Sunday, 30 July 2017

Action or awareness?


Everyone is ‘aware’ of the farmer suicides scaling up each day with the
plights still not inching the end. Everyone is ‘aware’ of the recurring protests
spearheaded in the capital. Everyone is ‘acquainted’ with the methods of
protest that the peasants staged to present their destitute state. We are just
aware’. With this condition unceasing, the crying need is ‘ACTION’ and not
awareness. This doesn’t mean a group of angry youngsters jumping into
the protest field or a huddle agitating in Marina. The realistic solution for
this issue roots from the scratch-emphasizing agriculture to be a part of
school education. Just like moral science being a section to be imbibed in
the curriculum, why can’t a way of living like agriculture be inculcated too?
If that’s the case, how can the syllabi be shaped up?

The subject must focus on renaissance of Indian agriculture, agricultural
practices, seed and planting techniques, soil tests. This may sound tedious
for a 10-year- old. But the subject must concentrate more on hands-on
experience rather than being a boring book. Here are some of the
techniques that can be incorporated:


Borrowing the words of Aeschylus “From a small seed a mighty trunk may
grow”. The life starts from seed and this begins from home, so the
collection of seeds from home to outdoor implants a quest. The plantation
of seeds helps in understanding the science behind the life cycle of a seed.
Once they are introduced into sprouting process, it can be extended to
simple agricultural practices like container farming. 

Container farming involves the use of any container at home with holes
drilled at the bottom for plantation. The right amount of space and right
conditions makes this space-efficient technique a success.

An interesting activity that attracts any age is seed bombs or seed balls.
Seeds combined with the mixture of clay and manure are wrapped into
lumps and thrown like balls. This seed propagation method that is non-
destructive to soil health is ideal for urban areas. 

After cultivation comes the nourishing part which involves the preparation
of natural manures. This can be done by converting leaf litters into manures
which highlights waste management.

Periodic farm and agricultural area visits are inevitable. This gives an
exposure on the real ‘groundwork’ behind the production of food. Farmers
share their wisdom and this makes the pain behind their laborious work
more apprehend.

Beyond books

Agriculture isn’t something based only on land or crops. The TNAU
(Tamilnadu Agricultural University) offers nearly 12 agricultural courses
comprising of B.Sc (Agriculture), B.Sc (Agribusiness management), B.Tech
(Agricultural engineering). It can also be melded with technology with
B.Tech (Agricultural Information Technology) standing as a testimony. It is
the backbone that drives our economy with its dormant scope.

- Akshaya Ramani
  NanSei Nilam

Monday, 10 July 2017

Why do we need organic farming?


After green revolution there has been no great agricultural movement in our country and recent researches have revealed the drastic rise in health issues with consumption of food cultivated through artificial methods. Taking these things into account,getting back to the conventional agricultural practices is the need of the hour

But the yield in traditional method is low and time consuming too. A method that meets this with high yield being eco friendly at the same time is 'Organic farming'.

Organic farming involves the usage of natural manure strictly prohibiting artificial fertilizers ensuring sustainability and enhancement of soil fertility. Organic farming is proved to be self reliant and stable due to cut down in the use of chemicals.Usage of naturally occurring pesticides like legumes and pyrethrin helps in nitrogen fixation thus increasing the organic content in the soil.

This leads to food and health safety and opens a good market for organic food as well. Suitable techniques are adopted including crop rotation,inter cropping in addition to the emphasis on green manures.

Green manures obtained from farm wastes,leaf litter,crop residue replaces the nutrients taken from the soil and allows natural production of nutrients.This accelerates the biological processes being cost effective too.

Poultry and livestock play a prominent role as the animal excreta like cow dung is blended with earthworms in the production of vermi-compost. This encourages animal husbandry and is an ideal way for farm waste management.
Crop rotation popularly known as 'Poly-culture', involves the cultivation of dissimilar crops in the same land space as a result of which the soil is enriched by nutrients.By this technique,the nutrients leached in the previous harvest are restored back increasing the organic content of the soil.Insects and micro organisms of various kinds are also benefited,hence curtailing their extinction. 

Inter-cropping,an analogous method controls pest buildup and enriches the soil.The financial risks are reduced with the hike in the yield.

G Nammalvar ,the messiah of organic farming,is known for holding a vast repository in farming insisted organic farming as a 'way of living' which is possible even in this 21st century. He has trained a large number of youngsters and shared his knowledge.Having sown the seeds of organic farming,its in our hands to let it germinate and grow into strong trees.

-Akshaya Ramani
 NanSei Nilam