Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to farmers across India, especially 80 per cent who are small land holding farmers, to adopt natural farming and look for nature-based solutions that can provide food security as well as help achieve balance with nature.
Stating that some states such as his home state Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh have already taken to natural farming, PM Modi also appealed to all state governments to take up natural farming as 'jan andolan' and ensure that at least one village in every Panchayat is 100 per cent into natural farming.
"We need to take away farming from the chemistry lab to nature's lab. And when I say nature's laboratory, it is entirely science-based," Modi said while virtually addressing the farmers during the valedictory session of 'National Conclave on Natural Farming' being held at Anand in Gujarat.
Along with natural farming, the role of indigenous cows too is very important, he said, adding, the land that needs less irrigation can better withstand droughts and floods.
"When the world is chanting the mantra of 'Back to Basics', we need to remember that our civilization was based on agriculture, so imagine, how advanced our knowledge about farming must have been," the Prime Minister said and reminded the audience of detailed mentions about agriculture related issues in the ancient works right from Rig Veda, Atharv Veda to Puranas and Parashar Rishi to 'Krushak Kavi Ghagh' in north India to 'Sant Thiruvallur' in south India. He also recited a Sanskrit shloka and a couplet from poet Ghagh's works.
Reminding almost eight crore farmers listening to him virtually across India that he had challenged the world to adopt LIFE - Life Style for Environment - during the recent climate change summit, Modi said, "In the 21st century, it is India that is going to lead, it is the Indian farmers that are going to lead. As we celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and march into the Amrit Kaal (time till India's 100 years of Independence), India will provide for the world a better solution for food security along with balance with nature through natural farming."
There is no denying that fertilizers played an important role in the green revolution, but it is equally important to look for alternatives to it, he said.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Dev Vrat, who has himself carried out natural farming practice prior to donning the gubernatorial role, explained in detail what prompted him to turn to natural farming - in his home state Haryana - and how with the help of Subhas Palekar, the man who is promoting zero budget natural farming, he regained fertility of the land that had turned useless due to excess use of chemical fertilizers.
In what can be termed as a Masterclass on natural farming, the Governor also explained in very simple language how easy it is to prepare 'Jeevamrut', the organic pesticide/insecticide and how to ensure nitrogen fixation to revive the dead soil.
A short film on natural farming was shown on the occasion. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the first minister for Cooperation, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, too, spoke on the occasion.
The three-day 'National Conclave on Natural Farming' was organized from December 14 and attended by over 5,000 farmers physically apart from hundreds and thousands of others who attended it virtually through ICAR, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency) network in the States.