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Sustainable agriculture for resilience

Aug 30, 2013

Improving farm remuneration can hasten rehabilitation of the farming population of Uttarakhand, experts gathered at the session on Sustainable Agriculture affirmed.

A conference on ‘Rebuilding Uttarakhand with Active Participation of all Stakeholders’ in New Delhi, aiming to highlight the rehabilitation of Uttarakhand’s farming families by focusing on agriculture and disaster management offered food for thought.

Dr A K Singh, ICAR’s Zonal Project Director expressed concern over the adverse affects on agriculture that came by the massive rain that came with the appalling disaster. Citing the destruction, he observed that 18,000 hectares sugarcane crops were destroyed in Haridwar, apple’s were orchard destroyed and the crops of tomato were damaged in Uttarkashi.

While agriculture had borne much damage, yet, agriculture being the mainstay of a major section of the population can also play a vital role in the developmental activities and the rehabilitation of the people affected by the disaster, he said.

According to Dr Singh, this It demanded exploring the need to increase the scope of different forms of agriculture and the long-term strategies for sustainable agriculture. These could include awareness generation about climate change, providing training to farmers, inclusion of the new technologies, among a host of other means.

Dr IS Bisht, Principal Scientist from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), stressed on exploring the Geographical Indications (GI) of crops capable of fetching better prices for the same produces to make farming more remunerative. He welcomed the use of new and up-to-date technologies in agriculture but warned that it should not be at the expense of the local crops. Dr Bisht’s ideas like social recognition of farmers, the creation of part-time job opportunities (apart from farming, which is largely seasonal), the involvement of farmers in the decision-making process were well-appreciated by the audience.

The need of the farmers and rural people, equipped the technical skills and traditional knowledge, to take the their ownership and leadership for their better future is on high.

Ajai Bhai from the Brahm Kumaris introduced participants to a new concept in farming called Yogic farming that has been tried by his organisation. He claimed that a better quality of crops can be cultivated and production enhanced by providing positive energy to the seeds. Positive vibrated seeds produce more crops than the normal seeds, he claimed.

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