Sonipat (Haryana) [India]: To promote natural farming amongst the farmers in the Ganga basin, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Sahakar Bharati organised ‘Vishaal Kisan Sammelan’ workshop in Bayanpur village in Haryana as part of the targeted campaign under Namami Gange programme and Arth Ganga.
The workshop was organised on Tuesday where more than 200 farmers took part along with representatives from Sahakar Bharati, State and District Level officials and NMCG officials also took part in the event. The workshop was presided over by Director General, NMCG G. Asok Kumar.
Addressing the gathering, DG, NMCG, G. Asok Kumar gave an overview of the emerging water scarcity, especially groundwater, in the country and emphasized natural farming, espoused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the first meeting of Arth Ganga in Kanpur in 2019.
“In order to ensure food security in India, a Green Revolution was witnessed in the 1960s in which farmers were the most important contributors and the country is indebted to the farmers, especially from Haryana and Punjab, for ensuring we are all well-fed,” Kumar said, adding, “However, despite opposition, the use of tube wells and bore wells also increased around that time and groundwater extraction was preferred over canal irrigation due to various reasons.”
Kumar further said that the extraction of groundwater and extensive use of technology and pesticides resulted in water scarcity and contamination and most importantly, we lost touch with nature.
“The friendly bacteria have vanished, so have the earthworms and soil quality is deteriorating due to the use of pesticides giving way to various diseases,” he said.
Kumar said that natural farming is one of the most important components of Arth Gang and, therefore, NMCG has joined hands with Sahakar Bharati to interact and promote ‘Natural Farming’ amongst the farmers in the Ganga Basin and hold training programmes on how to get ‘More Net-income Per Drop’ through this.
Talking about some novel initiatives undertaken by National Water Mission during his tenure as the Managing Director, Kumar said that a meeting with 1500 farmers was organised in Kurukshetra as part of the ‘Sahi Fasal’ initiative that aimed to nudge farmers to shift to maize cultivation from paddy for better profit and less water usage.
Another initiative was ‘Catch the Rain: Where it Falls, when it Falls’ launched by Modi on the occasion of World Water Day on March 22 in 2021 emphasizing the harvesting of rainwater at the very place where it falls.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between NMCG and Sahakar Bharati on on August 16 in the presence of Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to achieve the vision of sustainable and viable economic development by public participation.
Some of the major objectives the MoU envisages include the identification of 75 villages in five states on the main stem to be designated as ‘Sahakar Ganga Grams’, promoting natural farming among the farmers, FPOs and Cooperatives in States along Ganga and generating ‘More Net-Income Per Drop’, facilitate marketing of natural farming and organic produce under brand Ganga through the creation of market linkages, promote people-river connect through economic bridge etc. (ANI)