Indian agriculture - how to prosper farming and farmers?


It's go back to basic time!

As we all know India's economy is well depended on agriculture, how can we accept that our agriculture field is not that developed yet? Is that lack of knowledge to blame on? Or is it that farmers are loosing interest in agriculture and moving away from?     

 Organic farming is not a new concept, farmers had been using it since ancient time.  Until early 80's, very few farmers were using pesticides and synthetic growth products for farming in my small village in Gujarat. At that time, either they did not have knowledge of those chemicals or they were not able to afford them. What ever reason it was - was a boon for those people around who were lucky to consume that organic produces. They hardly knew what organic produce was. 

          In 1987-88 drought, farmers had hard time to survive two years in row without any farming income. They had to get rid of their valuables or let go of their beloved cattle stock, it was so heart wrenching. Government and NGO's worked together to help them. Later on, people started to experiment with those growth enhancing chemicals and pesticides. With lack of complete knowledge and needy background led them to all those shining perks. Very soon, every one was using those chemicals. Without understanding pros and cons only aim was - how to come out of that overwhelming debt? Or even lighten it little bit.

          Luckily my Grandfather, a 1st grade dropout from 1920 did not allow any of those chemical dragons in our farms until his last breath - 2006. He preferred natural fertilizers like composted cow dung and pesticides over chemicals. So we had a great chance to consume organic vegetables, fruits, grains and seeds -groundnuts in our childhood.
Agriculture - ways to improve and prosper farmers.


           Science has proved a link between pesticides in food and diseases, we need to take more precautions. In Punjab, there is an area described as 'cancer belt' - where excessive pesticide use caused cancer are very common. It is our duty to educate small village farmers about natural fertilizer and pesticides importance and applicability, otherwise we all have to deal with consequences.

         Once you start using those chemicals, your land gets dependent on them.  Every season you need to use them. And before you know and understand, land is caught in that chemical cycle - which is not easy to break. It is just like an addiction - easy to start and difficult to get rid of. Repetitive use of chemicals takes land's natural fertility away. Why you would go behind that temporary gain and damage you land permanently?

          There is a miss conception in the word 'organic crop'. Organic crop does not mean you should avoid fertilizers and pesticide totally. Organic farming also uses some of the fertilizers and pesticides - the condition is it should be natural - not chemicals.

Organic fertilizer: 
         Use organic fertilizer in agriculture is not new - your older generation used it already. Mostly you can make your own composted fertilizer from your cattle's dung and urine - or any other animal waste.  Other than widely used compost, there are other options, two. Like fish emulsion and hydrolyzed liquid fish or bone meal. All of these have very good N-P-K ratio and takes couple months to dissolve through microbial process, hence need to apply months before.

Organic pesticide:  
          Organic pesticide is derived from cattle urine, neem tree, timur, garlic, etc.

Predatory insects: As per that saying 'Jer nu maaran Jer' - means poison's cure is poison, predatory insects like ladybugs and predatory mice can kill some species of the pests.

Crop rotation: Keep rotating crops, so pests can not have permanent habitat around the land. Planting different crop each season also promotes soil fertility. Planting legumes, a plant that helps crop through nitrogen fixing bacteria and then planting crop that can use high level of nitrogen helps the crops yield.

Inter-cropping or diversity: Planting two or more crops in same farm takes away pests from their host plant. Planting a variety of crops on a farm increases distance between same plant and makes it harder for pests to target main host crop and survive. 





Please see: I have Gujarati translation on next Post - ખેતી - અર્થતંત્રનું મૂળ 

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