SUNDARGARH: Ecological farming has benefited several farmers of the district and elsewhere with many of them reaping profits through use of organic seeds.
Speaking about their experiences during the two-day Desi Chasi Sammelani here, a woman farmer, Nirmala Barla of Sundargarh’s Balishankara block, said ecological farming brings more benefits and profits compared to the conventional method. By using indigenous seeds and natural manures, she managed to produce about 12 quintals of millets per acre.
Under the conventional method, the cost is high and returns are less, she added. Barla has been a pioneer in promoting millets in the district.
Another farmer, Sudarshan Sahu of Kantapali in Bargarh, said he managed to preserve 267 varieties of indigenous paddy seeds and develop four varieties of seeds.
The two-day Sammelani aims at making farmers self-reliant and increasing availability of chemical-free food through ‘ecological farming’. It also seeks to build pressure on the State Government to formulate a separate policy on ‘ecological farming’.
Addressing the inaugural function on Thursday, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram assured all possible support.
The meet was organised by Centre for Integrated Rural and Tribal Development (CIRTD), Desi Vihan Suraksha Manch, Odisha, Bharat Beej Swaraj Manch (BVSM) and Action Aid.
Secretary, CIRTD, Natakishore Mishra said about 250 traditional farmers from the host district besides Ganjam, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Kandhamal, Koraput, Kalahandi, Malkangiri, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Deogarh and Keonjhar participated.
Mishra said the current agricultural plan focuses on voluminous production by using chemicals which eventually forces farmers to fall into the trap of market forces. In the present farming method, farmers are spending huge amount on production to get high crop yields, while indigenous seeds are rapidly getting extinct, he said. Ecological farming ensures healthy farming and food, protects soil, water and climate and promotes biodiversity.
Saroj Mohanty of BVSM claimed ecological farming is gradually gaining popularity among small and marginal farmers as about 14,000 acres in 12 districts are covered under it, while 1,020 indigenous varieties of paddy seeds, 42 varieties of millet seeds, 32 types of seeds of pulses and 74 varieties of vegetable seeds could be conserved.
The Centre has started Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana for three years and Odisha has lost one year. He said ‘ecological farming’ with indigenous seeds has the ability to make farmers self-reliant and Government support is essential. The event, which concluded on Friday, was attended by traditional farmers from over a dozen districts.
Ecological farming with indigenous seeds has the ability to make farmers self-reliant and Government support is essential
Ecological farming ensures healthy farming and food, protects soil, water and climate and promotes biodiversity
Method gaining popularity among small and marginal farmers as about 14,000 acres in 12 districts are covered under it