Published on The Asian Age (http://www.asianage.com)
Maha. State report on farming gets thumbs up
Created 9 Mar 2016 - 00:00
Chairman of the National Commission on farmers
In his message to Mr Tiwari, which Mr Tiwari shared with The Asian Age, Mr Swaminathan has said, “Thank you very much for your kind letter concerning your report on promoting non-chemical farming. I agree with you that there is a great opportunity for promoting an evergreen revolution leading to increase in productivity in perpetuity without associated ecological harm. In this connection, I give below an abstract from a lecture I gave in the Indian Science Congress in Jan. 1968. I wish you continued success in the very important work you are doing.”
The task force appointed by the state government to curb the growing number of suicides has suggested that the government should ask farmers of 14 suicide-prone districts to adopt the Sikkim-pattern of non-chemical farming.
The report filed by the committee said that the rain-sensitive cash crop in these 14 crisis-driven districts has seen uncontrolled use of fertilizers, pesticide which has resulted in serious deterioration of soil health and pest virus epidemic.
“Besides, dipping of ground water level, spread of complex multiple public health and ecological issues of environmental degradation have been alarming. Therefore, farmers should adopt the non-chemical environment friendly non-toxic agrarian practices,” said Mr Tiwari, farmer leader who is part of the committee.
Mr Tiwari said that delay in following this recommended practices will aggravate farmers’ distress in future. “Reintroduction of oil seed and pluses which require less water is a must. It will also help restore soil quality. This agenda should be implemented to revive agriculture in drought-affected regions,” stated the report.
The report also states that to make Maharashtra drought-free, soil moisture management has to be done. “The chief minister’s dream project Jalyukta Shivar and importance of soil moisture enrichment must be highlighted. Besides, the all small water sources and rivers will also have to be revived. These sources are currently dead, and hence, with the help of civil society and rural masses at large, this movement should be taken to the next level. People are already participating and turning this Jalyukta Shivar to a mission. The government has already started working with the support of NGOs to supplement the state’s efforts to make Maharashtra completely drought-free,” mentioned the report.