Peanut Farmers Toil

Peanut Farmer farms Northern Karnataka
During this season of plenty, we turn our hearts and minds to farmers who toil the land, and bring food to our tables. Their's is a difficult life!

Indian farmers would celebrate, simply breaking even. Many are frustrated by the cycle of debt and end their lives, leaving their families deeper in debt! According to Govt of India figures, more that 17,000 farmers committed suicide in 2003 alone, and the plague continues. Read NY Times article here. This is when India is celebrating stratospheric stock market valuations, rocketing real estate prices, aspiring for 'superpower' status and newly empowered youth are lining up for MacDonald's greasy fries and sloshing their brains in imported vodka! This is globalization, I guess!

During an earlier trip to India, we traveled through northern Karnataka visiting many of the temples on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We passed this little peanut farm. This farmer (above) oversaw a crew of women, weeding and working the fields. He was thrilled to see us city slickers and enthusiastically pulled out a plant to show us the peanuts on the roots.

Women removing weeds by hand in the peanut field. This is where we need the innovations! Forget about writing new code to make the next generation of messaging! We want more peanuts!
women weeding at a peanut farm in Northern Karnataka pics by Arun Shanbhag
Raw peanuts are heaped and allowed to dry for a few days.
Peanut farm in Northern Karnataka pics by Arun Shanbhag
Another portrait of the farmer.
Peanut farmer in Northern Karnataka pics by Arun Shanbhag
M was instantly in love with these water buffalo calfs! Simply Adorable!
Somebody, please feed them!
water buffalo calfs at a Peanut farm in Northern Karnataka pics by Arun Shanbhag

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10 thoughts on “Peanut Farmers Toil

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  1. dt 19th Jan 2011.
    Namaskar Arun
    Liked your post very much.

    Today is Shakambari Poornima-
    the day of Divine Mother of Crops -Greens & Grains and like Annapoorni Mata.
    WE have to at last pay respect and remember the Kisan –
    see how we can help- and awaken those in indifference to Agriculture in India, but expect Food on Tables ready to eat!! —Fast Food??

    Dr Swaminathan in Chennai Foundation has been working on this -but we have a long way to go with Govt policy of going for just IT-Automobile- Techo &Industry at the cost of Agriculture badly neglected and at te mercy of Moneylenders et al .
    Other Industry are on priority-even Fashion clothing, as it is fact “Quick bucks”-and scans, shams abounding.

    Read also this piece from the Times of India
    ‘Our freedom was born with hunger, we’re still not free’ –

    Thanks your excellent coverage of the Peanut Farmer. Dr Carver of USA was featured in Readers Digest in 1979-great inspiring read-Please see


    1. Capt – Thank you.
      You have made some excellent points and I completely agree. The majority of the population still is involved in agriculture and the Govt simply pays lip-service to this majority and so important segment of our country.

      And as Mr Swaminathan implies in his piece, we need to take a holistic and scientific approach to agriculture. It is also shaming to us that 1000’s of farmers are still committing suicide as they cannot fulfill their obligations to their families.


  2. Karnataka is such a blessed part of India…So much culture and it seems everything we plant, grows there!!!!

    1. Thank you Clelia for your kind comment.
      I love Karnataka as you probably inferred from the scores of articles I have on Karnataka and Kumta. That’s where I was born too 🙂


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