National Farmers’ Day is celebrated on 23rd December every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of the 5th Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh. He was a farmer’s leader and had introduced many policies to improve the lives of the farmers in India. He also played a significant role in the agricultural sector of the country by introducing bills for farmers’ reforms.

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What is Farmers Day?

The National Farmers Day in India, also known as Kisan Divas in Hindi, is celebrated in several parts of the country to promote awareness among people about the importance of the farmers in the society.

Several programs such as debates, seminars, quiz competitions, discussions, workshops, exhibitions, essays writing competitions, etc. are organised across the country on National Farmers’ Day to create awareness about farmers and encourage farmers, as well, who are considered the backbone of country’s economy. Besides, the day is dedicated to the farmers to celebrate their contributions to the country.

The National Farmers’ Day is widely celebrated in states such as UP, Haryana, Punjab and MP. It is not only celebrated in India but also in countries like Pakistan, America, Ghana, Zambia, etc.

The National Farmers’ Day in Pakistan, also known as Kissan Day, was celebrated on December 18. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan announced for the first time in the country’s history that Kissan Day would be celebrated every year on the mentioned day to acknowledge the vital contributions by the farmers towards the country’s progress.

In America, the National Farmers’ Day is celebrated on 12 October every year to pay tribute to all the farmers.

The National Farmers’ Day in Ghana, which is observed on the first Friday of December every year, is an annual celebration of farmers and fishermen. On the occasion of Farmers’ Day, the deserving farmers and fishermen receive special awards from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of the country.

In Nepal, according to B.S. Nepali calendar, the National Farmers’ Day is celebrated on 27 th Jestha. The day is supported by FSC Rupandehi and others farmers supporting NGO.

In Zambia, the National Farmers’ Day in is celebrated every year on the first Monday of August.

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What are Farmers’ Rights in India?

In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in the number of suicides by the farmers in India. As per the National Crime Records Bureau of India, a total 296,438 Indian farmers had committed suicide since 1995 from states like Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, etc. Therefore, there’s a dire need to create awareness among people that agriculture has a major stake in the overall economy of the country. It not only generates employment but also has a significant share in the country’s GDP, so it becomes really important to protect the farmers’ rights.

Moreover, there’s a need for a proper legal system to protect plant breeder rights. Protection of Plant Varieties Farmers’ Rights 2001 (PPVER) Act supports farmers in saving, exchanging and distributing seeds material. It also allows farmers to claim intellectual property rights over their selected plant varieties. The PPVER Act gives protection on new, existing and derived plant varieties.

There are 9 rights which are given to farmers under the PPVFR Act:

1.   Right to seed: PPVFR Act aims to give farmers the right to save, use, exchange or sell seed. But, farmer cannot sell the seeds in a packed form labelled with registered name.

2.   Right to reward and recognition: The Act provides for establishment of National Gene Fund through which the work of farmers is rewarded and recognised.

3.   Right to index own varieties:  Just like commercial breeders, even a farmer can get intellectual property right over their own varieties. This right is unique to Indian PPVFR 2001 Act.

4.   Right to information and compensation for crop failure: The breeder must give information about expected performance of the registered variety. If the material fails to perform, the farmers may claim for compensation under the Act.

5.   Right to benefit sharing: National Gene Fund authority also facilitates benefit sharing. The Authority is required to publish the registered varieties and invite claims for benefit sharing. The rewards from the gene fund can only be given to a farmer who can prove that they have contributed to the selection and preservation of materials used in the registered variety.

6.   Right to sufficient accessibility of registered varieties: The breeder is expected to provide sufficient supply of seeds to the public at a moderate price. Even if after three years of registration, the breeder fails to provide sufficient supply of seeds to the public at a reasonable price, any other person can apply for license.

7.   Right to compensation for private use of traditional varieties: Even if the breeder does not wish to disclose the source of traditional varieties, compensation can still be granted to him or her through the Gene Fund.

8.   Right to service free of charge: The PPVFR 2001 Act excludes farmers from paying any service charges. In other words, the services like registration of varieties, conducting tests on the registered varieties, renewal of registration are done free of charge. Moreover, there is no fee for legal proceedings under the PPVFR Act.

9.   Protection from legal encroachment in case of lack of awareness:  Keeping in mind low literacy levels in the country, PPVFR 2001 Act provides and safeguards against innocent encroachment by farmers. Farmers who inadvertently violate the rights of a breeder shall not be penalised if s/he can show that they did not know about the existence of breeder’s rights.

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National Farmers Day Images on India Content

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