Imphal, Jan. 15 : Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Mohanbhai Kundariya has urged farmers in Manipur to take up organic farming if they are keen on having a good and healthy society.
Kundariya was addressing participants and farmers at the Central Agricultural University after inaugurating a new academic block in the complex recently.
Manipur Agriculture Minister Abdul Nasir, Lok Sabha MP Th Meinya and CAU Vice Chancellor Professor Premjit were also present on the occasion. The dignitaries visited the museum, soil testing laboratory, seed processing unit and the agriculture expo set up by the CAU.
Kundariya said the Centre is giving more emphasis to organic farming and Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced a special scheme for the welfare of farmers that gives a fillip to organic farming.
He further said that the excessive use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and vegetation items is not only harmful for the people but also harms the soil.
Calling on farmers to take full advantage of the welfare schemes of the Centre, Kundariya appealed to them to stop using poison pesticides and insecticides.
He asked the farmers to consult experts for more innovative and effective techniques to increase production rather than using harmful chemicals.
He also said that increasing dairy production was another aim of the government.
He said the farmers of Manipur should join the dairy popularisation movement.
Kundariya said he and his team had compiled a report of the grievances of farmers in the state which will be submitted to the Prime Minister.
He said that this way the Prime Minister will be able to act accordingly.
"This visit was made in accordance with the Prime Minister's advice to visit every state and take an assessment and help in implementing the centrally-sponsored schemes in the states," Kundariya said.
A USDA study team has defined organic farming as "a system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, feed additives etc) and to the maximum extent feasible rely upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral grade rock additives and biological system of nutrient mobilization and plant protection".
The FAO has defined organic agriculture as "a unique production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity, and this is accomplished by using on-farm agronomic, biological and mechanical methods in exclusion of all synthetic off-farm inputs".
Organic farming system in India is not new and is being followed from ancient time. It is a method of farming system which primarily aimed at cultivating the land and raising crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by use of organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes (bio-fertilizers) to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco friendly pollution free environment.
Indian farmers were basically organic farmers before the advent of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Overtime the use of these synthetic inputs has come to the level of causing a concern to the environment and human health. Consequently, it is felt necessary to advocate the use of the age-old practice of organic farming not only to ensure uncontaminated food production but also to sustain the agriculture by keeping the land in a healthy condition.