Express News Service
BENGALURU: In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, the Karnataka government will focus on natural agriculture and will grow crops without using chemical fertilizers and insecticides on 4,000 acres, with 1,000 acres each in Krishi Vijnana Kendras affiliated with four universities of agriculture Sciences of the State. The decision was made because there is a growing demand for chemical-free vegetables and fruits.
Beginning with this pre-monsoon, the government will launch the study on chemical-free agriculture in collaboration with the four agricultural universities – in Bengaluru, Dharwad, Raichur and Shivamogga. Once the yield is good, natural farming methods are taught to farmers.
Minister of Agriculture BC Patil told The New Indian Express that these Universities have large tracts of land attached to them, and natural agriculture is recorded on 1,000 acres on each campus. The focus will be on region-based crops, he added.
Patil said farmers in the state grow a variety of crops, including paddy, ragi, pulses, jowar, areca nut, fruits and vegetables. Each region grows different crops based on climate and water availability. “Instead of chemical fertilizers and insecticides, scientists will use green leaves, neem, cow dung and other naturally available items to grow crops. Beginning this April and May, which is the pre-monsoon season, we will begin cultivation at these. Universities. “Once it succeeds, we will ask farmers from those areas to practice natural agriculture,” he added.
Experts say that natural agriculture is economical for farmers because they do not have to spend money on chemical-based products. Srinivas Reddy, former director and scientific officer, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Center (KSNDMC), said, “Indians practiced natural agriculture for thousands of years using centuries-old wisdom.”
Involving agri varsities is a good initiative
Srinivas Reddy, former director and scientific officer, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Center (KSNDMC), said: “With chemical-based agriculture, the flora and fauna, including insects and worms, which have helped maintain a healthy soil, “Natural agriculture can restore soil fertility and increase production. The carbon content is drastically reduced. It is now or never.”
Reddy said it is a good initiative to involve agricultural universities in recording the study. “The big challenge will be to take the university research into farmers. Farmers will only accept it if better result saresh own,” he added.