Bengaluru residents to become farmers for a day

Bengaluru | 17th December, 2017:
Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited – TAFE, through its social awareness initiative, ‘Be a #FarmDost’ brought residents of Bengaluru and farmers together on a farm to celebrate National Farmers’ Day which falls on December 23. Held in the outskirts of Bengaluru, the celebration was a unique opportunity for the urban community to interact with the farming community and get insights into their life by participating in farm activities and live the life of a farmer for a day.

The participants were selected on a first come, first served basis from in and around Bengaluru city. The day-long event which was completely free for the participants aimed at giving them a taste of farming and the rural life. Farmers from the local community were also part of the event playing the lead role by sharing their insights about farming and inspiring the participants. The day began with an introduction to TAFE’s ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative chronicling its journey of two years. More than 100 participants were present which included people of all ages, who were divided into different teams and engaged in activities like, planting of saplings, organic manure making, farm tour, farm tending and ‘Build-a-farm’.

The ‘Build-a-farm’ contest required the teams to build their own miniature farm with the guidance of the farmers, keeping in mind the practicalities associated with setting up a real farm. It exposed the participants to farming challenges, the vagaries of nature, the intense planning and hard work involved. All the activities of the day were planned such that the participants got a deeper understanding of the farmers’ life and hence renewed respect for them and the profession of farming. Post the activities an interaction was held between the participants and farmers, where the guests spoke of their perception of farmers and farming – before they attended the event and after spending the day on the farm.

One among the participants, Ms. Priya said, ”I feel happy and content to be a part of this meaningful initiative. I came here with my husband and children and, after spending a day here, we intend to visit farms more frequently to learn about farming. It’s not always that we get a chance to spend a weekend speaking to farmers and learning more about their work. We hope this will be useful for our children to know the importance of farming and the hard work of the farming community”.

Mr.TR Kesavan, TAFE President and COO (Product Strategy & Corporate Relations) said, “We are glad to host TAFE’s ‘Be a ‘#FarmDost’ event to celebrate National Farmers’ Day. The core idea behind this event and many such events we hope to host in the future revolves around creating a bond between the farmers and the urban population. The #FarmDost initiative aims to encourage people to empathize and express gratitude to farmers – whose hard work sustains and nourishes us all. We hope the participants continue to remain #FarmDosts throughout their life. As our mission states, we will continue to cultivate the world by helping farming communities around the world prosper.”

Winners of the ‘Build-a-Farm’ challenge were presented with prizes and the farmers were also felicitated. The event was also attended by celebrity RJs and also included a musical performance by Vasu Dixit of ‘Swarathma’ to entertain both the urban and the farming community.

All the participants were presented with pomegranate saplings and a #FarmDost seed kit to continue their journey of farming and put in practice their knowledge they received from the farmers. This day at the farm by TAFE – ‘Be #FarmDost’ is another step towards, bringing the farming community back into the urban social consciousness and nurturing an environment that respects farmer and the profession of farming.

The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative:

Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE), the world’s third largest tractor manufacturer, launched the ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative with the aim to help the urban and semi-urban population understand the importance of a farmer in their lives. The initiative wants to raise empathy by encouraging people to step into the farmer’s shoes, even if for a small while. The idea stems from the thought that if people realize the effort it takes to cultivate a single crop, they would truly realize what the average farmer has to go through, day in and day out.

The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative is simple, to show gratitude to the farmers who are responsible for sustaining and nourishing us. Launched in April 2015, the initiative is spearheaded by the Corporate Communications team of TAFE. In its first phase, TAFE encouraged the urban population to become farmers in a small way using the #FarmDost seed kit to cultivate crops at home, thereby realizing the effort that goes into the food they eat every day. People were also challenged to meet farmers and thank them for their hard work that nourishes and sustains the world. To support this mission, activities have been carried out throughout the country apart from the daily activity on all its online communities.

The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative is primarily driven online, building a global community of #FarmDosts, reaching out to them across media and platforms. The aim is to communicate with and bring like-minded people together who relate to the cause and bring the farmer back into social consciousness. Within a short span, the #FarmDost community grew to become 1 million strong on Facebook and is steadily growing. It also has a notable presence on other platforms like Linkedin, YouTube, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram.

The ‘Be a #FarmDost’ initiative’s simple yet powerful message of gratitude and appreciation for the farmers and the profession of farming has resonated with society and is inspiring people to realize the true value of the invisible hero – the farmer.