Indian Farmers turning towards Chemical-Free Farming
Agriculture is the oldest heritage and occupation in India. Agriculture methods have been passed down through the generations, and traditions have been effectively kept over time. The crops have been thoroughly tested and are best suited to the soil and weather conditions in India. Scientists generated new types of seeds as part of the Green Revolution, which revolutionised Indian agriculture. Chemical fertilisers for the soil and insecticides were added to produce a decent yield from these varieties of seeds while also preventing pest infestations.
Farmers were compelled to purchase not just these seeds, but also fertilisers and pesticides. They had to take out loans to finance the initial investment in the crop. The interest rates, as well as all of the other expenses, dragged the farmers deeper into a debt cycle. Farmers in some parts of India began to commit themselves because they were enslaved by debt.
The Art of Living Foundation hosts innovative agriculture programmes to assist farmers in developing their crops and being economically self-sufficient. They are taught how to select indigenous seeds and crops that are best suited to the soil and climate of the area. Farms are also taught how to cultivate, dry, preserve, store, and bundle seeds for distribution to other farmers. Villages set aside small plots for organic farming and seed development demonstrations.
At Art of Living's workshop on 'Zero Budget Natural Farming' in Jaipur, India on June 26, 2008, over 500 farmers from 25 districts and over 100 villages pledged to avoid chemical agricultural in favour of natural farming techniques for better health and the environment. This workshop was held in partnership with Bhartiya Kissan Sangh, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Rajasthan Goseva Aayog, and Rajasthan State Agriculture Marketing Board as the first step of 'Mission Green Earth.'
The course covered a wide range of topics, from agricultural planning to agricultural commerce. Farmers were educated on the negative impacts of chemicals in farming techniques, as well as how natural farming techniques can help improve soil fertility and yields of chemical-free, organic crops, boosting farming economics.
"These strategies have been quite beneficial to me. Now I can sleep soundly knowing that my crops can withstand a variety of climatic circumstances", said Krishan Jakhar, an agriculturist from Hanumangarh and one of the country's 1,20,000 farmers who have adopted these techniques.
While the budget's focus on start-ups and AgriTech would assist establish a digital ecosystem and technological inclusion in the Agri sector, the promotion of chemical-free natural farming in India will likely aid exports in the near future. Drones could boost agriculture's GDP by 1-1.5 per cent.
Rajat Wahi, partner, Deloitte India said that "Chemical-free natural farming is indeed a great news for both exports as well as the national health.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget speech that the government will encourage chemical-free natural farming across the country to enhance agricultural productivity and income for farmers.
The Budget also said that NABARD will support a fund generated under the co-investment model to finance startups in agriculture and rural enterprise that are related to the farm product value chain.
Disclaimer: All the data mentioned in this article is only for information purposes and is fetched from reliable sources.