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

Panel for probe into border influx

25 Oct 2015 - 6:22am | AT New Delhi
A Supreme Court panel set up to study the influx across the Indo-Bangla border suggests the country’s apex court to institute a high level probe in to the entire issue confronting the north eastern...

Ensure safe custody of Soobodh

22 Mar 2017 - 3:34pm | AT News
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal held a high level meeting in Dispur to review the state’s law and order situation after police arrested Soobodh Biswas in West Bengal on Wednesday.He asked...

No breakthrough in Chirang abduction

4 Nov 2013 - 7:46am | AT News
Tension prevails in Chirang a day after unidentified miscreants kidnapped 4 persons of a family at gunpoint.           The incident took place at North Khaitema village ...

Feeline attack in Sivasagar: 9 injured

24 Mar 2008 - 6:56am | editor
Altogether niner people have been injured when a leopard attack the villagers in Sibsagar district on Sunday. According to information, a leopard which is supposed to have come down from the dense...

Other Contents by Author

Mumbai : As cricket slides donw the TRP ratings, Dav Whatmore is all set to coach his third Asian Country - India. Whatmores appointment is just a mere formality according to sources in the BCCI. He is the popular choice of players as well as the administration.This would be Whatmores most challenging assignment till date in a country where cricketers were considered to be demigods, still are, but fast sliding down the popularity ratings. He faces an uphill task - reviving Indian Cricket.
The second bridge over the Brahmaputra is part of the East-West corridor, which would connect the North East Region with the rest of the country. At the same time, a high speed highway from Silchar to Srirampur is being constructed in Assam at an investment of Rs 6000 crores.The mighty and sacred river, the Brahmaputra, is the lifeline of the people of Assam. A new bridge over Brahmaputra will serve the people of Assam as well as the States of Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. It will provide a new path towards progress and prosperity. The UPA Government is committed to the rapid development of the North East Region. This project is scheduled to be...
Haflong: An eerie silence prevails here on Tuesday even as Governor Lt General (Retired) Ajoy Kumar Singh and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi are visiting the area to assess the law and order situation following the gruesome ambush on Monday that left Purnendu Langthasa and his close aide Nindu Langthasa to death.According to information, both the Governor and the Chief Minister are scheduled to visit the residence of the Langthasas before talking to the district administration officials.The streets here wear deserted look from early this morning and the loyalists of the Langthasa are gatecrashing the residence of Purnendu Langthasa, the Chief Executive Member of the North Cachar Hills...
DIBRUGARH reports another first but of the dubious kind. A lady government officer of the PWD (technical) department of Assam was arrested on charges of bribery and extortion.Mr Rajib Dutta was a happy man. He had been selected through the selection exam in the Deputy Commissioner's office for the post of a Junior Assistant. But Ms Runu Das Dutta , the lady in charge of the appointments had some other ideas. The woman reportedly demanded Rs one lakh from from him, stating that his appointment would be confirmed only if he paid the amount which would be handed across to a higher authority. Rajib, the conscience citizen lodged a complaint with the police and now the lady is cooling her heels...
Guwahati: A police report on Ulfa’s support base in the Assam capital names four prominent businessmen and some professionals among the militant group’s most ardent sympathisers and helpers.An official source said today that all the names mentioned in the report have at some time or the other acted as Ulfa conduits or “rendered their services” to the outfit.The police are trying to ascertain whether any of the four businessmen had a role to play in the chain of blasts in the city’s business hub over the past month. What has already been confirmed is that the quartet has long been helping Ulfa replenish its coffersTop police officials handed the report to...
In 2007, 9 pct of Indian employers could not fill positions because of lack of suitable talent as against 41 pct of employers worldwide. As opposed to the global trend, the crunch seems to be easing off in India as just last year 13 pct of Indian employers reported difficulty in hiring. The survey covered 37,000 employers across 27 countries, including 4,858 employers in India. Other countries where the talent shortage is not so severe are Ireland (17 pct), Netherlands (17 pct) and China (19 pct). Those looking for a job can also head out to countries like Costa Rica (93 pct reporting shortages), Mexico (82 per cent), New Zealand (62 pct), Australia (61 pct) and Japan (61 pct) and Singapore...
Indian economy is on robust growth trajectory, growing at around 8% for last five years. Manufacturing, Power, Metals and Automobiles are all growing. Global companies are capitalizing on this growth opportunity by expanding their presence in India. This is leading to competition & productivity challenges and automation of these processes holds the key to success. Automation industry is growing at approx 20 pct. Various Companies like Rockwell is making inroads into India. Rockwell is looking for automation professionals and Engineers from core industries to support their rapid growth plans
BPO sector across the southern cities needs over 5,000 freshers for the healthcare BPOs. The jobs offered are in transcription, billing, coding and clinical trials. Currently nearly 15,000 people are employed in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. All leading job portals are carrying many openings.
The programme at Genpact allows candidates to work and earn a Bachelor of Commerce (with Computers) degree simultaneously. Aimed at students who have completed Class XII and are in the process of pursuing a college degree, it allows students to gain valuable work experience in the largest business services and technology solutions company, while studying for their graduation degree. Upon completion of the three-year programme, a student obtains three years of work experience and is offered full-time employment at Genpact. Over 500 students across the country are already on their way to enhance their careers through this programme