Is Organic Farming / Natural Farming practical?

organic-farming

#161

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

to this we can add the poisonous food, pesticides, material overload etc etc
great topic but as an individual we have the resposibility to leave this place, a planet, earth, soil, land, motherearth or what ever you call it in a better place than before or atleast not ruin it.
In all the times man is the only animal that has caused so much destruction to other habitats to better only himself, which some people are trying to fix with consrvation.
Yes we have improved food production and our lives but at what cost ??????-
indiscriminate use of fertilizers/pesticides has been a major problem in India, there is no one to blame but our greed and ignorance. Following good and sound soil management practices old or new is imperative going forward.
There are many many farmers who are practicing sound farming and reaping wonderful results, if you follow then you see they have to be scientific - curious, experimental, rational, logical having vast experience in so many fields like soil science, water, plant pathology, breeding/hybridising, weather forecast, mechanic, electrician all which is required to be a farmer.

ask questions, learn, practice in whatever way one can to better this only home.
madhavi


#162

[color=red]Moderator note:[/color] this is getting personal. some posts above are being deleted.
Please stick to farming alone.


#163

Yaj and all,
    excellent point . Below is the experience of one my relatives with ayurveda recently .

This young couple had a issue after conceiving a baby, it was aborted 4 /5 times within 1 to 2 months since heartbits of photus will stop.
Our advanced medicle science not able to find even reason, some malfunction with dna that what was told .
Doctors told such baby will always have chance of underdeveloped brain and many more anomalies that we can not even imagine.

After ayurvedic procedures inluding panchakarma  by one of well known doctors for both the parents they are blessed with a healthy normal baby.

I was really surprised… thats what aurveda is which treats the root cause, peoples who don’t beleive lets not care about them. It is far more advanced science but then definitely same baby was given all the vaccinations .

We should try to get the best out of it instead of comparing which is good and bad.a

Best regards,


#164

Maybe the problem is semantics. Most posters are confusing the terms. Where they mean sustainable agriculture, they use the term natural farming, vice versa and so on.

Moreover definitions are suspect.

Organic farmng - in popular culture means the elimination of synthetic chemicals from farming. Originally a counter-culture movement to protest the deterioration of humus content in soil from the ravages of mindless and gratuitous use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, the movement has forgotten the core aspect of humus enrichment and has simply become a call for elimination of all synthetic chemicals from agriculture.

Natural farming - a contradiction in terms, because farming by itself is an unnatural activity. Nature is too big for humans to comprehend, and it has an agenda all of its own dictated by natural laws of the universe. Man is being too conceited in calling his individual method of farming as ‘natural farming’, when the truth is that nature has no method of farming at all. Nature after all is not just lush green meadows and deep dark forests, but also deserts, badlands, eroded gullies, poison ivy and many other negative (in human perception) aspects too. Are these negative aspects also part of natural farming?

Conventional farming - characterised by large scale inputs with the intention of maximising profits, and in popular culture to the detriment of long term sustenance viability.

Sustainable agriculture - a method such that profits though not maximised remain consistently above average over the long term without con-comitant costs such as soil depletion, erosion, groundwater reduction, etc.

Popularity of organic farming seems to be restricted to non-farming dependant farmers and agri-intellectuals.
An illustration in point:
Organic farming probably covers about 100 million hectares today. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_farming
GM crops covers more than a billion hectares. bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12541465
Why has GM crops, a later entrant than organic farming been much more successful?
The thumb rule is: People see and watch and put their money, time and efforts where returns are most guaranteed, highest and long term.

Further, there remain serious doubts about the capacity of organic agriculture to feed the world. Continuing urbanisation trends all over the world reduce the supply of labour and human capital for agriculture and organic agriculture requires more human capital than other types of farming.
Organic farming has been successfully demonstrated yield wise in small lots and tropical parts of the world, but remain unapplied and untested in the vast grasslands of the world, the steppes, prairies, pampas, etc which are to a significant extent, the bread baskets of the world.
Improved yield of organic farming in tropical countries is due to the comparison of organic against traditional agriculture systems. Traditional agriculture systems have always underperformed conventional agriculture and the higher yield of organic agriculture should come as no surprise.

