Staff Reporter

ERODE: Farmers have to believe in themselves for agriculture to improve, Swami Harihara Thirtha has said.

On the sidelines of a farmers’ meeting, he told The Hindu that the trouble started when farmers started listening to others and not self meaning, they started growing crops for profit and making money as demanded by society.

If the farmer had listened to his self, his conscience, he would not have used chemicals to grow food and supply poisonous food to society. He had instead listened to bureaucrats and agriculture scientists, and that was the cause of trouble, said the Swami, a doctorate from Stanford University.

“Farmer has to grow crop for himself and his family and not money. If thats the attitude then agriculture will improve.” He pointed out that in 1940s and 1950s, the farmer had all that he needed for agriculture and did not go out to get an input.

“In fact, you can never see a farmer in front of a Government office for seeds or fertilizers.”

“He met all his requirements for the farm by himself and his requirements from the farm. The farmer fed not only his family but also others without having to buy anything from outside,” said the Swami, also a former IAS officer.