Nature dictates the outcome

There is always resistance to change. Jeevaram, a farmer in Sutrapada village of Gir Somanath district, Gujarat, faced the typical dilemma of whether to go in for zero-budget organic farming or stick to using chemical fertilisers and pesticides. He was apprehensive about this new concept. Should he take the risk when the cotton crop he had grown was totally destroyed by the pink bollworm?

Jeevaram and his three younger brothers own 16 bighas of land where they grow wheat, groundnut, cotton and seasonal vegetables. When representatives of the GHCL Foundation working with farmers in the Sutrapada block approached him in 2015, he and other farmers were reluctant to go organic.

To encourage them, the Foundation offered 90 per cent subsidy on organic manure, bio pesticides and fodder, with supplementary nutrition, as well as saplings for horticulture. It also arranged training for farmers to prepare their own organic manure and bio pesticides. It took Jeevaram almost a year to make up his mind. Ultimately, he decided to go for it.

Today, his farm has become a model for others to emulate as he reaps the benefits of organic farming.