I am a supporter of sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture does not preclude conventional, organic, hydroponic or any other type of agriculture. The key motivation and key word is sustainable. Unlike organic agriculture, I do not want synthetic fertilisers to be eliminated. Instead, I want to do a soil analysis and see what nutrients my soil lacks. If synthetic fertilisers is a cheap and sustainable way of replenishing the soil without concomitant adverse side effects, then that’s the way I will go. 

On a separate note - To clarify: My comments about ayurveda, unani astrology, etc are more to do with the our national habit of living in the past. Societies, similar to individuals, which hold the past as an epitome of success will rarely find success in the future unless they re-invent themselves. Btw, this is also a national habit in China where regularly there are calls for reverting to the ways of their ancient, great and glorious past. It would however be illuminating to learn from the examples of Japan, Germany, Israel, Singapore or Korea (some of them also have an ancient, proud and glorious past) of how to cast off or atleast hold in check, revisionist tendencies, and instead re-invent oneself for the new age. Re-invention per se assumes the faculty of critical thinking, reasoning and analysis, which is what I hope will come to the fore in this discussion.


#165

Dear Le,

Good to see your thoughts in words…

in my opinion

  1. GM Crops are well received , in line with human greed i.e. to gain maximum benefits with ease.

just like we are adapting the fast foods due to various reasons, through fast foods started only in late 80’s now we can see their dominance across the country or world, does that mean fast foods are good for health?

  1. your perception of natural farming is let the god do the work and we will just pick the fruits, i think you are considering forestry as natural farming.

As you said  farming itself is against the nature , but by maintaining harmony with nature and causing little or as less as possible impact to the nature if we can plant and harvest what we need thats more in lines

Short cuts are very easy to adapt ,without  realising how we are impacting the balance of nature. That’s what is happening under the name of civilisation.

I believe  that is the reason , realised Commonsens’ists’ are advocating the respect for nature.

I read some where on internet, “India is being destroyed with the more power ful GM’foods unlike what they have done to Japan earlier”. Population is increasing , but no of people working on the field are reduced at much higher speed. I think GM foods are giving more mass without the requisite juice, disturbing the balance in our diet.

As always, its upto the individual to decide what he feels is right to him only or right for every one

Thanks,
Sreeram.


#166

hi all
found this website about small farms and a lot of literature on organic/sustainable farming, food crisis, green revolution, greener revolution. lots of material with good case studies and comparision
enjoy

journeytoforever.org/farm.html
madhavi


#167

Hi All,

Here is another googly  :frowning:

economictimes.indiatimes.com/new … 261599.cms

Regards

Murali


#168

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi … 256908.cms

Times View on this based on a recent study

Organic food is not healthier, finds study

NEW DELHI: Hooked to organic food for its supposed health benefits? Here’s some food for thought. In the largest analysis of studies till date on organic food, researchers from Stanford University have said there is “little evidence of healthier benefits from organic food over those grown conventionally”.

The researchers found no difference in protein or fat content between organic and conventional milk. No consistent differences were also seen in the vitamin content of organic products. Only one nutrient — phosphorus — was significantly higher in organic food as compared to conventionally grown produce.

The only benefit found was that consumption of organic food can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.

“Organic produce was 30% less likely to be contaminated with pesticides than conventional fruits and vegetables,” said the study published on Tuesday in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study, however, added that organic foods are not necessarily 100% free of pesticides.

Also, organic chicken and pork appeared to reduce exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” said Dena Bravata, senior author of the study.

Dr Ritika Samaddar, chief dietician at Max Hospital agreed with the finding but said cost is a big factor behind organic food still not being that popular.

“We knew that nutritionally organic food isn’t any different to conventionally grown food. However, insecticides and pesticides in food can cause illnesses like cancer. We always suggest people should have conventionally grown food by washing them well. People should consume more seasonal food as against stored food,” Dr Samaddar said.

For the analysis, researchers identified 237 of the most relevant papers published till date including 17 studies of populations consuming organic and conventional diets and 223 studies that compared either the nutrient levels or the bacterial, fungal or pesticide contamination of various products (fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, milk, poultry and eggs) grown organically and conventionally. The duration of the studies involving human subjects ranged from two days to two years.

Bravata, a senior affiliate with Stanford’s Center for Health Policy, and Crystal Smith-Spangler, an instructor in the school’s division of general medical disciplines, did the comprehensive meta-analysis. “Some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious,” said Smith-Spangler. “We were a little surprised that we didn’t find that.”

