Sharnappa Mudgal, Joint Director of Agriculture, has underlined the need for farmers to revert to organic farming to protect the health of the soil, environment and also of people.
He was speaking at a day-long symposium on creating “Social awareness on the need for reverting to organic/natural farming”, organised by the Department of Economics in the Vijayanagar Sri Krishnadevaraya University in association with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) here on Wednesday.
“To ensure that the country attained self-sufficiency in food production in view of the increasing population, high-yielding variety crops were being introduced along with use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Farmers were forced to adopt the new method of farming which had become inevitable to achieve food production targets. But over the years, excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides had had a disastrous effect not only on the soil but also on the public health, and on the environment. In this background, today’s farming technique needs to be totally transformed by reverting to organic/natural farming,” he said.
Mr. Mudgal said that it was heartening to note that even the government was keen on encouraging organic farming and the State was the first to come out with a policy on this. Efforts are on to make it a sustainable one.
Suresh Gowda, an organic farmer from Hulkoti in Gadag district, explained the positive points of organic farming and the ill-effects of the use of chemical fertilizers, especially on consumers.
“Under organic farming, we can make use of locally available resources, to get good yield with quality ensured. Now the onus is on the farmers to protect the natural resources before passing it on to posterity,” he said.
Vice-Chancellor of Sri Krishnadevaraya University M.S. Subhas underlined the need for the government to focus more on encouraging organic farming and also on protecting the interests of farmers who have always been at the receiving end.
Exhorting the youth to come forward to take up organic farming, Mr. Subhas said that the university was contemplating establishing agro-biotech incubation centre to extend all assistance to farmers keen on taking up organic farming and also to those interested in establishing processing units.
T.M. Bhaskar, Registrar, and S.A. Patil, Registrar (Evaluation), spoke. S.K.K. Bharadwaj, Assistant General Manager, NABARD, Vajantri, Chief Manager, Lead District Bank, were present.
Basavaraj Benni, head of the Department of Economics, welcomed the gathering.