Thursday, January 27, 2011

Organic agriculture establishes an ecological balance with the nature.-‘Panchagavya’ K. Devendran speaks to Chitra

Trichy-January 25:K.Devendran promotes Panchagavya; an organic product having the potential to play the role of promoting growth and providing immunity in plant system. Panchagavya consists of nine products viz. cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd, jaggery, ghee, banana, Tender coconut and water. When suitably mixed and used, these have miraculous effects. A silent revolution is being organized by Mr.K.Devendran, President, and “Marutham (Organic Farming) Farmers Association in Sirugamani in Trichirappalli District Tamilnadu Organic agriculture establishes an ecological balance with the nature. K.Devendran, 48 years old farmer shares his views with Mrs.P.Chitra for ‘Newline/Etram’ on the importance of organic farming. K.Devendran hails from farmer's family in a village that is 35 kms away from Trichy and this area was the green belt of Tamil Nadu thanks to the Cauvery River. ‘I was doing trials on spacing and farm manure levels in paddy and millet, crops like Jowar, bajra, ragi, millets, pulses, etc. which I tried out there came out very successfully’ now I give my full time in organic agriculture.

K.Devendran said ‘food crops cultivation has come down by 50 per cent of the land’. Even in the Cauvery delta districts, which are considered to be the rice bowl of paddy cultivation, food crops have significantly come down, compared to a decade ago as farmers feel that farmers feel cultivating food crops is no longer remunerative and migration of people from villages to cities has created severe manual shortage leading to labour problems.’ Production cost is high, while selling cost is low. The soil has become barren due to indiscriminate use of chemicals and seasonal floods’ K.Devendran said. Also K.Devendaran spoke to Chitra that Organic farming is the only solution. He added ‘The intensive cultivation practices with the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and hybrid varieties have not only polluted the soil water and the environment but also affected the soil and human health. The productivity in many crops has shown declining trends. There is development of resistance among the pests against many pesticides. Heavy irrigation in command area combined with indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers has resulted in deposition of salts in soil leading to salinity-alkalinity problems eventually leading to unprofitable agriculture. In view of these issues and problems, he with the support of OFI, PVF, in SEVAI has made an intervention to provide low cost eco-friendly production technology for sustaining the livelihood security of the farming community. Various eco-friendly crop production techniques like crop rotation, green manuring, trash mulching, use of compost, animal and plant waste, vermicompost, bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides and botanical extracts are being used in integration to conserve the natural resources, It is equally important to minimize the cost of production as well as to protect human health and environment through intensive application of eco-friendly methods of organic farming. Similarly employment generation to rural youths need to be achieved through production and supply of various biological inputs like bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers. There is wide scope for promoting the export of agricultural commodities through group certification of organic farms. These objectives were thought out by K.Devendran while implementing organic farming in the villages.Compared to chemical farming, organic farming is economical as there is minimal input cost. The cultivated crop is healthy and free from toxic residues, which affect human health and it is true that one turns to organic farming the yield will be average for the first 3-4 years. That is due to over these years chemicals have been dumped in the soil making it barren, that is reason why to make productive, it requires time. In addition to the food grains production, organic agriculture establishes an ecological balance with the nature. It takes a proactive approach towards the environment as opposed to treating problems after they emerge. We need to create awareness among farmers on the organic benefits. If this is done, then there should be no problem in producing enough food for everybody. As people’s movement, on campaign mode the idea of promoting organic farming community and also the consumers will of great use. ‘Compared to chemical pesticides and fertilisers, which cause serious health ailments such as cancer and reproductive disorders in humans, there is no known case of any infection or health disorder till date affecting people consuming organically grown food, said Devendran. He also advocates Panchagavya and said that ‘there will be yield depression under normal circumstances, when the land is converted to organic farming from inorganic systems of culture.

The key feature of Panchagavya is its efficacy to restore the yield level of all crops when the land is converted from inorganic cultural system to organic culture from the very first year. The harvest is advanced by 15 days in all the crops. It not only enhances the shelf life of vegetables, fruits and grains, but also improves the taste. By reducing or replacing costly chemical inputs, Panchagavya ensures higher profit and liberates the organic farmers from loan. K,.Devendran promotes three Vermicompost production units in Amoor and farmwomen in the surrounding villages he is involved in Use of organic mulching in sugarcane and horticultural crops has become a routine practicem,Adoption of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers, Increased awareness about the ill effects of chemicals on health and environment resulting in change in the attitude to adopt the organic methodologies of agriculture ,Increased interest among the farmers for certification of organic farming, it is heartening to note in these villages. K.Devendran is known as ‘Panchagavya’ K.Devendran …the article will continue. -P.Chita

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