‘Fertiliser overuse has made soil infertile’

MANGALORE, OCT. 8:

Soil in Indian farms has lost its fertility because of overuse of chemical fertilisers, according to C.T. Ravi, Karnataka Higher Education Minister.

Inaugurating an agriculture awareness camp, organised by the Department of Agriculture here on Monday, Ravi said that organic farming was part of traditional Indian agriculture a few decades ago. The irony is that awareness campaigns on organic farming have to be conducted now for farmers, he said.

This is because most Indian farmers have become used to chemical fertilisers. They need to be informed of the harm that chemical fertilisers cause and practise organic farming, he said.

The Minister said people have lost confidence in agriculture. Many farmers see it as economically unviable.

In the olden days, farmers were not dependent on market for various agriculture inputs such as seeds and fertilisers. All these inputs were available to them either in their fields or in their neighbourhood.

Now each of these inputs is sourced from the market, making it unviable for them to grow many crops, he said. When expenses go up, the farmer falls into a debt trap.

Social factors are also driving them away from agriculture, he said. Explaining this, Ravi said many parents prefer to marry their daughters to a doctor, engineer or a government servant. Yogish Bhat, Deputy Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, presided over the meeting. An exhibition of farm products and implements was organised on the occasion.

(Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article3977979.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)