Developing a path for sustainable agriculture in India: JAY BIOTECH
This is regarding the TV programme telecasted on June 24, 2012 Satyamev Jayate.
First of all I would like to thank Mr. Amir Khan for taking such an initiative for sustainable agriculture.
Jay Biotech and Bafna farm, Pune is working on similar lines for the development of sustainable agriculture for different crops especially grapes. During the programme, one of the grape grower mentioned about the heavy uses of chemicals for commercial grapes and separate, non-chemical grape plot for own consumption. This is alarming. However, only 3-5% of the grapes produced in India are exported, while >95% grape production is used for local market. The uses of chemicals is restricted if the production is for export purpose to avoid pesticide residue problem. Still, every year around 7% of the samples could not be exported due to the pesticide residue problem.
But, the situation is different for grapes production for local purpose. As rightly mentioned in the program, there is no pesticide analysis of grapes (or other produce) which is being sold locally. Due to this, the farmer who produces the grapes for local market does not bother about pesticide(s) residues and uses exceeding doses even to that of the recommended by chemical pesticide company. Also, there was an alarming point during the discussions that chemical pesticide companies give incentives to distributor/dealer to sale their products in huge quantum with more benefits. This has created a mess for today’s situation of Kerala/Punjab. Cancer Train and endosulphan in mother’s milk are the threatening example for a human being.
However, now a day, there are so many farmers adopting the techniques of sustainable agriculture. One of the best examples is of Bafna Farm, Rahu, Pune, Maharashtra.
There are few highlighting points of Jay Biotech and Bafna farm, Pune
1.Uses of Bio / Organic products since 10 years for grape management
2.Application of Bio / Organic products increased while reduced uses of chemicals by 60%
3.Produced 2 crops of grapes in a year
4.Produced pesticide free grapes
5.Uses of reverse osmosis water for spraying in grapes to avoid human pathogens like Salmonella typhii and Escherichia coli
6.Trials of bio/organic products since 10 years for with the recommendations of National or International laboratories
7.Successful trials for mealy bug control are in progress in collaboration with National Chemical Laboratory, Pune using only biological products.
8.Visit of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) taskforce (Bio-agents for agriculture) Chairman, Advisor and members to Jay Biotech and Bafna farm to see bio-control of mealy bug of grapes since 3 years
9.Visit of ASDA (UK, Supermarket) team to discuss the method for production pesticide free grapes
During the show Mr. Amir Khan rightly told that the said situation cannot be changed in a day. One has to reduce the uses of chemical(s) by increasing the uses of bio/organic products for sustainable agriculture. As mentioned by Shree Hukumchandji (farmer from Rajasthan), for the first year farmer may have to bear the loss for the yield, but it cannot go beyond 10%. At Bafna farm similar practice were adopted with slow and steady increase of bio/organic products since 10 years. Due to the uses of bio/organic products the fertility of soil increased, pest(s) and pathogen(s) problem was reduced, able to produce 2 crops of grapes in year with zero pesticides. If ZERO pesticide is possible for such a sensitive grapes, then it can be possible for any agricultural crops.
Integrated pest management can be a best practice to resolve this issue. Slowly and steadily it can take to complete organic agriculture. Please follow the models of Organic Sikkim and Organic Bihar. Every farmer has to take the lesson from this show and should be a part of sustainable agriculture to develop sustainable agriculture all over India.
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