Skip to content Skip to navigation

Sustainable agriculture can be the back-bone of Indian economy

"Who said agriculture is a business of loss. I am saving more than Rs 80,000/- (about USD 1,750) every year and providing bread & butter to my 11 family members who are dependent on me," said Prabhavati Devi, who lives in Sardar Nagar block of Gorakhpur district. She has one and half acres land in which she is producing more than 86 types of crops annually. Prabhavati Devi is doing organic farming, which is a very reliable method of sustainable agriculture resulting in high production at low cost.

According to her, '12 years back I too was doing chemical farming and had no idea about this model of sustainable agriculture which involves an efficient management of time and land available for farming.

However, when I came in contact with Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, GEAG (A Eastern UP based Non-Governmental Organization), I learned how to use indigenous-technical knowledge.' She further said that, 'although my husband and other family members are not supportive of my agriculture work, I have shown them how a woman farmer can make agricultural production a sustainable and financially viable activity.' She is also the head of 'Yamuna Self Help Group' which has now become a Federation having five committees. She is also provides training to other farmers all over India. Thus Pravhavati Devi has become an ideal other women farmers.

According to Dr. Sheema Tripathi, working in GEAG, "sustainable agriculture should not be confused with organic farming as both are very different form each other. Sustainable agriculture means not only the withdrawal of synthetic chemicals, hybrid-genetically modified seeds and heavy agricultural implements, it also tries to simulate the conditions found in nature. Sustainable agriculture involves Multiculture, intercropping, use of farmyard manure and remnants, mulching and application of integrated pest management. If this is followed then there is no reason why agriculture cannot be an economically viable activity in addition to being environmentally sustainable.'

She further said that, 'Sustainable agriculture is very profitable in terms of money and soil conservation in the long run. Without doubt, it can meet the requirements of the country. GEAG tried to study this issue in eastern Uttar Pradesh and found that very few farmers follow the whole set of practices required in sustainable agriculture. However, thousands of farmers across the state use chemical pesticides.'

According to The United Nations Population Fund, (UNFPA) report India is projected to be the most populous country in the world by 2050, overtaking China. Its population, now 118.6 crores, is projected to be 165.8 crores in 2050. Increasing population growth is likely to reduce the area under agriculture. The major thrust of the agricultural development programmes in India is on efficient use of scarce natural resources like land, water and solar- energy. This can be achieved only through improved productivity in a cost-effective manner, which alone would result in the welfare of the farmers and agricultural labor. Balanced and integrated use of fertilizers, agricultural credit, institutional support, accelerated investments in agriculture, enhancing the competitiveness of agro-exports, creation of additional irrigation facilities etc. are being given encouragement through various schemes and activities of the Government of India.

'Most people in rural India depend directly or indirectly on farming for their livelihood.
Despite this, not enough attention has been given to agriculture to overcome poverty. The agriculture sector has a vital place in the economic development of India. However, very little interest has been shown by the policy makers to strengthen sustainable agriculture in India,' said Dr. Shiraj A. Wajih, President of Sustainable Agriculture Network (SANUP), a network of more than 200 NGOs working in agriculture sector in Uttar Pradesh. SANUP is the only network in Uttar Pradesh which is directly working with the farmers to strengthen their knowledge of sustainable agriculture growth. However, it is a matter of concern that even the government, along with the multinational companies, seems to be aggressively promoting chemical farming in order to make quick profits. This is violating the basic norms of sustainable agriculture and will be counter-productive in the long run.' He further said that, 'the biggest and most important achievement of sustainable agriculture network has been in sustainable agriculture literacy in bringing about a change in farmers thinking and perceptions.'

India is a land of agriculture and which needs to be strengthened in a sustain way. The government should make farmer-friendly policies and should encourage farmers to adopt low input cost and high production methods. In this way agriculture will become not only a means of subsistence for the poor but will also become the back-bone of Indian economy.

- Amit Dwivedi

(The author is a Special Correspondent to Citizen News Service (CNS). He can be contacted at: amit@citizen-news.org, website: www.citizen-news.org)

Comments

Pallavi Barua's picture

At a point of time, when Non-renewabale sources of energy and raw materials would be exhausted, India would have to fall back on agriculture. Infact, the key to all around development of Assam and North-East India, without destroying the delicate fabric of Ecology, lies in an Agro-based economy.

Pages

Add new comment

Random Stories

Peace or no peace: Five ULFA killed in encounter

26 Oct 2008 - 4:54pm | Pranjal Barua
Once again the blazing gunfire could bury the hope of peace in Assam if the fresh killing of five ULFA cadres is any indication. The incident took place in lower Assam’s Nalbari district that...

Transport Union plant trees in Hojai.

9 Jul 2018 - 11:46am | Nikhil Mundra
Hojai:- In tune with 69th Van Mahoutsav celebrations across the state, Hojai District Truck Union Worker's  in association with Hojai Forest Department planted several sapling' s at Gandhi Vidya...

UPP reiterates forming government at Dispur

21 Apr 2016 - 8:27pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau
Former Rajya Sabha MP and United Peoples Party(UPP) president Urkhao Gwra Brahma has reiterating claimed that his party alliance with Congress forming government at Dispur winning largest seats in...

