The above successful methods and our valuable experiences in organic farming can be scientifically justified based on a research paper (Excerpt from ICRISAT Archival report, GT-CI-2005-06 pages 366-367) published by former principal microbiologist scientist Dr OP Rupella of ICRISAT, Hyderabad. An experiment done in Africa in a sorghum and millets farm, 1-2mg (micro dosing) of chemical NPK solution added to each plant showed an increase in yield by 140 per cent. This means external plant nutrient requirement is very minimum in an organic environment. Chemical farmers should note this. In the same research paper he mentions that organic farmer’s fermented preparations of liquid manures like Amrit Pani, Panchgavya, Jeevamrut, etc prepared from desi cow dung/cow urine fulfill the requirement of microbial inoculant’s required per hectare. A cow provides 8 to 10kg dung (wet mass) per day, and if used as a source of beneficial microorganisms, one animal would be adequate (as a source of microorganisms through availability of about 1000 liters Amrit Pani per day around the year) for one hectare. The liquid manure takes care of microbial requirement and not NPK requirement of plants. He has also estimated that 3 MT Glyciridia plant dry biomass/hectare takes care of the NPK requirement of the crops. This biomass can be generated by 1.5M wide border cropping of Glyciridia in one hectare land. In our Homa-organic farm at Sutagatti, we are managing 45 acres land with only Three Desi Cows and farm generated biomass only, since 1999.
Environmental degradation is the biggest challenge faced by Indian agriculture which is affecting yield outputs. Thrust has to be given on generating biomass for organic farming particular in semiarid and dry zones of the country. A complete design has to be given to the farmers for maintaining biomass throughout the year in his farm. Our goal should be to establish perennial system of agriculture. Vermicomposting or biomass composting can give short term benefits, they can feed the plants but in organic farming one must also feed and nourish the soil.
However modern science normally considers soil improvement and to some extent water quality improvement. According to the ancient science of Vruksha-Ayurveda, as described in Atharvaveda atmosphere is the biggest single factor which affects plant kingdom, soil and water quality. Modern science knows 95-98 per cent of plants’ dry weight of plant food is taken from the air and only 2-5 per cent of a plant’s diet comes from the soil. The plant’s feed quantitatatively from the atmosphere and qualitatively from the soil. It clearly appears that we have a lot to do to control pollution. Pollution is the disease. The nutrients are robbed from our environment by pollution. The disastrous effects of the environmental changes are seen in the rising diseases in human beings, plants and animals. So now science has to investigate if there is a way to make atmosphere more nutritious and fragrant and thus improve soil quality and water resources. Homa therapy is the answer. The ancient knowledge about the pyramid fire Agnihotra was newly revived in the middle of the 20th century by the Indian teacher Param Sadguru Sri Gajanan Maharaj and his disciple, Sri Vasant V Paranjpe who took this knowledge to every continent around the world.
Agnihotra is the basic fire in Homa Therapy. It is the process of purification of the atmosphere through the agency of fire prepared in the copper pyramid tuned to the biorhythm of sunrise/sunset.
Agnihotra Homa involves simple disciplines and ingredients.
Time: Agnihotra is to be performed daily exactly at sunrise and sunset timings of the place. Exact timings are calculated using a German Software Sun 365 or Agnihotra timing 27E.
Agnihotra Pot: A specific semi-pyramid shaped copper vessel. Its size is 14.5 cm x 14.5 cm at the top, 5.25cm x 5.25cm at the bottom and has height of 6.5cm.
Dried cow dung cakes, cow ghee, unbroken unpolished rice and two small mantras.
Agnihotra is performed in the Agnihotra hut 3 x 4 meter size to be built in the centre of the farm. This hut is a place of silence where only specific mantras are chanted so that there is no interference with subtle healing energies. A small fire is prepared in the Agnihotra pot using cow dung cakes and cow ghee, a few minutes before the timings. Take two pinch of clean unbroken, unpolished rice smeared with pure cow ghee in a dish or on the left palm of your hand. At the exact sunrise and sunset timing of the place the rice grains are offered to the fire along with the Sanskrit mantras, to be uttered clearly and in a steady voice. It does not take more than 5-10 minutes.
At Sun Rise
1. Sooryaya Swaha, Sooryaya Idam Na Mama (Add the first portion of rice after the word swaha.)
2. Prajapataye Swaha, Prajapataye Idam Na Mama (Add the second portion of rice after the word swaha)
This completes morning Agnihotra.
At Sun Set
1. Agnaye Swaha, Agnaye Idam Na Mama (Add the first portion of rice after the word swaha.)
2. Prajapataye Swaha, Prajapataye Idam Na Mama (Add the second portion of rice after the word swaha.)
This completes evening Agnihotra.
(Please Note: No healing effect occurs if you miss the timings or use impure ingredients.)
Taking it forward
Organic Food Club has successfully participated in the Karnataka Government Organic Village Programme since 2004 of Belgaum district to train 123 farmers in organic farming in 100 hectares. Now the new government has taken up a massive and unique Rs 100 crore/annum three year Organic Farming Mission Programme (2008-11) with the help of registered Savayava Krishi Parivaras (Trusts) in about 175 talukas of Karnataka to convert 300 farmer families of each taluka to organic farming in the state. The mission is to achieve self-reliance for farmers through organic farming production practices and components which include recycling of crop residues and biomass, green manuring, composting, liquid manure preparations, crop rotation, intercropping, bee keeping, bio control of pests and diseases, water conservation and harvesting, renewable energy systems, local seed preservation and seed diversity, local cow breeds and goshalas, post harvesting methodologies, value addition technologies and infrastructure establishment in each taluka for direct marketing to the consumers.
However the biggest threat to the above farmer empowering and eco-friendly agriculture system is the GM crops industry which continues to misleadingly claims that Genetically Modified (GM) crops are beneficial for the environment and a key solution to hunger and poverty. The new report released from Brussels (Belgium), Lagos (Nigeria), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) on February 13, 2008 shows that GM crops are causing an increased use of harmful pesticides in major biotech crop producing countries including China. GM crops do not tackle hunger or poverty. Most GM crops commercialised so far are destined for animal feed, not for food and none have been introduced to address hunger and poverty issues. GM crops are not providing help to small farmers in developing countries. Overall, current GM crops do not yield more than other existing crop varieties.
There needs to be a thorough review of the science and technology policy, industrial policy, along with a review of legal and judicial provisions, which give the people more rights. Although a right philosophy and right strategies are important, it is equally important to properly implement them through establishing better and faultless mechanisms in agriculture field. The system must provide nutritional and food security to the people of the country.
(The writer is pioneer Organic Vanilla grower in Northern Karnataka and is founder president of Venugram Savayava Krishi Parivara, Belgaum. He can be contacted at [email protected])