Organic farming reaches the roofs
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In India, after the Green Revolution during the 1960’s, crop production became completely commercial .The cost of production rose and the quality of the soil due to extensive use of fertilisers declined drastically. Thus the land under production did not give the promised high yields. Farmers, who had borrowed money, ultimately fell into debt traps, from which recovery was difficult.
“Going organic” is one way by which farmers can get better yields. Organic farming involves use of natural fertilizers such as manure and bio pesticides which are very easy to prepare. Many farmers have realised that organic farming results in higher and more nutritional yields and also keeps the soil fertile. Many farmers have thus begun cultivating their crops organically.
Ø Organic farming is more effective when done on a small scale
Ø Soil reclamation is a very important step that must be taken into consideration if crops have to be cultivated organically.
Ø Community farming can help solve the problem of insufficient inputs. The community could themselves manufacture the bio pesticides (the preparation is easy and takes very little time).
Ø Many individuals now have their own organic vegetable patches on their terraces and balconies. They have reported that they hardly have to buy vegetables from markets.
A CASE STUDY FROM ASUBURB IN CHENNAI, SOUTH INDIA.
Taking the initiative to promote organic agriculture is something each one of us can do. We don't need farm lands for this, any small space like a terrace would do.
Residents of the Ashram Avenue - Mr. Mohandas and Mr. Shakthivel have cultivated vegetable patches on their terraces organically. Over eight houses in the area have done the same. Each garden supports one family. Thus the owners rarely buy vegetables from outside. Mr. Mohandas who started this trend uses the Tower Garden technique. This way he can grow about sixty types of vegetables with minimum use of space, water and time. The residents have reported that they often get more than they require.
It is interesting to note that residents on their own, can get to innovate when the requirement arises. Considering the increasing uses of pesticides and realizing the adverse impact they had decided to create their own garden.
I feel that urban living could try to take this a step further, by using recycled water and kitchen waste, effectively reducing the requirement of scarce water resources and ensuring effective disposal of kitchen waste.