As Jaspal Singh Chattha, a farmer from Musewal village, near Nakodar, rattles off factors leading to increasing input cost of production in organic farming, he stumbles upon a rather sophisticated term “biodynamic farming”, a step ahead of organic farming.
“I have been practising biodynamic farming for the past three years on my 30 acres and results have been excellent. Not only the natural vegetation seems to have grown in my fields, I have more avian and mammalian guests, coupled with various kinds of organisms,” said Jaspal, a faculty of prestigious SUPA Agriculture Research Group, Nainital.He added organic farming is the need of the hour, but farmers cannot do it all alone. They need guidance and resources to adopt organic farming. “First, the Punjab government needs to realise the quantum of problem the overuse of pesticides has created, leaving soil bereft of nutrition and increasing cost of inputs for farmers.” He opined that states like Maharashtra and Uttarakhand were more sensitive towards overuse of pesticides than Punjab. “It’s much due to the fact that we have less literate politicians and that too with rigid mindset. Since the literacy rate is less, the lesser things percolate down as policies for the masses,” he added.
He appreciated a few NGOs working towards organic farming and sensitising the farming community against non-judicious use of fertilisers and pesticides. The government should awake from its slumber before Punjab starts having patches like Kohlapur, where 40,000 acres lies barren. Not even a single sprig of grass grows there, he added.
Chattha said the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, was more into propagating use of chemicals, rather than teaching farmers the basics of agriculture and encouraging them to go back on ancient farming methods.
During his visit to Daburji Jaspal gave tips to farmers on efficient farming. He said small farmers need not burn paddy stubble and instead should root out the same manually. Or the Punjab government could form cooperative at the village or cluster level and give them a machine to weed out stubble. It could be run on a rotation basis.