Abdul Majeed Cheena, Smallholder Farmer from Punjab, Pakistan. Urdu to English Translation by Mr Shafqat Aziz
Today, I would talk about small farmers, the losses they suffer and their level of deprivation. I have chosen this subject because small farmers are the most squeezed segment in the society. The phenomenon of the climate change has brought further devastation.
Lets take my own example. I used to sow around 400 kg of gram seed every year. However, last year (2018), my district Layyah received no rains from March up to October. It was a drought like situation and hard to sow grams as the soil had lacked moisture. Nevertheless, I took the risk and sown 100 kg of gram seeds. The expense occurred on it remained Rs. 15, 000. My hope of good crop was linked with the expectation of rains. With timely rain, I was expecting production of around 62 maunds*.
However, it did not happen and as a result of drought, I harvested little over 4 maunds (162 kg) gram. I paid 01 maund as a wage for crop harvesting. The middleman took his share of 12 kg. Now, I was left with 110 kg of gram. Then I deducted 100 kg which were used as seeds. Hence I was left with 10 kg of gram.
Is that all a small farmer deserved after his toil. The farmer, who produces food for the country, is facing such huge losses. Hence, in a state of deprivation.
I am just clueless what to write more. Is there someone to listen to? Anyone to read and pay attention on what I am going through?
- 1 Maund is equal to 40 kg.
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