Expert advises against solely depending on organic farming

DHARWAD: Though organic farming has its own advantages, solely depending on it will not help augment huge food requirements of the country, said ICAR director-general S Ayyappan.

Organic manures can augment the microbial activity, prevent environmental deterioration and restore soil health. It can reduce the chemical load in soil and farm produce. But at this juncture, when the quantum of food is close to the deficit, one cannot truly identify with the sole purpose of environmental resurrection alone. The fields around the world will be burdened with the responsibility of supplying grains to the oversized population. “Organic farms alone cannot bear this responsibility,” he said, while delivering the convocation address at University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS, Dharwad) on Monday.

Ayyappan, who is also secretary to the department of agricultural research and education, said the precision that manufactured mineral fertilizers helps overcome the limitations of organic fertilizer. Chemical fertilizers will remain key inputs for agriculture. It has, time and again, been proved that they can augment the production levels and can fill the granaries, he said.

He called upon agricultural scientists and agricultural universities to develop location- and situation-specific strategies for adapting the rain-fed farming to emerging climate patterns as the global climate change is now a reality and there is need to address the issue on a mission mode.

Ayyappan said India needs Nutrition Security Act to help Nutrition Security Mission and Nutrition Policy become effectively functional.

Expressing concerns over low per-capita consumption of fruits and vegetables in India, Ayyappan advocated the need to identify crops which demand less water and other inputs besides being more remunerative.

UAS vice-chancellor R R Hanchinal presented the gold medals to toppers and conferred degrees to graduates, post-graduates and PhD awardees.

Honoris Causa were conferred on former deputy director-general (education) and former V-C of Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology (Udaipur) S L Mehta and Prof. G S Vijaya Raghavan of James McGill University ( Canada) for their “outstanding achievements” in agricultural research and education.


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