Practicisng Western agriculture, steady depletion of the soil productivity, poor agricultural policies and debt crisis of farmers in the country have stagnated the growth of Indian agriculture, L Narayana Reddy, a pioneer in organic farming said.
During an interactive session on “Gandhian Thought and Sustainable Living” organised by the Centre for Gandhian Studies of Bangalore University, in collaboration with the Bhoomi College for Sustainable Living, Reddy stated that a return to sustainable agriculture was the need of the hour today.
Later on during an interview to Express, Reddy listed out the problem and solution concerning present day agriculture. According to him no farmer keeps an account of the expenses incurred to produce crops. If the accounts were maintained, then he can fix a better price for the produce. In fact, for every litre of milk produced, our farmers are losing Rs 10.
Owing to continuous application of chemical fertilizers, the humus content in soil has come down to 0.2 per cent this year from three per cent during 1960. Another reason for reduction of humus content of the soil is negligence in conserving soil. Perhaps, the farmers need to think beyond agricultural universities, agro-industries which are just ruining the farm sector. Similarly, farmers should get organised and identify customer base to directly sell their produce.
This can happen with a cooperative model. Only then farmers can demand better price for their produce.
“Our farmers need to ring the bell. Nobody raises voice against the malpractice happening in APMCs. This has to change,” he said.