Farmers in Gujarat taking to natural farming in big way

Gir Somnath (Gujarat): Farmers are taking to natural farming in Gujarat with a lot of interest as they say it leads to more profits through growing demand for organically-grown products, reduction in costs due to locally sourced inputs while also having benefits for the soil and environment.

According to estimates, over 50 per cent land in Gujarat is used for agricultural purposes. The state is divided into 7 sub agro-climatic zones and is endowed with abundant natural resources, in terms of different kinds of soil, climatic conditions and diversified cropping patterns. The state is the main producer of tobacco, cotton, groundnut, rice, wheat, jowar, bajra, maize, tur, and gram.

The natural farming allows farmers to eschew artificial fertilisers and industrial pesticides and is getting wider acceptance due to the efforts of the state government.

According to estimates, natural farming in Gujarat has spread to around 2,75,000 hectares in the state with around nine lakh farmers associated with it. The campaign for natural farming started in 2020 and scientists have been explaining the processes to farmers and how they will benefit from it.

Natural farming is spreading in Gir Somnath district also. The agricultural scientists here hold meetings, exhibitions, and camps to help farmers. Apart from agricultural inputs, they inform farmers about the economic and health benefits of natural farming.

Agriculture scientist Jitendra Singh said that the work of the government and the agricultural scientists is to explain new technology, new tools to the farmers and explain how they can benefit.

There is growing demand for natural organic food products for their health benefits among people amid increase in life-style and some other diseases.

Bhagwan Bhai Kachot Oti, a resident of Lodhva village, said he was into farming using pesticides earlier.

“My expenses were increasing and my productivity was decreasing. The quality of soil was also deteriorating. I came in contact with Krishi Vigyan Kendra and have been practicing natural farming. I am getting benefits from it,” he said.

“I also package some of my produce, decide its price and put it for sale online. Earlier, I visited APMC market to sell all my produce but now it is easier.”

Jaideep Kachot, son of Bhagwan Bhai Kachot, said that he has been living with his father after he switched to natural farming.

“When my father was not doing natural farming, he thought that I should go to the city and take a good job and earn money because there was not much income. When my father started natural farming, I started living with him and helping him and I also practice online marketing,” he said.

Jitu Bhai Ganda Bhai Solanki of Deoli village of Kodinar also said that before taking up natural farming he had thought of going to the city to earn money.

“I felt that my land was becoming infertile. Whatever water I used to pour on the field, it was hardly absorbed. Since I started doing natural farming, the fertility of my land has increased. The water now seeps into the ground. Due to this, my land is becoming fertile.”

Ramesh Bhai Rathore, an agriculture scientist said farmers see the benefit of natural farming not only for profits for them but the health benefits for customers.

He said microbe harvesting, indigenous seeds, mixed cropping, cattle dung help in crop yield and the fact that they can market their produce adds a lot of value.

Amiben Upadhyay, CEO of a store in Kodinar Sutrapada, said customers feels good to buy naturally-grown farm products.

“Many farmers in Kodinar are joining natural farming. We are working to deliver the natural produce of farmers to the people. Many big farmers are selling their produce online in the country and abroad with the help of the government,” he added. (ANI)




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