Farmers are being advised to revert to traditional practices in farming to make it sustainable in future
Experts at a workshop on climate change and sustainable agriculture have opined that the Green Revolution has done more harm than good to the agriculture sector in the country from a long term perspective. They suggested that farmers return to traditional practices in farming in order to make the vocation sustainable in future.
Representatives of non-governmental organisations working on poverty alleviation and sustainable agriculture and experts in the field of agriculture and related areas gathered here from four southern States to deliberate upon the subject.
The two-day consultation meet was inaugurated in the RDT-Accion Fraterna Ecology Centre near here on Friday.
In the key note address on “Impact of climate change on agriculture and food security : Challenges and way forward”, activist on climate change and sustainable agriculture Dr. Nammalwar remarked that the present farm sector scenario could be better explained as ruining of all farmers and flourishing of all merchants.
It was most important for sustainable agriculture that everything should be available from within and nothing should come from outside. Explaining the philosophy, he stated that all farm and home needs in villages be made available from within. Seed and other inputs should be mobilised locally with organic farming.
All farm needs like making of traditional agriculture implements should be possible in the village itself.
The very idea of Green Revolution including the name and technology were borrowed from America. Inputs for GR like seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides were imported from the West.
The impact left over the half a century was that half of the country’s cultivable lands had become saline with excessive use of chemicals and the productivity was coming down drastically.
This was predicted by none other than M.S. Swaminathan, the father of GR in the country, himself in 1966. He had also gone on to say in one of his reports that the country had no agriculture policy for 60 years.
We could overcome the problem only by going back to our traditional practices of farming. Organic farming meant not just putting organic manure in the soil but understanding the natural cycle of growing crops. Striking ecological balance with environment-friendly practices was the need of the hour as climate change was affecting agriculture and agriculture was contributing to climate change, he stressed.