Imphal: MoS Education and External Affairs Minister Dr. R. K. Ranjan Singh has stressed on the need for promoting natural farming to maintain balance ecosystem, contending that Natural farming is a cost effective farming suitable for livelihood of large number of farmers and rural development.
Addressing the gathering at the closing function of the International Conference on Natural Farming for Revitalizing Environment and Resilient Agriculture at CAU Imphal, 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 ecosystem by maintaining vegetation and livestock specially cow known with respect as “Go Mata” in our culture. It has the root in agro-ecology and integrates raising of crops, livestock and trees with functional diversity.
He maintained that 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.
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 Mr. Masanobu Fukuoka’s philosophy and approach of Nature Farming in fully depend on the Natural ecosystem. According to Fukoka every sheeds 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, he said.
He said that the principles are popularly known as 5 Don’t i.e No plowing, No Tilling, No Weeding, No punning, No fertilisers. It 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, Ranjan maintained. Ranjan said, “after joining the council of Ministers of the Prime Minister Shri 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”.
Expressing happiness that Vice Chancellor of CAU Imphal and Chairman of National Committee for
development of syllabus of Natural Farming which will be implemented in ensuing year as UG and PG
courses, Ranjan said organization of three days’ International Conference on Natural Farming for Revi-
talizing Environment and Resilient Agriculture going to be ended today, is one of the important efforts
to transform the dream of our Prime Minister into reality.
He 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 com-
mon 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, he minister maintained.
He went on to say that the Government 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, Gov-
ernment 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, he added.
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 also
attended the function.