With the cost of all farm inputs, including chemical fertilisers and pesticides, going up year after year without any corresponding increase in productivity or market price, farmers either quit the profession altogether or are forced to end their lives unable to cope with mounting debts.
Time-tested traditional farming is the new buzzword for such growers who can significantly cut down the cost of production on the one hand and improve productivity on the other and realise a better price for their organic food products in niche markets thanks to the increasing awareness about the consequences of consuming farm products with high chemical residue on human health, says Ongole MP Y.V. Subba Reddy.
In collaboration with the National Centre for Organic Farming (NCOF), a two-day workshop will be organised at Markapur town in Prakasam district from October 18 to help farmers covered under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana to take to organic farming in a big way and make agriculture profitable for them, he explains.
Agriculture scientists from NCOF will train the farmers on growing crops by using bio-fertilisers and biopesticides and eschew chemicals right from the stage of seed treatment to harvesting, he explains.
Guidance for farmers
NCOF Regional Director A.S. Rajuput along with other agriculture scientists will guide the farmers in improving the health of the soil, which has lost carbon content due to prolonged use of chemical fertilisers. Farmers from the model villages of Dadawada, Ganapavaram and P.C.Palli will attend the brainstorming workshop. Progressive peasants from other parts of the district will also attend the workshop which will focus on all aspects of organic farming including use of biological pesticides and organic manuring and the latest agronomic practices to maximise yield even while cutting cost on farm inputs.
The department will put in place an inspection mechanism for certification and labelling of the organic farm products by farm cooperatives and progressive farmers, the Ongole MP adds.