KARNATAKA

Green Revolution has not helped agriculture: expert

SHIMOGA, MARCH 17. Subhash Palekar, agricultural expert from Maharashtra, said here on Thursday that the Green Revolution has in no way improved agricultural production both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Speaking as chief guest at a three-day workshop on "Natural farming with zero investment" organised by the district unit of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (Puttannaih Group), he said: "There is nothing to attribute any progress to the Green Revolution."

He said modern agricultural practices have made land barren. "It is meaningless to call India `Sujalam Suphalam' when the changes brought about by Green Revolution have turned fertile land barren," he said.

Noting that it is only through traditional, natural and time-tested agricultural practices that the country can achieve self-sufficiency in food production, Mr. Palekar explained how modern practices had caused irreparable damage to agriculture.

He noted that the overall agricultural production has declined despite the application of modern farm practices.

Mr. Palekar said sugarcane production, which used to be around 100 tonnes per hectare, has come down to 80 tonnes owing to wrong and excessive use of chemical fertilizers.

He urged farmers not to fall prey to the machinations of foreign companies and reject untested experiments suggested by them to enhance agricultural production in an artificial manner.

While appealing to the farming community to keep faith in the natural farming practices as they alone could help India achieve self-sufficiency in agriculture, he cautioned them against the serious implications of globalisation.

A progressive farmer and a winner of several State and national awards, D.R. Prafullachandra asked farmers to adopt innovations made in a natural way.

He said it is only through trial-and-error methods that farmers can realise their shortfalls and engage themselves in progressive farming methods.

The General Secretary of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, H.R. Basarajappa, said his organisation is engaged in popularising organic farming by asking farmers to return to traditional ways of farming. He said this is the third workshop being held by his organisation to promote natural farming.

He said the new agricultural policy being framed by the Centre has caused apprehension among farmers as it is aimed at introducing contract farming by allowing foreign companies to take up agriculture much to the disadvantage of Indian farmers.

B.M. Chikkaswamy, Treasurer of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha; progressive farmer Kadidal Shamanna; the General Secretary of the women's wing of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Paveethra Ramaiah; and the President of the sangha's district unit, Arabilachi Eeshanna, were present.

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