Imphal, March 19:
International Conference on “Natural Farming for Revitalizing Environment and Resilient Agriculture” concluded today at Central Agricultural University, Imphal. The programme was attended by Dr. RK Ranjan Singh, MOS, External Affairs and Education, Govt. India, Dr. Anupam Mishra, Vice Chancellor of Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Dr. B. R. Kamboj, Vice Chancellor of C. C. S. Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Dr. Suresh Kumar Chaudhari, D. D. G. (N.R.M.), ICAR, New Delhi, Dr. S. Basanta Singh, Director of Instruction, CAU, Imphal, Dr. K. Mamocha Singh; Director of Research, CAU, Imphal, Dr. Ph. Ranjit Sharma, Director of Extension Education, CAU, Imphal, Dr. Indira Sarangthem, Dean of College of Agriculture, CAU, Imphal and other delegates of the convention.
Speaking on the occasion as the Chief Guest, Dr. RK Ranjan said, “ One of the oldest ways of farming is popularly known as natural being practiced in India by our ancestors. It is nature endowed and emphasized over soil biology and whole eco-system by maintaining vegetation and livestock specially cow known with respect as “Gau Mata” in our culture. It has the root in agro-ecology and integrates raising of crops, livestock and trees with functional diversity. Natural Farming emphasizes on use of chemical free practices and easily available farm resources which are manageable for better economy and conservation of nature in long term. It considers the principles of agro-ecology in its centre integrating crops, trees and livestock with functional relationship fulfilling the need of all living organisms. It helps to reduce dependency on purchased inputs and will help to ease smallholder farmers from burden of high cost of inputs and promotes sustainable life.”
Speaking about the importance of Nature Farming and its origin, Dr RK Ranjan further said, “ The term “Nature Farming” has been emerged a few decades after the second world war. I personally come across the term and methods of farming through the Tegor Society of Rural Development run by late Pannalal Dasgupta of West Bengal. The Tegor Society of Rural Development practices in collaboration of Masanobu Fukuoka’s philosophy and approach of Nature Farming in fully depend on the Natural ecosystem. According to Fukoka every seeds of different crops, vegetables and trees were having inherent capacity to germinate and grow with the natural ecosystem. Hence he adopted five principles of Nature Farming which are No plowing, No Tilling, No Weeding, No punning and No fertilisers. That means a harmonious self on natural controlling systems. In this system living creative like spiders, ant and varieties of plants of different natural capabilities. System of nature farming and practices are well described in the book entitle “One-Straw Revolution and Natural Farming.
Mr. Masanobo Fukoka visited Manipur in the year 1984. He trained some of our elders and friends about pallating the seeds with mud/clay from the alpha growing areas. This was my first impression on Natural Farming. “
Then after joining the council of Ministers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I have a chance of attending council of Minister’s meeting. In the meeting, PM vision on Natural Farming is no application of chemical fertiliser and term Govardhan i.e Gover-Cowdung-Dhan is wealth i.e from waste to wealth, he added.
Dr RK Ranjan further said, “We have been treating as spiritual head of the world. In our Vedas, Panch Mahabhootas – Prithvi (Earth), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire), Gagan (Sky) and Vayu (Air) have been said as the basis of our life and existence, but, after independence of India, as the agricultural development progressed, the food production increased substantially but with a heavy cost to soil health and the environment. As the Indian agriculture is typified as small holders farming, the major burnt of these challenges are faced by this vulnerable class of farmers. The vulnerability of these households to climate change is very high due to diversity and less capacity to purchase the inputs. These factors have forced the farmers to leave the agriculture. Today, conventional farming is a common method of farming using external inputs and use of chemicals and fertilizers giving more emphasis on yield maximization rather than yield optimization leading to soil fatigue, high cost of production, declining factor productivity and causing imbalance in the ecosystem and lead to high dependency of the farmers on the market. Natural farming is being promoted through Bhartiya Parmparagat Krishi Pariyojna (BPKP) in India to enhance production, sustainability, saving of water use, improvement in soil health and farmland ecosystem. Natural farming is considered as a cost- effective farming suitable for livelihood of large number of farmers and rural development.”
Concluding his Chief Guest speech, Dr RK Ranjan said “The Govt. of India has realized the fact and conceptualized its importance for building the future of the nation and humanity. Emphasizing over their consciousness on natural farming, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Bhartiya Krishi Paddhati (BPKP) Yojana are being implemented in the country to encourage the farmers and transform their way of farming into natural farming. During recent Union budget for 2023-24, Govt. has made a target to transform one crore of farmers into natural farmers in next three years. Central Government will provide subsidy to establish 10,000 Bio-input Resource Centre in different parts of the country so that movement of natural farming can get a momentum. “