Judging by the inquisitiveness of the trainee farmers, Governor Acharya Devvrat today said that a new chapter in natural farming begins in Gujarat with weeklong farmers’ training workshop by its promoter Padma Shri Subhash Palekar at Vadtal in Kheda district.
The workshop for intensive natural farming with detailed information and guidelines has been organized by the State Government by Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in collaboration with Agricultural Farmers’ Welfare and Cooperation Departments.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the camp, Mr. Devvrat said that he can say from his own experience as a farmer that chemical farming has polluted water, land, environment and food crops, besides increasing the incidence of serious diseases due to improper eating and drinking habit. Man started living on the earth with simple farming methods. It is a myth to state now that agriculture without chemical farming is not possible.
He said that farmers learn from observations, not by lectures. Nearly 5-lakh farmers are practicing natural farming in Andhra Pradesh, 50,000 in Himachal Pradesh and likewise in other states. Describing himself fortunate to be able to serve the auspicious land of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati, Mr. Devvrat wished the farmers of Gujarat adapt natural farming for the benefit of the society. One cow ca n sustain farming on 30 acre land with the application of Subhash Palekar method of natural farming. Natural farming reduces expenditure and adds to production, at the same time check fertile land turning barren due to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Natural farming is the best remedy from global warming, saving water consumption by 50 to 60 per cent and preserving Gir and Kankrej cows.
He said that natural farming has the power to live up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan to double the farmers’ income by 2022, with minimum input and maximum output, freeing them from debt and contributing to the villages’ prosperity. He explained the importance of ‘Gay-Ganga-Gita-Gayatri in Indian culture, from Jeev to Shiv. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that Gujarat will become role model by adapting Subhash Palekar’s natural farming, combining latest methods, befitting Indian conditions and culture, to face the challenges from climate change and global warming. He said that Gujarat’s agricultural production has gone up to 125-lakh metric tonnes during the last two decades and that of raw cotton increased from 20 lakh bales to 1.20-crore bales.
Mr. Rupani said the State Government has purchased farm produces worth Rs.8,000-crore from farmers during the last three years, and extended Rs.3,800-crore assistance to farmers affected due to unseasonal rains.
Padma Shri Subhash Palekar described natural farming as the best method as answer to global farming, climate change, food insecurity, diseases, rural exodus and urban pull, natural disasters and ill-effects of mechanization.
He shared his resolve to make all the 18,000 villages of Gujarat as Ideal Villages, to live up to Prime Minister’s dream of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, to ensure the villages’ income stay in village and get urban income too.
Minister of State for Agriculture Jaydrathsinhji Parmar recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogans like lab-to-land, farm to fork, when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Additional Chief Secretary for Agriculture in his welcome address said that the event is being telecast live through BISAG to e-villages. Additional Chief Secretary for Natural Farming Poonamchand Parmar spoke about the workshop.
Those present on the occasion included Minister of State for Animal Husbandry Bachubhai Khabad, Chief Whip Pankajbhai Desai, District Panchayat President Naynaben Patel, Anand Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor R.V. Vyas, Collector I.K. Patel, officiating DDO Ramesh Merja and others.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat