Four decades post the prosperous Green Revolution that once filled our hunger driven population, farmers are now moving backwards towards traditional farming methods. The Green Revolution saw employment increase along with prosperity farms and farmers. It increased the purchasing power till less than a decade ago, before threatening the food and water supply of the country.
The Green Revolution that the country witnessed boosted it economically. Punjab managed to produce up to two thirds of the country’s total wheat and rice consumption between the1980s and 1990s. However, soon the effects of Green Revolution also got reflected in the depletion of the environment. The water supply around the Punjab region was deeply affected. The methods concerning to Green Revolution required a lot of water, which led farmers to drill the fields and exhaust ground water levels. This ecological imbalance was alarming not just to the farmers who were caught in the vicious circle but also to the government.
The state of Punjab that was once known as ‘The Food Basket’ of the country is now the belt with the highest cancer rates. The damage caused by these pesticides and fertilisers has seeped deep into the soil and water ways. Sensing these threats, farmers in the belt of Punjab are adapting to organic methods.
Today, India has emerged as a global leader in Organic Farming as it has welcomed 6,00,000 certified Organic Farmers. Systems like soil management and crop rotations are highly opted for by these farmers in order to maintain the balance of the soil. Statistically speaking, Punjab has 1500 hectares of certified land that comes under organic farming.
So, how beneficial Organic Farming is?
1.PROFITS – It is argued that modern methods of farming yearn better profits, however the truth is that traditional methods of farming provide higher profits. Given that the amount of input is pretty low, the monetary yields are comparatively high. A larger chunk of investment is saved in Organic farming since they do not buy costly pesticides and fertilisers.
2.YEILDS – A Study cited by the Organic Consumers Association states “In a review of 286 projects in 57 countries, farmers were found to have increased agricultural productivity by an average of 79 percent, by adopting ‘resource-conserving’ or ecological agriculture.” Researchers claim that after three conversion periods the yields become equivalent to that of modern farming methods.
3.EMPLOYMENT – Perhaps the conventional methods bring purchasing power to people, however more employment is generated in organic farming. Organic farming requires more manpower which helps in generating employment.
4.SOIL HEALTH – Organic farming is widely preferred is because it doesn’t weaken the soils health. It in fact balances the soil properly, and under proper care it replenishes the soil too. While conventional farming methods exhaust the nutrients of soil, organic farming allows the soil to retain and enhance its nutritional value.