Working in agriculture can be a solitary business with great impacts on worker’s emotional health and wellbeing.
Not only can this be from the isolation of jobs in the sector, but can be due to a great uncertainty about finances in the economy, meeting government requirements, changing weather patterns and extreme weather events, as well as generally too much to do in too little time.
A recent paper from the International Institute for Environment and Development titled Networking for Sustainable Agriculture: Lessons from Animal Traction Development highlights how in the ideal world, those who are involved with similar areas of farming, agricultural research, training and support in the sector should be well linked.
But it then goes onto say that “In the real world, those involved in agricultural development experience very separate realities, and tend to work in isolation from the wider experiences of others.
This is whether they are on a farm, or in an NGO office, international research centre, government ministry or aid agency headquarters,”This specific study looking at Animal Traction Development – a subsection of the broader agriculture industry – highlights a hugely common issue of loneliness and isolation that affects many people working in the sector.
This isolation, along with the aforementioned stresses in the job can progress to serious mental illness for individuals, and sadly can sometimes lead to tragedies.