New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday urged Indian farmers to “liberate” the country’s soil from chemical fertilisers and pesticides on the occasion of India’s 75th year of independence.
Addressing farmers from across the country at the National Conclave on Natural Farming in the Anand district of Gujarat, PM Modi said fertilisers helped increase agricultural production and led to the Green Revolution, but there is a need to keep looking for alternatives.
Participating via video conferencing on the last day of the three-day conclave, Modi said natural farming offers much better production with no side effects.
“On the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, let’s take a pledge to make Maa Bharati’s land free from chemical fertilisers and pesticides,” he said.
The PM also stressed the perils of heavy usage and import of chemical input such as pesticides and fertilisers, which lead to higher costs, thereby causing inflation as well as adverse health impact.
“Natural farming will benefit the country’s 80 per cent farmers, who are small-scale and have less than two hectares of land, as they spend a lot on chemical input. But using natural fertilisers will benefit them with low expenditure and more profit,” he said.
‘From seed to soil, you can treat everything in a natural way’
Farmers across the country witnessed an acute shortage as well as skyrocketing prices of fertilisers this year, reports said earlier.
The trend was noticed mainly in fertilisers such as di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), Muriate of Potash (MOP) and other non-urea fertilisers, which are primarily imported. These were being sold at prices much higher than levels set by the government.
Speaking about the issue, PM Modi said farming should be taken out of the chemistry lab and connected with nature’s own laboratory.
“Whatever power the fertilisers have can also be found in nature. We just have to explore it. From seed to soil, you can treat everything in a natural way. Natural farming does not involve spending on fertilisers or on pesticides. It also requires less irrigation and is capable of dealing with floods and droughts,” he said.
Modi also recalled various initiatives for farmer welfare that have been taken under his government, including soil testing facilities, new seeds, PM-Kisan and Kisan Rail.
What other attendees said
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also attended the event Thursday.
Addressing the conclave prior to PM Modi, the Gujarat Governor spoke about his experience with natural farming and how earthworms and natural resources like desi cow dung, jaggery and other items can lead to an increase in the nutritional content of the soil and result in increased crop production.
Tomar also informed farmers about natural farming practices.
The conclave was attended live by over 5,000 farmers, apart from farmers connected via central educational Institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and others.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)