Thursday, March 24, 2011

Green Revolution – II, with Eco-Responsibility!

It is excellent if we pay less, while our Ryots get better prices – by boosting our farm productivity through another Green Revolution along with corruption-free, efficient and effective “Farmers’ Marketing Cooperatives”. Given the impending exigency that, soon, we may need to start import the milk as well, in spite of our being the world’s largest producer of it, another White Revolution may also be in the offing. But, while achieving these twin goals, we have to, consciously, avoid committing the same blunders we have done, in the past, while accomplishing the earlier revolutions.

It is now recorded history that both these, have successfully, fed the hungry populations of the world & especially of India, since the sixties of the last century. They, actually, transformed our country from a net importer of the basic food items (edible oils & oil seeds, still, being one of the exceptions), to a net exporter of agro-products, albeit in a small way. Correspondingly, it is also a widely confirmed fact that they also have contributed to the raising ‘Global Warming’ that resulted in the current day phenomenon of ‘Climate Change’, with the large scale production of the energy guzzling, Agrochemicals – inorganic fertilizers, insecticides, weedicides, etc.. The residues of these chemicals entering into our bodies have, deteriorated, drastically the health of both the Humans and the Animals due to the mass-scale contamination of our food-chains and water-bodies including seas, subsequently all the mankind, animal kingdom & aqua-world – resulting in the highly depreciated digestive, metabolic & inherent infection-resistance systems of ours. This, directly, added – along with other factors like, sedentary life-styles, acquired food habits, et al – to the ever growing childhood obesity, early onset of the diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, stress, skin-allergies, premature graying or aging and other health-disorders. (It is also doubted to be the primary cause for pre-mature puberties, though not yet confirmed),

Further, the erratic crop failures of genetically modified (GM) seeds, resulting in the extensive suicides of our farmers has not adequately investigated and published, but not yet acknowledged by the Authorities, they should do without succumbing to any form of corporate-lobbyism, on a war footing basis. And we also have to remember that these GM seeds require heavy irrigation that has already begun to show up on our significantly depleted ground-water levels, across India and elsewhere. Thus, in the light of these realities, we should broaden our wisdom and reengineer our mindset to redesign our national policy on the G.M. seeds that were, actually, expected to give us augmented harvests, while being resistant to the pests, weeds, et al?

Similarly, the synthetic Growth-Hormones like, bovine somatotropin and such others to, exponentially, swell the milk-yields in case of the milch-cattle and to accelerate the physical growth in case of poultry and other live-stock / aqua-life, raised for the human consumption, have also started to enter our bodies, thus precipitating the already debilitating human health as a result of the daily intake of the remainders of the harmful chemicals through the ingestion of milk, milk-products, grains, pulses, cereals, vegetables, fruit and others, as previously elaborated.

“How do we do the balancing act?”

…….is our zillion dollar question, for which I propose the following, here, for a general debate before we arrive at a consensus on our national plan-of-action.

01) Pending the development & implementation of a sustainable farming alternative – we should deliver the plantations with only as much as is absolutely required inorganic agrochemicals, through the all-round implementation of the drip-irrigation. This would, no doubt, reduce both the release of excessive chemicals, consequently mitigating the scope of their leftovers poisoning our food & water chains and also the scale of irrigation, that we are, currently, forced to incur;
02) The Honorable Prime Minister should Announce a ‘National Organic Farming Mission’ under which, inter alia, the following measures to be initiated, immediately:-

Create R&D centers with supporting budgetary grants – in all the Indian Agricultural Universities and other related research bodies,

a) To enhance the efficacies of organic fertilizers, plant drawn insecticides, weedicides and the like;

Let us do the above, not only for wheat or rice, but also for all our traditional native, foods – Millets, Corn, jowar, bajra, vegetables, fruit, pulses and so forth – which had been staple or supplementary foods for many pockets of India, which, now, have been, nearly, replaced with wheat & rice, owing to our skewed emphasis on the ‘wheat & rice alone public distribution policy’, of the last several decades;

b) To re-invent the Indian Organic Farming Science & Technology of all the above to improve the crops;

c) To establish the ‘Agronomy’ of each of the above eatables;

d) Likewise, to develop & document the Methodologies & Techniques for Organic Poultry breeding, Dairy Farming & Pisciculture;

e) To increase the effectiveness of farmyard manure (FYM) and composts and plant based feeds to the poultry, dairy & aqua-life;

03) Strengthen the Organic Farming, Animal Husbandry & Pisciculture Extension Mechanism, across all States;

04) Comprehensive Capacity Building Initiative through rapid training and transfer of the healthy, organic farming techniques including the re-introduction of domestic scale production of organic fertilizers, plant based nutrition and distributive-production of all the seed derived insecticides – neem, pongamia-pinnatta, jathropha, et cetera & turmeric, et cetera based bio fertilizers / liquid micro nutrient organic fertilizers, pesticides, crop-protectors, biocides and what have you?

05) Extensive dissemination of the knowledge on organic farming, animal husbandry & pisciculture science, technology, methods and techniques;

06) Budgetary Grants for public, private and public-private R&D on plant derivatives like plant based nutrients, plant protectants, plant based growth hormones & herbal inputs, for the production on distributive-scales;

07) Easy Funding coupled with Incentive schemes for the local production and distribution of the above;

08) Educating, Motivating and Incentivising the contribution towards ‘population stabilization’;

It is high time we realize that whatever we are, irrespective of our occupations & stations in life, we all must have three meals a day and for this, if for no other reason, our society, do, require economically sound “Anna-Datha”, whose population amounts to over 55%, with all our economic progress since the independence. So the following too should be included in our current agenda, itself!

09) A special Act by the Parliament for the “Protection of Farmers Rights” – calling for non-bailable warrants, sever punishments & speedy adjudications in cases of willful cheating of hapless farmers – to the nefarious traders of spurious seeds, fake fertilizers & ineffective insecticides, along with instant economic-relief to the aggrieved through constituting “The Anna-Datha Fast-Track Courts”, supported with ‘Free Farmers Legal Aid Cells’ in all Revenue Blocks across India, as the existing Laws have been proved, time and again, to be hopeless, in case of the affected farmers of such crimes;

10) Finally, liberal crop insurance schemes to provide for quick mitigation against the abnormal monsoons and other natural calamities, which have been the order of the day, because of the outcome of the highly unpredictable environment, we have, now, created and live in;

Also, keeping in view of the grave emergency for our lives to re-integrate with the Nature to ensure both a better health to all and to our animal kingdom & aqua-world as well as the vital necessity of ensuring the perpetual sustenance of the “Mother Earth” itself, which – if I may be allowed to use a cliché – is the only known home of the mankind, we could do with going back to basics, to make the best of the both Ancient Wise Practices seamlessly blended with the latest technological developments the soonest, whether some of us may like it or not!


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