Deschooling farmers

  • 14/09/2009

Deschooling farmers A new bill in Tamil Nadu puts farmers at the thrall of agriculture university graduates

On the last day of its budget session the Tamil Nadu assembly passed 30 bills without any discussion. One of them was without parallel. If the governer signs the bill, writings of Thiruvalluavar, Oovaiyar and many more poets would become unlawful as they have several things to say about farming.

Let us forget the people long dead. Even prominent personalities associated with agriculture like Norman Borlaug, the doyen of the modern agriculture system, cannot give suggestions to farmers in Tamil Nadu. A first suggestion will attract a fine of Rs 5,000; they will be fined Rs 10,000 if they repeat their crime. They might even be imprisoned for six months.

The Tamil Nadu State Agriculture Council 2009 says only those with a degree from three universities in Tamil Nadu can counsel farmers. Such esteemed advisors will be called agricultural practitioners