverse effect. This NOAEL is divided by 100 to derive ADI. Further the NOAEL tested is always not the real NOAEL as this is the highest data point/ dose tested below the LOAEL. The real NOAEL is mostly higher than the identified NOAEL and remains between the identified LOAEL and NOAEL. Thus enough precautions in prescribing the MRL are taken which has enough safety margins for human beings. While regulating the fixation of MRL, if FSSAI observes that the dietary exposure to pesticides from all sources exceeds ADI then the CIB & RC is requested not to register any further use of that pesticide in any additional crop or remove some of the crop use. Lastly MRL is not a safety standard, but only a legal trade standard. 

Plant Protection Chemicals are Essential - Dr. C D Mayee 

Plant protection chemicals have proved an indispensable tool in successful cultivation of crops. However, good agricultural practices and judicious use of pesticide for pest management are paramount to safety of humans and environment. In India’s food security agrochemicals play a major role where arable land is shrinking, water level is depleting and climate change is a major issue.  

First, in today’s scenario many new diseases and pests are infesting different crops which are causing huge losses to farmers. Earlier controls of pests and diseases have been achieved with the right and judicious use of pesticides resulting in minimizing the losses and contributed vastly  in increasing the production. Recently “pink Boll Worm”, “Whitefly”, “Fall Armyworm” have emerged as major pests which are causing enormous losses in farmer’s field.

I would request to farmers to purchase the Seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and other things for their farming use, from authorized dealers with bill. By bill you may contribute to development of nation and also save yourself from the conundrum of spurious pesticide business. I also would like to focus on malafide activity of some Bio pesticide companies. At last I wish you all a happy and productive  Kisan Divas. 

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