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organic culture

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  • arunk sharma
    Dear Group members ,  I am sharing text of my article published in the Agriculture Today magzine, New Delhi in Feb 2010 issue. This aritlce is near to the
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 14, 2010
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      Dear Group members ,
       I am sharing text of my article published in the Agriculture Today magzine, New Delhi in Feb 2010 issue. This aritlce is near to the natural farming principals however I used word organic just because of familirity to mass.
      Hope you will find interesting .Please send your comments.
      Sincerely
      Arun K.Sharma
       
      __________________________________________________________________ 
      Organic culture : solving global problems Simply & Locally 
      Arun K. Sharma,
        Jodhpur – 342003, INDIA
      Organic :A culture
                Organic agriculture is not a name of group of technologies or a movement against chemical agriculture. In true sense it is a concept or approach to make agriculture near to nature, simple, sustainable and safe to the society. This concept is based on one universal fact that food is the basic need of living being and it can only be produced through biological process, essentially with the help of nature. Interestingly our ancestors understand this fact made agriculture a part of culture all over the world.
      Misuse of Science
                Science is the way to understand nature's processes/ principles and to use them for the welfare of living society one earth. However, during last 60-70 years the use of science was promoted in some sectors to overcome nature. One such sector is doing agriculture with chemicals. In the chemical agriculture seed (genetically modified) fertilizers and pesticides are inputs and soil is a machine that converts these inputs into food. Due to great buffer capacity of soil this practice gives production upto 10-15 years and thereafter soil looses fertility, more inputs lesser production, besides this, several environmental and social consequences e.g.  pollution in soil, air and water, loss of biodiversity debt burden on farmers (lead to sucide) loss of cooperative sprit, loss of employment in village and migration to cities etc. As these effects are clearly visible now a days therefore without giving details it would be better to find
      solution.
      Go organic: Simplest solution:
                As  mentioned earlier  agriculture is  a way to get nature's gift i.e. the food and  it can be done easily if produced with the help of nature (organic), If it is produced by forcing  nature to produce with the use of GM seed, fertilizers, pesticides (chemicals) etc., it may neither be profitable nor sustainable as visible everywhere. Therefore, to get nature's gift organic agriculture is based on three basic principals:-
      1.     Optimum use of locally available natural resources (soil, rain water, seeds etc.)
      2.     Maintaining biodiversity (Agro forestry, Crop rotation, integrating  animals)
      3.     Taking cooperation of natives (plants, animals) and neighbors
      In fact, this was our tradition, that needs to revive with the understanding of modern scientific understanding. Several farmers successfully getting similar amount of production in organic farming by just improving traditions, as others get in initial years of chemical farming. This production they are getting with additional advantage of low cost of production due to recycling of local resources.
      Organic farming is very simple as just to watch nature's processes and try to promote them. e.g.  harvest rainwater, crop diversity, use of compost, use of bio-pesticides like neem etc. However, on the name of scientific advancement use of isolated microorganism (EM, VAM bio-fertilizers etc), bio- pesticides (Azadiractin, Metraziam etc.) may lead to increase cost and complexity as well as disturb ecological balance in future. Therefore, simplest form of organic farming in synergism with nature may only be feasible and sustainable. Only need is to make it more simple with the use of science and more cheaper so that every farmer can adopt and every consumer and buy organic products.
      Solving Problem with Organic:
      With the research in last 25 years and experiences gained world over it has been found that organic farming is a safe approach for solving environmental problems. Problems of pollution due to fertilizers and pesticides can be easily controlled by using organic manures in place of chemicals.
      Mitigating effect of climate change:
      Climate change and global warming is emerging a major threat to the life on earth. Since agriculture is being done under the open sky therefore, it will be most affected system that will dwindle food security. Adopting organic farming can help to great extent to at least slow down this harming process.  World wide 90 million tons of mineral oil or natural gas are processed to get nitrogenous fertilizers every year. This generates 250 million tons of CO2 emission. On the contrary, organic farms return 575 to 700 Kg CO2/ha to the soil. Organic farming thus reduces CO2 emission by eliminating synthetic fertilizers and at the same time reduces atmospheric concentration of this gas by storing in the soil, a win-win system. Further, soils with higher humus content can adapt to the adverse effect of climate change.
      Efficient use of Limited Water:
      Water is becoming the most scarce resource for agriculture. Use of synthetic fertilizers not only increases water demand of crop but also reduces water holding capacity of soils. Contrary to this chemical farming, it has been found by experiments and experiences that use of organic manure increase soil water  holding capacity  and crop water use efficiency that reduces number of irrigation or increases drought tolerance.
      Linking Society:
      Traditionally food production was done with cooperative sprit in term of exchange of seed, labour support to each other among farmers etc. After advent of centralized supply of seed, fertilizers and tractor power, farmers become self centred, employment opportunity in village reduced drastically, so many villagers migrated to cities and become daily wage labour, many farmers sold land or committed suicide due to debt burden caused by external inputs. Many become victim of pesticides and got cancer or mentally retarded children.  Organic farming has great potential to solve these problems and to make a self sustainable life in villages, also with safe food produced from organic farming, the consumers will be less prone to health problems.
      Prime requirement: Promotional Policies for Organic Agriculture
                Agriculture is a nature dependent system and therefore it needs support from society and government. Same is true for promotion of organic agriculture otherwise it will remains with some progressive farmers. Cuba is a good example that whole country becomes organic only because of government policy. In Indian too, several programme like National Horticulture Mission (NHM) National program on Organic Farming (NPOF) etc has been started. Some states like M.P. Uttrakhand, NEH states etc are running organic programme with high momentum. However, still there is need to support organic programme especially in rainfed areas with a better adoption rate. Some of the policy interventions required are:-
      1.     Priority to organic farming in ongoing programmes :- Besides the specified programme e.g. NHM, NPOF, organic agriculture can very well promoted through several other rural development programmes like watershed, SGSY, NREGA, food security mission, clean village scheme etc. The only need is to give priority to organic practices in these schemes.
      2.     Popularization of organic farming without compulsion of certification:- Rigorous and rigid rules and mechanical certification may lead to confusion and lesser adoption of organic  farming. Instead, at initials stage organic farming should be promoted for improving soil fertility, reducing cost of production, and produce safe food. Also some farmers friendly certification system like participatory guarantee system (PGS) may be popularized.
      3.     Separate approach for irrigated and rain fed areas:-  In irrigated areas  rather abrupt shifting to organic, replacement of chemical input by organic input may be followed for 2-3 years. This will make smooth shifting without economic loss. Further, in irrigated areas first priority should be given to high chemical using crops like cotton, fruits, vegetables, over foods grain crop. In rainfed areas it may be started with increasing use of organic inputs that may also increase production. Details of rainfed organic farming may be available at http:/ag.arizone.edu/ALS/ALN/aln58/ sharma.html
      4.     Development of model organic farm for every agro zone:-  For  every agro zone there should be one model organic  farm so that farmer can learn, get training and start confidently organic farming. One such farm is being developed at CAZRI, Jodhpur for low rainfall areas.
      5.     Making farmer- consumer -forum: To popularize organic produce among consumer and to make available organic produce to interested consumers farmer-consumers forum need to be developed at District
      6.     Financial support during conversion:- There should be subsidy  or compensation  to the farmer during conversion  period of 2-3 years so that every farmer can adopt organic practices.
      Conclusion:  
      Organic agriculture is not just exclusion of synthetic chemical from production system. It needs to be viewed in broader perspectives of solving environmental problems and promoting employment opportunity, economic security and health in society.
       


