Friday, July 17, 2009

ORGANIC FARMING

Any agriculture system has a duty towards feeding the earth and it has to fulfill this responsibility using safe and sustainable methods and technologies. Organic farming is a set of simple practices which bring into picture a diverse, healthy and sustainable crop production system, without the use of poisonous chemicals like pesticides and fertilisers. It is a responsible way of farming which ensures that healthy, chemical-free food is produced without harming the environment.

It is a fallacy that organic farming leads to loss in productivity - it is proven that after a short period of a drop in yields, organic farming is more productive than chemical farming. Organic farming is also cheaper to practice than chemical agriculture. It is turning out to be the only way to farm, taking into account farmer conditions, environmental conditions and the health needs of the consumer.

In India there are some negative fallouts of traditional way of farming.These are

  1. Loss of seed diversity

· 2. Contamination of water resources by pesticides - the twin controversies in 2003 regarding pesticide content in bottled drinking water and aerated beverages in India hardly came as a surprise to many working with the environment and in farming. Even if we blame beverage manufacturers (and rightly-so) for allowing pesticide residue in their products and treating human health so cheaply, the fact remains that pesticides got into the water supply in the first place only because of the agriculture system which uses them

3.Falling ground water levels - agricultural chemicals require plenty of water to respond, hybrids also usually need more water compared to local varieties

· 4. Greater dependence of farmers for external inputs, and increased risks incurred by them on account of higher crop production expenses and lower net returns

5.Poor soil quality.

Some tested techniques of Organic Farming

Biological / natural pest and weed control

Composting

Cover cropping

Crop rotation

Diversity on the farm

Do-nothing farming

Effective Microorganism (EM)

Green manuring and green leaf manuring

Homa farming

Indigenous seeds

Intercropping

Integration of systems

Living fences

Microbial biofertilisers

Mulching

Multicropping

Multipurpose trees

Permaculture

Polyculture

Reduced tillage

Soil and water conservation

Specialised organic farming techniques

Vermicomposting

According to the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD), about 2.5 million hectares of land was under organic farming in India in 2004. Further, there are over 15,000 certified organic farms in India. India, therefore is one of the most important suppliers of organic food to the developed nations. No doubt, the organic movement has again started in India




Courtesy:Sattvic Farms

Flat 4A, North Tower, 4th floor

2/3 Judges Court Road

Kolkata - 700027, India.

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