Sensitizatiion  at Digboi on 28-03-2020.Pix by UB Photos

Maximum alert against killer COVID-19

28 Mar 2020 - 10:52pm | AT News
Guwahati: Even as COVID19 has not reached the state,  Assam is remaining on maximum alert to keep the killer virus at bay.  Roads,  mostly in the rural areas are lying deserted...

Other Contents by Author

The 28th Assam Convention was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 amidst much fun fare. For the first time ever in the history of Assam Association of North America (AANA) conventions, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam addressed the gathering on June 30 in an attractive ‘Town Hall’ format meeting, where everyone got a chance to ask the Chief Minister, Mr.Tarun Gogoi about their home state Assam. The Chief Minister was accompanied by A.K.Sachan, IAS and Hemanga Sarma, IAS and answered questions on a variety of topics ranging from flood situation in Guwahati to NRI investment in Assam, education, AIDS/HIV etc....
Agartala: Gandhism is catching and fast. This time it is the turn of surrendered militants of National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT-BM) to follow the Gandhism path alleging that the State Government has still not fulfilled their demands. Mantu Koloi alongwith 72 armed cadres had surrendered before security forces in May, 2004 following an agreement with the State Government. But Koloi says that till date the State Government has not taken any steps towards the fulfilment of promises which were made at the time of their surrender.The former rebel leader said that as such they have been compelled to organize a semi-nude march towards the Governor House on July 25 to apprise Governor DN...
Indian companies are rapidly expanding their global footprint, often through acquisitions funded by canny investors who have recognised the competence of Indian managers and the skills they bring to the table. But there is a flipside to this. An estimated one-fifth of India’s current workforce from shop-floor workers to top managers which has played a crucial part in the transformation of Indian business will be out of the workforce by the year 2010. And the reason is that they would have passed India’s absurdly low retirement age of 58 in most corporate organizations and 60 in a few. It is a well know fact that it is felt that India’s much-touted ‘demographic...
GUWAHATI : Indian Bank opened its first all woman manned branch of in the GNB Road in the city. According to the Bank sources, this is the first all woman branch of Indian Bank in the country.The bank was inaugurated by Ms Sundara Rajan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Indian Bank. Ms Rajan speaking on the occasion had high expectations from the Branch and said that if the is model is successful, Indian Bank would look at opening many such branches in the Country. The Reserve Bank of India, Regional Director, Ms Sewali Choudhury was also present on the occasion.
Guwahati : Assam’s flood situation has taken a grim turn on Tuesday as the Brahmaputra and its tributaries are flowing at an alarming level. The situation has gone from bad to worse following incessant rainfall during the last 24 hours.Officials here say all surface communications in the worst-hit Dhemaji district are still remaining disrupted which has left lakhs of people displaced. With fresh rainfall in some places in the morning more areas in the district have come under the surging waters. The water levels had showed a receding trend on Monday. According to officials engaged in the relief works, the district administration is providing shelter to the marooned people in four...
As what is seen as a precedence for many such moves in the future, a proposal to raise the retirement age from 58 to 60 years for employees of profit-making central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) has been approved by the Union Cabinet. The ministries which are responsible for the administration of the respective companies would be empowered to approve the proposals of CPSEs to enhance the age of retirement of its employees from 58 to 60 years, provided that these companies have made net profits for the last three years continuously and should have positive net worth on a sustained basis, government officials said. “This benefit will be available to only those PSUs that have not...
There are floods in Balipara now. Reports have come in that there are twelve villages which are under water. Water is receding but the situation is still grim. Emergency services have been pressed into operation
GUWAHATI: Caught in a Catch-22 situation, Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, is willing to hand over the probe into the killing of Phul Chand Ram to the CBI but has said that this will not stop the flow of investments into the state.Talking to the reporters on Monday, Mr Gogoi says his government will soon order a CBI inquiry into the crossfire which left the FCI executive director Dr Ram killed.“We are always against allowing rebel groups to hold people for ransom by kidnapping officials and setting conditions for their safe release. I rejected the plea of the Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar to release ULFA top guns Mrinal Hazarika and Pallab Chetia for release of Dr Ram as...
Guwahati: In connection with the abduction and recovery of the dead bodies of the CCI Manager Kailash Jha and PWD junior Engineer Ajay Kumar Deka, the City Police has arrested five persons, inlcuding an Army officer, for kidnap and murder of Deka. They have been identified as Lance Naik Akon Kumar Das, Jitu Choudhury, Rinku Choudhury, Subhas Das and Amar Thapa. While Jitu and Rinku, both brothers, were arrested from Baksa district last night, Subhas Das and Amar Thapa, both surrendered ULFA rebels, were arersted from Pathsala, Barpeta today. Sources said that the late Deka took Rs. 7 lakh assuring to provide them jobs.Meanwhile the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh has condemned the incident...
Mumbai : Sunita Bhuyan, daughter of famed violinist, Minoti Khaund has been carving her own niche in India’s cultural and corporate world. Bhuyan has been performing in various functions and meets in India alongwith her mother as well as independently. With corporates, she has been presenting workshops on music as a tool for holistic development of corporate executives across various international forums. Recently she had given a performance at NCPA in Mumbai about the influence of classical ragas on some of the Assamese folk music styles. “Bihu is a popular form of folk song as well as dance,” said Bhuyan, who explored the folk, devotional and contemporary music of...