Lest they will face risk of eating harmful food, say agriculture experts
NEED OF THE HOUR:K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, addressing a symposium in Madurai on Thursday.— Photo: S. James
Agriculture and agronomy experts have cautioned that if organic cultivation continues to be ignored, people will face the risk of eating harmful food produced on soil where chemicals and pesticides are used indiscriminately.
They have appealed to farmers to switch over to organic agriculture and thereby maintain soil fertility and sustainability.
“Let us have good quality food by adopting good cultivation practices where bio-manure and bio-fertilizers are used. In these days of global warming and planet burning, it is time to prevent contamination of soil by stopping chemical-fed cultivation,” they said here on Thursday.
The experts were speaking at the inauguration of a symposium on ‘Organic agriculture for sustainable food security’organised by Agricultural College and Research Institute (ACRI).
K.K. Krishnamurthi, president, Indian Society for Certification of Organic Products, in his inaugural address, said, “Even though we have good climate and soil, Tamil Nadu is lagging in organic culture. Microbes are important for soil life and the natural way of doing agriculture is the best way to sustain it, instead of depending on pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers.”
K. Shiva Shankar, founder, Environmental Protection Institute, Bangalore, said only one per cent of agricultural land in the world was under organic farming. “If farmers go the organic way, 10 per cent of cost will fall. Their their profit will go up,” he said.
K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, TNAU, said the university had launched a residential programme in sustainable agriculture to train farmers on how to grow high-value crops and market their produce easily. It would be offered at the ACRI here.
R. John Sureshkumar, senior programme officer, Change Alliance, New Delhi, said the course was offered through the open and distance learning wing. “It is a 90-day residential course to train unemployed youth in farming. They will be taught sustainable agricultural practices,” he said.
C. Chinnusamy, Dean, ACRI, and T. Myrtle Grace, Head, Department of Agronomy, said the two-day conference was held in commemoration of the golden jubilee celebrations of the institute.