Winds of change: After losing kin to cancer, family adopts organic farming
Jalandhar, July 5: Away from the disheartening stories of farmers coming from various areas of the state, Avtar Singh (72) of Charkey village near Bhogpur, roams in his 12-acre farm in which he cultivates his crops naturally.
However, the scenario was not the same a decade ago. “We would use ‘zeher’ (insecticides and pesticides) in bulk in our fields to grow the crops,” says his son, Amarjeet Singh, adding, “We knew that spraying excessive insecticides and pesticides was not right but we continued the practice until we had to reap its results ourselves.”
He reveals, “My cousin died of blood cancer caused by the same insecticides and pesticides.” The tragedy changed their lives and Avtar decided to discard chemicals and adopt the organic way of growing vegetables, maize, sugarcane and haldi in his farm in 2006.
They took help from books on organic farming written by Subhash Palekar, an agriculturist and Padma Shri awardee.