While the nation reflects on the recovery process of the ongoing pandemic and appreciates the frontline fighters for their courage and resilience, Sarsabz lauds the ones combating on the invisible frontline who play an essential role in the provision of food to the whole country- the unsung heroes- our farmers. The video garnered 5.1k likes within a couple of days on Sarsabz’s Facebook page, which is followed mostly by the farmer community, and became an embodiment of their voice to recognize Sarsabz’s efforts in stretching an arm of support and encouragement to them.
Until now media coverage has focused on ‘essential workers’ getting the world through this time of insecurity, such as health workers, police and supermarket staff, but other unsung heroes who are at the first step of the food value chain need equal recognition as well. With COVID-19 cases rising and lockdowns extended in Pakistan, the impact on health and economy was felt rather much earlier on the food basket.
While many businesses ceased during nationwide lockdowns and a complete halt of transport services was observed, farmers and food producers kept working despite facing severe challenges. Like other frontline fighters, they too braced themselves to face these challenges and ensure food security for the nation by all means possible, and therefore should be duly recognized as the Food Heroes of Pakistan.
The video revolves around an innocent conversation of two kids who miss their fathers’ presence at the occasion of Eid who are away from their loved ones to fulfill their responsibilities of serving their country in their respective domains. The children see their parents as superheroes who have chosen a greater purpose over their own happiness and that of their families. The video aptly reframes our understanding of the invisible frontline and the essential role of farmers, being our unsung heroes in this crisis, for the provision of food to the whole country.
Check out the video below
While on one hand erratic weather conditions resulting in untimely rains, and the threat of locust attacks pose great worries for the farmers, extended lockdowns have done no less in crippling their already poor economic conditions. Transport of perishable crops such as vegetables and fruits got affected the most and most of the farmers had to sell their produce at throwaway prices after being disconnected from nearby markets.
This was heart wrenching for many farmers since they had carefully worked this whole time on these crops in the hopes of fetching better returns on their harvesting. Wheat harvesting season also fell during this crisis and faced its own challenges. Even as safety and survival is considered a primary concern for a vast majority of population in Pakistan, the farmers have taken upon themselves to brace the storm and protect the nation from any possible food crisis by becoming the stewards of agriculture.
Sadly, many of us don’t realise that these farmers who represent the backbone of our economy are under immense unprecedented pressures while they shoulder the responsibility of feeding the nation. Nonetheless, it was refreshing to see Sarsabz recognising the need to appreciate the farmers in a fitting way on digital platforms to ensure that their message reaches out far and wide, as the whole nation is connected through social media under lockdown situation.
Sarsabz has always been vocal in support of farmers and has time and again introduced different assistance programs for them to help them increase their crop yield in order to uplift their economic conditions. The appreciation for the role of farmers in ensuring food security amid COVID-19 was a much needed step towards accepting them as one of the true unsung heroes in these testing times