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    • Michael Levin
      Dear Arun, I organize an online community called Zoobird dot com focused on organic lifestyles. With your permission, I d love to post your article in the
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 14, 2010
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        Dear Arun,

        I organize an online community called Zoobird dot com focused on organic
        lifestyles. With your permission, I'd love to post your article in the
        Community Zoo, which is one of Zoobird's special interest groups. We are a
        new virtual community and particularly are interested in facts with
        practical applications exactly as you describe in your article. Your article
        moves from theory to practice in less time to read than it takes us to
        prepare a dish with quinoa! Alternatively, I will be happy to point the
        group to this article without reprinting it in its entirety.

        I believe your article will stir up some creative discussion and get the
        thinking into "what should we do today".

        Thanks for what I have learned from your excellent article,

        Michael Levin
        http://www.zoobird.com/profile/MichaelLevin


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • arunk sharma
        Dear Michael,                    It would be my pleasure to permit you for forwarding this article. Sincerely Arun K.Sharma ... From: Michael
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 15, 2010
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          Dear Michael,
                             It would be my pleasure to permit you for forwarding this article.
          Sincerely
          Arun K.Sharma

          --- On Mon, 15/3/10, Michael Levin <chaff@...> wrote:


          From: Michael Levin <chaff@...>
          Subject: [fukuoka_farming] organic culture
          To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Monday, 15 March, 2010, 12:39 AM


           



          Dear Arun,

          I organize an online community called Zoobird dot com focused on organic
          lifestyles. With your permission, I'd love to post your article in the
          Community Zoo, which is one of Zoobird's special interest groups. We are a
          new virtual community and particularly are interested in facts with
          practical applications exactly as you describe in your article. Your article
          moves from theory to practice in less time to read than it takes us to
          prepare a dish with quinoa! Alternatively, I will be happy to point the
          group to this article without reprinting it in its entirety.

          I believe your article will stir up some creative discussion and get the
          thinking into "what should we do today".

          Thanks for what I have learned from your excellent article,

          Michael Levin
          http://www.zoobird com/profile/ MichaelLevin

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]









          The INTERNET now has a personality. YOURS! See your Yahoo! Homepage. http://in.yahoo.com/

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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