The researchers said their aim was to educate people, not to discourage them from making organic purchases.

According to a recent report, the organic food market in India is growing at 20-22% annually and with exports is valued at Rs 1,000 crore. India produced around 3.88 million tonnes of certified organic products, including basmati, pulses, tea, coffee, spices and oilseeds. According to government data, area under organic farming had risen to 1.08 million hectares. Among organic crops, cotton is the single largest accounting for nearly 40% of total area followed by rice, pulses, oilseeds and spices.

Organic foods are often twice as expensive as their conventionally grown counterparts. “If you look beyond health effects, there are plenty of other reasons to buy organic instead of conventional,” noted Bravata.

She listed taste preferences and concerns about the effects of conventional farming practices on the environment and animal welfare as some of the reasons people choose organic products. She also said people should aim for healthier diets overall.

The researcher emphasized the importance of eating of fruits and vegetables, “however they are grown”, noting that most Americans don’t consume the recommended amount.

India faces a similar problem. Around 51% men and 48% women have high fat diets. Almost three in five men and an equal number of women have low intake of fruit and vegetables. Adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables (five or more servings per one typical day) is reported to be higher in urban areas than rural population (27% vs 21%). Insufficient intake of fruits was higher in low-income groups as compared to more affluent sections.

Times View

This study obviously must be taken very seriously given both its scale and the credibility of the institution that has undertaken it. However, it would be dangerous to rush to extrapolate from this to the Indian situation. Patterns of both fertiliser and pesticide consumption in India are entirely different from those in the US or other parts of the developed world. Given the relatively low use of chemicals, it might seem that the one benefit the study has found in the case of organic foods may not apply to India. On the other hand, given the poor regulatory environment here, the risks could actually be higher. Rather than speculating about which of these two possibilities actually is true, it would be best if a similar study were done for food in India.

regards,
Brijesh


#169

[quote="brijesh"]
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi … 256908.cms

Times View on this based on a recent study

Organic food is not healthier, finds study

NEW DELHI: Hooked to organic food for its supposed health benefits? Here’s some food for thought. In the largest analysis of studies till date on organic food, researchers from Stanford University have said there is “little evidence of healthier benefits from organic food over those grown conventionally”.

The researchers found no difference in protein or fat content between organic and conventional milk. No consistent differences were also seen in the vitamin content of organic products. Only one nutrient — phosphorus — was significantly higher in organic food as compared to conventionally grown produce.

The only benefit found was that consumption of organic food can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.

“Organic produce was 30% less likely to be contaminated with pesticides than conventional fruits and vegetables,” said the study published on Tuesday in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study, however, added that organic foods are not necessarily 100% free of pesticides.

Also, organic chicken and pork appeared to reduce exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” said Dena Bravata, senior author of the study.

Dr Ritika Samaddar, chief dietician at Max Hospital agreed with the finding but said cost is a big factor behind organic food still not being that popular.

“We knew that nutritionally organic food isn’t any different to conventionally grown food. However, insecticides and pesticides in food can cause illnesses like cancer. We always suggest people should have conventionally grown food by washing them well. People should consume more seasonal food as against stored food,” Dr Samaddar said.

For the analysis, researchers identified 237 of the most relevant papers published till date including 17 studies of populations consuming organic and conventional diets and 223 studies that compared either the nutrient levels or the bacterial, fungal or pesticide contamination of various products (fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, milk, poultry and eggs) grown organically and conventionally. The duration of the studies involving human subjects ranged from two days to two years.

Bravata, a senior affiliate with Stanford’s Center for Health Policy, and Crystal Smith-Spangler, an instructor in the school’s division of general medical disciplines, did the comprehensive meta-analysis. “Some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious,” said Smith-Spangler. “We were a little surprised that we didn’t find that.”

The researchers said their aim was to educate people, not to discourage them from making organic purchases.

According to a recent report, the organic food market in India is growing at 20-22% annually and with exports is valued at Rs 1,000 crore. India produced around 3.88 million tonnes of certified organic products, including basmati, pulses, tea, coffee, spices and oilseeds. According to government data, area under organic farming had risen to 1.08 million hectares. Among organic crops, cotton is the single largest accounting for nearly 40% of total area followed by rice, pulses, oilseeds and spices.

