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PM Modi gives clarion call for switch to organic farming in outreach to farmers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday gave the clarion call to Indian farmers to go for organic farming instead of using costly chemical fertilisers and pesticides which were lowering the fertility of the soil and damaging the environment.

The Prime Minister said this “natural farming” would especially benefit the small farmers of the country as it would lead to a reduction in the cost of operations. Over 80% of the farmers in the country own less than two hectares of land and they would be better off with organic farming, he added.

He pointed out that some states had already adopted natural farming and there were several startups headed by youngsters that had taken the initiative.

Gujarat had made a head start in organic farming and the successful results were there for everyone to see. He said that an organic farming movement had come up in a big way in Gujarat and this success needs to be emulated in other states as well.

Himachal Pradesh was another state in which natural farming is gaining ground, he added.

The Prime Minister exhorted the state governments to take the initiative in promoting organic farming and convert it into a people’s  movement.

“Let us take the pledge to take natural farming to as many farmers as  possible,” he remarked. 

PM Modi exhorted the farmers to try out natural farming on an experimental basis  in a portion of their land and see the results for themselves. “Based on a successful experience you can then make the switch away from chemical farmers and pesticides,” he explained. 

PM Modi pointed out that there was a huge demand for organic farm products not only in India, but the international market would also open up for the local farmers.

He said India could play a key role in ensuring food security worldwide and also help check global warming through natural farming which shuns the use of industrial fertilisers and pesticides which degrade the environment.

He exhorted the farmers to resolve that they will get rid of chemical fertilisers and use natural manures instead so that the health of the soil is preserved.

The Prime Minister said that national agricultural research institutes such as the ICAR would also have to play their role by imparting proper knowledge about organic farming at the village level.

He pointed out that these agricultural research institutes should not only confine themselves to theoretical work but take practical knowledge “from lab to land” so that farmers can benefit.

PM Modi lamented that Indian farmers had given up successful traditional practices and switched to harmful ways such as stubble burning which damaged the soil. “The heat turns the soft soil into a hard brick-line structure which adversely impacts the health of the soil,” he explained.   

He observed that farmers today had completely given up the traditional wisdom in farm techniques practiced by our ancestors which had produced successful results.

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