AMRAVATI: It’s not only chemical farming, organic farming too serves up poison in your plate. “Both are alien farming methods and serve poison in our plate,” said Subhash Palekar, noted agriculture expert, at a workshop organized by agriculture department and IFAD ( International Fund for Agriculture Development) on Tuesday.
Elaborating on benefits of zero budget natural farming techniques, Palekar said organic farming is more dangerous than chemical farming. He explained that the fertility of any farm depends on the humus content. “Microorganisms used in vermiculture (type of organic farming), like eisenia foetida stop the formation of humus, which affects fertility of farm land. Also, heavy elements like lead, cadmium, mercury cannot be eliminated by vermiculture, and are absorbed by food stuff. Zero budget natural farming is the solution for this,” he said.
He added, “One need not invest a lot of money in zero budget natural farming. Only a cow is required for this farming pattern.” One gram of cow dung contains around 300 crore microbes, which help to develop the fertility of the soil by increasing humus.”
He overruled the general misconception that hybrid seeds double the yield. He said hybrid seeds produce double yield as compared to natural seeds only after use of chemical fertilizers. Palekar said it is a conspiracy by multinational companies to sell their products. “Those who buy hybrid seeds have to buy chemical fertilizers to boost yield,” he said, adding that every year chemical farming leads to outgo of lakhs of crores from India,” he said.
Trying to explain farmers’ suicide, Palekar blamed natural calamities, lack of proper market management, policies of government and incessant increase of production expenditure, and suggested natural farming to help solve the problem.
He said, India doesn’t have sufficient DAP fertilizers because phosphoric acid is not available in abundance. “In future it would be difficult to get chemical fertilizers too,” he said.
‘Govt mulling zero budget farming scheme’
Palekar told TOI that the government is mulling zero budget farming scheme in five districts of farmer suicide belt. In Wardha, the scheme will be implemented by IFAD. He said around 40 lakh farmers in India use natural farming. It has great scope and saves subsidy for the government given on various inputs. Also, produce obtained through natural farming has greater demand, so it can be sold at double the market price.
“First, the administration will select a village for the pilot project and ten farmers in the village will be given training for natural farming,” he said. From June 2012, full-fledged projects will start in Amravati, he added.