We can notice the after effects of LPG [Liberation, Privatisation and Globalisation] world over and Kerala in particular.
Paddy fields and agriculture sector are slowly vanishing. People who used to cultivate rice are migrating into other fields. The most important challenge in front of the Kerala government is how to sustain fast growing populations and also to break the claim made by agribusiness industry that there is no alternative to using genetically modified crops in agriculture if ‘we want to feed the world’.
We have to find a way out to escape from the brink of food disaster. Organic farming is one way to promote either self-sufficiency or food security in states like Kerala.
From last few years what we have seen in Kerala and farming sectors in some other states is the breeding of new crop varieties that could effectively use massive inputs of chemical fertilizers, and the use of toxic pesticides, which poisons the land and water heavily.
We also see the after-affects such as severe environmental consequences, including loss of topsoil, decrease in soil fertility, surface and ground water contamination, and loss of genetic diversity.
Now, the alternative we should look for is organic farming, which spells well for agricultural sector and the farming community. It is holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity.
Many studies shown that organic farming methods can produce higher yields than conventional methods. We can see significant difference in soil health indicators such as nitrogen mineralization potential and microbial abundance and diversity, which were higher in the organic farms.
The increased soil health in organic farms also resulted in considerably lower disease incidence.
Organic farming systems always produce high yield crops and increase soil fertility and prevent loss of topsoil to erosion. Animal manure also provides enough nitrogen not only to sustain high crop yields but also to build up the nitrogen storage in the soil. This indirectly promotes farm house and couple livestock production to crop production, thus cycling this valuable byproduct back into the soil and eliminating costly environmental degradation.
The emphasis on small-scale family farms has the potential to revitalize rural areas and their economies. Small farmers, especially in the state like Kerala have integrated farming systems where they plant a variety of crops maximizing the use of their land.
They are also more likely to have livestock on their farm, which provides a variety of animal products to the local economy and manure for improving soil fertility.
Only organic methods can help small family farms survive, increase farm productivity, repair decades of environmental damage and knit communities into smaller, more sustainable distribution networks — all leading to improved food security in and around India.source: www.commodityonline.com