August 25, 2015 1:55:52 am
The Maharashtra government is drawing up a comprehensive plan to promote organic farming in a phased manner as an alternative to chemical fertilisers. The Ministry of Agriculture is preparing the draft and special allocations will be made to meet the target. The stress on organic farming reflects the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s view that chemical fertilisers should be done away with and organic manure should replace it.
The Devendra Fadnavis government, under the banner of “sashwat sheti” (assured farming), has roped in non-government organisations related to agriculture, irrigation and industries to adopt a model to bring down expenses on farming, make it more health-centric and assure better financial returns to farmers. Organic farming finds a special mention in the wholistic approach of the government’s agriculture policy. It stresses how organic farming would help restore soil quality affected due to excessive use of chemical fertilisers.
Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse said, “A comprehensive draft report on implementation of organic farming, along with special budget, is being worked out. Organic farming would be promoted aggressively to replace chemical farming in a phased manner.”
The minister said, “Apart from awareness campaigns, we will have to make organic compost available to replace chemical fertilizers rampantly used by farmers hoping to get higher and quicker yields.”
At its July 22-24 meeting in Nainital, RSS brass emphasised on organic farming. The RSS Sahasarkaryavah, Vadia Bhagaiah, had stated in the Organiser, “The RSS wants to get rid of chemical farming and motivate farmers to adopt organic farming.” The RSS and affiliated organisations working in the field of agriculture have decided to reach out to farmers across villages to impart lessons on organic farming.
The RSS believes organic farming would automatically lead to protection of cows, and even old cows that have stopped giving milk cold generate money from dung and urine for organic farming.
Khadse said any farm product that is waste can be converted to organic manure. The decision to set up gokul grams for sheltering old cows was to make use of cow dung and urine for organic manure.
The minister said, “The cowsheds would be modified to transform cowdung into liquid manure. It would be used in fields.” Apart from crop rotation and green manure, vermi-composting will be taught to farmers willing to undertake organic farming.
Use of chemical fertilisers had jumped almost by 60 per cent in the last two decades. It, however, led to erosion of nutrients in the soil.
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