Pointing out that the overuse of chemical fertilisers is creating an adverse impact on the quality of land, water and human health, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday urged farmers to launch a "new green revolution" in India by adopting natural farming methods.
He said the overuse of chemical fertilisers is turning the farmland infertile and therefore, adoption of natural farming methods is vital to restore the land quality, increase agricultural production and make farmers prosperous. Shah was virtually addressing farmers after launching the logo of the Gujarat government's initiative for natural farming, its mobile application and e-vans to market the produce grown using the natural farming methods through a chain of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recognised chemical fertilisers as a major crisis, and started looking for options to stop its use while also aiming to increase the agriculture production, reduce water consumption and bring prosperity for cultivators. "Let us launch a new green revolution through natural farming, which preserves and conserves the land for the next many years instead of damaging it. To achieve this, natural farming is the only way out," he said in his video interaction with the farmers of Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency that he represents.
"Natural farming is vital for India today, but I can certainly see that the entire world will have to accept the natural farming methods initiated by our country. The entire world will have to accept the importance of desi cow (which plays a major role in the natural farming process)," he said.
The FPOs in Gujarat will act as a bridge between consumers and farmers. These organisations will take the farm produce to consumers after certification. This will be the first such system in the country, he said. PM Modi becoming its brand ambassador is a matter of great pleasure, he said, adding, "I am certain that the adoption of natural farming techniques in India will show the path to the entire world."
The overuse of chemical fertilisers after the green revolution left several ill-effects, which only worsened due to lack of review every 10 years. "Due to the overuse of chemical fertilisers, India's farmland is turning infertile and chemicals have seeped underground," he said, adding that this will increase the number of people suffering from cancer in the coming years.
Pointing out that Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat also worked in the field of natural farming, Shah said that scientists have certified that adoption of natural farming restores the land quality and turns it more fertile, increases production, reduces use of water and makes farmers prosperous. In the last two years, more than two lakh farmers in Gujarat have adopted natural farming over 2.5 hectares of land, he said.
"Gujarat's farmers have understood the benefits of natural farming and have adopted it...If 'annadatas' (food providers) do not think of the future, the country and the earth, then we are heading towards a great crisis," Shah said. He said that as a Member of Parliament from Gandhinagar, he has decided to make at least 50 per cent farmers in his constituency turn to natural farming.
Gujarat should also make arrangements to ensure maximum return to farmers on their natural farming produce, because only then they will turn increasingly towards natural farming, he said. The Union cooperation ministry has given the responsibility to Amul (Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd) to set up laboratories in areas where farmers adopt natural farming to certify the land and produce, and also set up a marketing chain, he added.
The minister said he is confident that the food grain cultivated through natural farming will fetch twice the minimum support price in India and world markets. "If we succeed in this direction, then natural farming will become popular. If farmers get the produce and the right price, then there is no reason why they should not turn towards natural farming," Shah said.
With inputs from PTI.