Say Yes To Organic Farming: Horticulturist

By TheHindu on 06 Jul 2015 | read

Eco-friendly: Students of Maris Stella College display items needed for preparing vermicompost in Vijayawada on Wednesday. —VIJAYAWADA: “Chemical fertilizers are like steroids that give only temporary gains but have a long-term adverse impact,” says organic horticulturist Chalasani Dutt.

Addressing a workshop on ‘Eco-friendly technology’ organised by Maris Stella College on Wednesday, Mr. Dutt urged people to opt for organic fertilizers, which were ‘naturally’ occurring compounds manufactured through natural processes.

Speaking about vermiculture technology, he said it was a scientific process that contributes to the betterment of human beings. Tracing the origin of chemical fertilizers, he went on to explain how developed countries like the United States of America made Third World nations like India a dumping ground for surplus fertilizers and pesticides manufactured by them in the post World War-II scenario. He said organic agriculture was a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects.

NPK rating

He said understanding the NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash (Potassium)) ratings on lawn and plant fertilizers was an important part of deciding whether or not fertilizers were appropriate or even necessary for the garden. Underlining the importance of organic farming, he said it was necessary to rely on these products for good health.

“You need not have vast stretches of land to grow a select garden products in an organic way,” he said, urging people to grow curry leaves, drumsticks and papaya trees in their backyard. “When these trees are big enough, you can allow creepers like bitter guard and bottle guard entwine and grow on them,” he suggested. He said simple steps taken with least pain could land one in a win-win situation. Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu inaugurated the workshop. She said more and more people were taking to organic food due to their awareness on health issues. Pointing out that the vermicompost plants launched in nearly 10 divisions of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation were yielding good result, she said the corporation had plans to replicate it in other divisions also. She also emphasised the need to encourage mushroom cultivation, a product in great demand in foreign countries.

General secretary of Nilgiri Foundation Raghurami Reddy also spoke. Former MP Chennupati Vidya graced the occasion while J. Asha Kumar, Head of the Botany Department, and others were also present.