This has reference to news “Organic Farming in Leh”, DE, October 24. The news pertains to assess, the performance of Homoeo Farming also known as Organic Farming for the horticultural crops to be grown in Leh by the scientists of SKUAST Srinagar, working at Leh. This will be in addition to the work that already stands conducted from this angle in the Kashmir valley.
It is worthwhile to mention that organic farming is much native to India, but it is almost forgotten owing to adoption of modern agriculture, which commenced from Green Revolution, ushering during 1967-68. There is no doubt that Green Revolution gave an impression of good success for 2-3 decades, but later on it became costly, unfriendly affair to environment, unable to meet the input and output demand of future agriculture. It happened due to indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to rice and wheat crops. As a result, agricultural land productivity declined. Not only this, there was contamination of ground water with nitrate, occurrence of heavy metals in soils, incidence of fluoride and appearance of carcinogenic agents. Food grains, fruits and vegetables were found contaminated with undesirable chemicals. Thus starting of Organic Farming (Use of all components of food production organically) in Leh for Horticultural crops will prove a boon to shun the bad effects of chemicalised farming if exists any in the area. It is point to mention that the farmers of the cold Arid Zone of Ladakh used to follow traditional way of organic farming and always avoid using fertilizers and pesticides in vegetables and crops production. For enriching the fertility of the soils, they used the processed night soil. Recycling of human and animal excreta in soils of Ladakh was an old and time immemorial practice but modern toilet practices corruption the ancient nigh soil preserving technology.
With the increasing awareness of healthy living and highlighting the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, there is now a great demand for organic farming. For this purpose, initial inputs such as organic manures, bio-fertilizers, seeds for green manuring and botanical pesticides are required.
Prof (Dr) R D Gupta
Cum Chief Scientist