Quite infamous for its name, the Malwa Region is on the verge of becoming the Cancer Belt of Punjab. Recent research shows that there has been a huge increase in cancer cases due to the overuse of pesticides. Factually speaking, 25% of the land is encountering degradation, and this has collectively affected the food security of millions.
Sensing this issue as one of great concern, 6 families in Noida came together in 2015 and invested their time in organic farming. They realized that the extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers increases the dependency of the farmer and the land to these chemicals. The members of this group are busy with their work lives, yet each member visits the farm and does farm jobs like ploughing and composting at least once a week
The process, however begins with ‘Beej Amrut’. Beej Amrut is a mixture that consists of cow urine, calcium and a few other elements. Using this mixture to wash the seeds before sowing them increases the probability of their germination.
Another pattern followed is that of not sprinkling the seeds. Most of the farmers sprinkle the seeds over the farm, however, when it came to this group of 6 members they opted for another method. They carefully sowed the seeds in squares of 1 meter each to enable rainwater harvesting.
The method of mulching is also used, which helps retain the soil moisture. Water often tends evaporate due to heat. To prevent this from happening, the soil is covered with a layer of dried leaves. This enhances the water retention capacity of the soil, which further contributes into slow-paced water conservation.
Since it is organic farming, these members avoid using fertilizers that are inorganic and instead, organic substances are utilized. “Jeev Amrut” is a liquid fertilizer that is prepared by mixing the right proportion of cow dung and urine. Another liquid fertilizer can be created by blending gram flour and jaggery, which is then added to cow urine.
Furthermore, these fertilisers are sprayed according to the movement of moon. Scientifically speaking, days with a full moon are those when the activities of pests increase.
Nature has done created enough provisions to feed mankind and it is only us who are setting ourselves apart from nature and moving towards chemical usage even though they can be substituted by the elements found in nature.