One thing is clear that there is low awareness at the producer level on the difference between conventional farming and organic farming. At the consumer level there is confusion between natural and organic products and limited understanding of the health benefits of organic food products. The increasing number of suicides by farmers is due to their dependency on fertilizers, which take away a huge portion of their earnings, rendering them indebted to moneylenders.
As environmental awareness spreads, organic food and the organic farming that supplies its ingredients have been attracting a lot of attention due to their direct relationships to nutrition and the environment, both essential for our survival. We all are aware that there is an overuse of fertilizers, pesticides and water, which is at the root of all problems today. No one is conceptually against organic farming. But our knowledge and expertise in the “science” of organic farming is inadequate to realise the productivity potential of our high-yielding crop varieties.
Organic agriculture is the best insurance policy that India can have for its population with better performance on productivity, environmental impact, economic viability and social well-being. Chemical farming, which involves spraying of pesticides and use of fertilizers, is not only financially burdening the farmers, but also wreaking havoc on the soil and ruining the health of the people and wasting water.
He said that it was the need of the hour to promote and adopt organic farming which was possible only when every farmer starts rearing domestic cows. He said that one cow could be helpful in farming 30 acres of land and added that it would improve fertility of the soil, producing maximum yield by using minimum water and getting remunerative price for their product. He said that domestic cow was useful in every respect and with the help of traditional farming, revolution in agri sector could be generated. Organic farming also plays an important role in the amount of water needed to sustain plants. It helps in preventing global warming by preventing the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Humans are fast running out of fresh water for their day to day use and the current farming methods contaminate water bodies.
Organic farming also has the cost benefits associated with it. Organic products can be sold for higher prices than non-organic foods and is actually very easy to do but for this the biggest challenge is not using store-bought fertilizers but, as mentioned previously, manure is a great alternative that yields higher quality crops and is incredibly cheap. The larger quantity of produce one gets from the use of fertilizer and pesticides aren’t worth the risks on human life and bio diversity.
“Training, camps and awareness at the grassroots level is a must. Organic farming is beneficial but calls for a planned strategy. Only then will farmers adopt it. Modern farming and organic farming have not helped farmers in increasing their income,” he said, adding natural farming would help realise the dream of PM Modi to double the income of farmers. The farmers should adopt organic farming and reduce or avoid usage of pesticides. Organic farming does not include the use of any artificial additives that can cause serious health issues if consumed. Most produce that is available today isn’t fully safe to consume as a lot of them have traces of the artificial fertilizers and pesticides that were sprayed on them during growth.
What we need is to encourage organic farming and our agriculture universities should become part of it via promoting research of organic farming. No doubt, organic farming presents many challenges. Some crops are more challenging than others to grow organically; however, nearly every commodity can be produced organically. We must remember that organic produce can usually qualify for higher prices than non-organic products. With the increase in population our compulsion would be not only to stabilize agricultural production but to increase it further in sustainable manner. Don’t we think it is time to look at the health benefits of organic produce?