This is the time for which the farmers await with eagerness, with bright hopes! This is the time when farmers want to see the translation of their hard work into reality! It is this time when golden crop in the fields is sparkling the eyes of farmers to be confident, to be hopeful! It is the time when all housewives get busy to prepare and make the house colorful, when they get busy to prepare themselves for making various cakes and foods from the new harvested crops. It is the time when children dare to ask for new cloths from their parents! They know that in this time their parents would not turn down their request! They know that they would surely get new cloths to wear for the rest of the year! Yes, I am talking about the agriculture day which is celebrated every year on 15 November in Bangladesh! Pohela Oghryan (15 November) is marked as agriculture day in Bangladesh to remember and recognize the contribution of farmers to ensure our food security! Farmers actually forget all their pains and toils when they see their crops in the fields and become the happiest among others. Seeing golden crops in the fields also enables them to plan for building a nice and sufficient future! Thus we see farmers from Netrokuna, Mymensigh despite having lots of problems and hardships; they dare to dream for a better future seeing the golden crops in their fields!

It was just only 8.00 am in the clock but farmers, women, children, students, teachers of Sadhupara village of Mymensigh district had already gathered at the house of Jobbar Ali. They all seemed to be very happy. Farmers from other villages, other district (Netrokuna) such as Kistmatara, Tarati, Islampur, Khicha also gathered near that house. The reason of their gathering at that house was to celebrate the agriculture day! It’s a happy day for all farmers. A farmer’s organization of Sadhupara village took the initiative to celebrate the day with their fellow farmers at the remote village to share their wounds and woes as well as their achievements and success! Thus it was a festive mode everywhere, every corner of the village! Children were playing; women were seen to prepare various cakes and foods!

And Men were seen to discuss intensively about their agriculture works, problems, potentiality and future plans associated with agriculture! They discussed about the objectives of their participatory varietals selection research, about the how to reduce dependency on market seeds, about sustainable agriculture that makes the soil healthy and ensures seeds in the hands of farmers! They also discussed how to work together to retain their rights on agriculture and agricultural inputs etc. A rally was brought by 150 farmers during that day. All farmers together participated in the field day of Aman rice being farmed in a research plot of farmers! They also visited some applied research plots conducted by the farmers being facilitated by BARCIK and other farmers and at the end of the day they exchanged seeds, ideas, experiences, skills and other things related with agriculture!

All farmers from the 10 villages at last vowed to protect their seeds, their resources by circumambulating the village with 50 pots filled with seeds in their hands! While circumambulating the village they uttered these slogans: Our seeds are our resources, our rights! We vow to protect our seeds and our livelihoods! We shall conserve and exchange our seeds with each other to ensure that we will never be dependent on market seeds!

By Ohidur Rahman