Return to Traditional Organic farming for safe and secured Future
An interview with Safe Food and Organic Fabric Entrepreneur and Safe Food Activist, Mr.Ananthoo by Dr. Padmavathy
Dr. Padmavathy is an ecological farming researcher researching and conceptualizing farming related interventions on behalf of the AVSLI unit and supporting the activities of SLI, particularly in preparation of the location specific background material for each of the farming programmes. The interview was conducted when Mr. Ananthoo visited the SLI and shared his experience and insights with the Stewardship for Sustainable Livelihoods participants on 10th March 2016.
After listening to Mr.Ananthoo interactive session and talk on need of Organic farming total food link and supply chain in SLI on 10 Feb, 2016, I had an opportunity to interview him. It was a great privilege to spend time with such a real social activist, who has truly dedicated himself to organic farming and welfare of the society.
“Sir, What do you think about the current status of Agriculture and farmer in India?”
“It’s in pretty bad shape and very critical. Today farmers became more modernized, market and enterprises dependent, making them to invest more and get less profit. Farmer, as well as, public is unaware of health problem that lie behind the modernized farming practices. First they must come out of this modernized farming thinking and return to traditional organic farming practices and know its importance. They must understand that self reliant/locally made organic bio-fertilizers will cost less, this will provide them sufficient economic returns apart from providing them self satisfaction and ensuring environmental and health security.
What has to be done for water restoration and conservation on which agriculture is so dependent?
Avoid “modernized farming” which was the major cause for the ground water depletion, usage of more water in spraying pesticide/insecticides and fertilizers, will only lead to more ground water depletion, finally leading to desertification. We are not recharging the ground water, unless until we recharge it by rain water harvesting, creating temporary water ponds and trenches in the farm fields for future use. Merely ¼ of the water used in chemical farming is more than sufficient, if we do traditional organic farming and efficient minimal water usage via drip irrigation, mulching etc.
What is your opinion on GM crops?
In simple term it’s totally useless, not required, not safe both for environment and public health. Whole concept of GM is only for the benefit of corporate and multinational companies, nor the farmers nor the society. GM concept ultimately leads to an irreversible state of total loss of traditional indigenous seed varieties, which are reliable, economically stable, most importantly they have the capacity to withstand/adaptable to extreme environmental stress and condition. For example, introduction of Bt Cotton (the first GM crop in India) caused about eradication of 95% of our valuable traditional varieties of cotton. It is an irreversible process once we lost is lost we can’t bring back what we lost.
Does the climate change will have impact on Agriculture, if it does how can we overcome it and achieve food security for this ever growing population?
Climate change plays a very drastic role/impact in agriculture. Last year merely 50% of agriculture land in India lost its fertility due to desertification/water stress- mainly due to seasonal change and climatic fluctuation. Our way of farming and agriculture must be synchronized along with the environmental condition/climate; farmer and people must learn to live along with nature. Unless until we understand, accept and adapt to condition, the problems what we are going to face will be severe and drastic, but never going to change its negative consequences.
In terms of achieving Food Security, first of all farmers must get a self esteemed equalized recognition in the society, this will automatically encourage the farmers and involve future generation in farming, which will obviously reduce the conversation of agriculture fields to corporate companies or industries etc., and making strong agricultural policy/controlling the misuse of power to some extend will also be helpful in restoring the agricultural fields. More land area will increase cultivation, production and we can achieve (nutritious) food security for the ever growing population, but it can be achieved only via organic farming.
What do you think of the role played by SLI in Sustainability and especially Sustainable Farming training programmes?
The programmes conducted by SLI about Sustainability and Sustainable Agriculture is what is currently needed for the society, creating awareness, especially among the farmers and especially in rural areas will alone bring about changes in the society. SLI is in right track and the work done by this Institute is really tremendous and impressive. Great work, it is an appreciable initiative towards sustainable future. You need to expose the farmers coming here to visit local organic farmer’s fields and also serve organic food to the people, by doing that people will obviously feel the difference between the organically grown food in terms of taste, flavor and nutritious value as well.
ReStore Organic Food Store
Tula Organic Fabrics
Organic Farmer's Market