Japanese book on farming in Tamil
By N Vinoth Kumar | ENS | Published: 05th June 2013 09:13 AM |
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day set by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is Think. Eat. Save.
According to the UNEP website, global food production occupies 25 per cent of all habitable land and is responsible for 70 per cent of fresh water consumption, 80 per cent of deforestation, and 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. It is the largest single driver of biodiversity loss and land-use change.
Many environmentalists are of the opinion that this is the result of a mechanised way of farming. Toeing that line of thinking and advocating an organic way of life is organic farming expert Masanobu Fukuoka’s book The Road back to Nature.
The Japanese book’s Tamil translation, Iyarkaikku Thirumbum Paathai, was recently released by Iyalvaagai Pathippagam. The Tamil translation was done by noted health activist Dr V Jeevanandam.
Fukuoka, who himself was an agricultural scientist, had doubts on modern methods of agriculture. This made him engage in organic farming on his own land. This book narrates his experiences on his own farm and comprises lectures he had given all over the world.
“Agriculture is the roof of one’s culture. If agriculture turns out to be poisonous, then it would have effect on culture as well. When Japan’s traditional farming blends with culture, we will be able to lead a happy life. This is my dream,” writes Fukuoka in his book.
In one place, Fukuoka says, “It is shocking to hear that India does not practice Gandhian way of farming”. The author considers organic farming or natural way of farming as a part of the Gandhian way of farming.
Fukuoka also makes criticisms on the activities of the US in the field of agriculture and in agricultural universities. “One cannot separate nature into trees, stem, leaves, roots and so on. Nature comprises everything” he says. Speaking to City Express, Dr V Jeevanandam, the translator said, “Many think that agriculture is bringing about a change in nature. It’s not. We should do farming by joining hands with nature. Fukuoka says that we can do farming even without ploughing. He says we should develop the nutrients of soil or land. But in reality, we try only to maintain the existing nutrients. Through natural farming, we can develop the land’s nutrients.”
On the WED theme, he said, “If we follow the suggestions of Fukuoka we will be able to bring down greenhouse gas emissions”.