Organic farming has to be encouraged and supported as it not only helps in improving productivity, but it is the ideal way of dealing with the effects of climate change, said C.S.R. Murthy, Deputy General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) here on Sunday.
Mr. Murthy advised the farmers, especially the small and marginal ones, to form themselves into groups to take up organic farming as was being done successfully in States like Maharashtra. But, for taking up organic farming movement further, the apprehensions among farmers about decline in production should be removed, he observed.
The Nabard official also emphasised that constant usage of chemical fertilizer and pesticides would only lead to gradual decline in productivity and not the other way round. He was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day training programme for farmers in organic farming being jointly organised by Ekalavya Foundation and Grama Bharati at Bharat Institutions in Narayanguda.
Farmer trainers have been chosen from all the 10 districts for the programme and during the three days, they will be exposed to the benefits of organic farming through known practitioners in the field. The trainees in turn are expected to help other farmers in their respective areas to take up organic farming. The objective is to ensure natural farming in 10,000 acres within the next three years.
“The TS government should also train farmers in organic farming as the A.P. government has done recently with the help of noted agriculture scientist and natural farmer Subash Palekar. Government support is vital in these kind of activities as it would only be incentivising the farmers”, said former Nabard Chief General Manager P. Mohanaiah, who presided over the programme.
Alternative income sources
The former banking official, also associated with Grama Bharati, pointed out that taking up organic farming also meant preserving natural resources for the future generations. The government too has realised the importance and had formulated plans with the support of Nabard.
Along with farming, the farmer should be supported in having livestock like cattle and others as an alternative source of income.
Ekalavya Foundation chairman P. Venugopal Reddy called for support to the indigenous seeds, farming, natural fertiliser, livestock like the ‘desi’ cow and so on. For VC of N.G. Ranga Agriculture University also spoke.