Organic foods are often twice as expensive as their conventionally grown counterparts. “If you look beyond health effects, there are plenty of other reasons to buy organic instead of conventional,” noted Bravata.

She listed taste preferences and concerns about the effects of conventional farming practices on the environment and animal welfare as some of the reasons people choose organic products. She also said people should aim for healthier diets overall.

The researcher emphasized the importance of eating of fruits and vegetables, “however they are grown”, noting that most Americans don’t consume the recommended amount.

India faces a similar problem. Around 51% men and 48% women have high fat diets. Almost three in five men and an equal number of women have low intake of fruit and vegetables. Adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables (five or more servings per one typical day) is reported to be higher in urban areas than rural population (27% vs 21%). Insufficient intake of fruits was higher in low-income groups as compared to more affluent sections.

Times View

This study obviously must be taken very seriously given both its scale and the credibility of the institution that has undertaken it. However, it would be dangerous to rush to extrapolate from this to the Indian situation. Patterns of both fertiliser and pesticide consumption in India are entirely different from those in the US or other parts of the developed world. Given the relatively low use of chemicals, it might seem that the one benefit the study has found in the case of organic foods may not apply to India. On the other hand, given the poor regulatory environment here, the risks could actually be higher. Rather than speculating about which of these two possibilities actually is true, it would be best if a similar study were done for food in India.

regards,
Brijesh

[/quote] Chemical & Organic farming methods have got their results. What farming practice is sustainable now not only for human being but also for Earth, environment?


#170

Look at the 3rd paragraph of the article:

For me it sounds plain ridiculous. (I don’t mean to hunt anyone’s feelings. Just my opinion).
Assuming it’s the only benefit of organic foods, is that so unimportant a benefit to ignore & declare no difference? Come on, scientific research has not yet thoroughly established what all adverse effects pesticides have on humans & anything else. I mean the cause-effect mapping is not completed.

I cannot stop myself from quoting Fukuoka-san here.

[quote][size=100]Human beings with their tampering do something wrong, leave the damage
unrepaired, and when the adverse results accumulate, work with all their might to
correct them. When the corrective actions appear to be successful, they come to view
these measures as splendid accomplishments. People do this over and over again. It is
as if a fool were to stomp on and break the tiles of his roof. Then when it starts to rain
and the ceiling begins to rot away, he hastily climbs up to mend the damage, rejoicing
in the end that he has accomplished a miraculous solution.

-from The One Straw Revolution
[/size][/quote]


#171

Le,
    please help boarders with any farming knowledge you have, other than paper farming.
Let everyone decide their own way, no need to lecture on pros of chemical farming. You are free to do whatever you want.
Lets get to back to farming.

Thanks,


#172

May I request you all to check this UN report dated 5-Sep-12 also besides the above Times of India article?
unep.org/newscentre/Default. … =9266&l=en


#173

adding some more to that…

study for 2 days

Natural Farming should come in hany here …and then

and a scary read  dailypioneer.com/columnists/ … -bowl.html


#174

Looks like all the study’s favour the sponsers.

Deeper the pocket of the sponsering organization , results could be far from truth.

huffingtonpost.com/robyn-o/o … 57802.html

motherjones.com/tom-philpott … ganic-food

Good that I didn’t buy my degree from Stanford:)


#175

new that  universities got funding from big pharma companies and corporation but this is just too much. happens in USofA where people like monsanto, eli-lily, pfizer and others piad universities for certain kind of research and publish the result and the dumb media just goes on printing and feeding the public,

so hope this article is true and can help the cause of organic food
BUSTED
naturalnews.com/037108_Stanf … bacco.html

madhavi


#176

I tried to read the complete posts once again and saw and lot of discussion about Natural Farming good bad raising questions etc and then TOI and other news related with organic / natural food.

I am not master but I feel Natural Farming (my farm http://www.rameshwari.com) is the way to go; before deciding to go for natural farming after 10 years of IT job I have done my home work for about 6 months on the net by watching videos, reading ebooks etc and then zeroed in with Natural Farming (not organic or market compost farming).

After I started in May 2012 this year, I have failed initially but have not get discouraged at all by this.

I am not going to convert my farm to chemical farming at any cost, I am ready to loose money. I will be happy if whatever I put I am able to recover and even all is lost I am fine and happy.

Its peace of mind for me. I feel charged and satisfied a lot.

As far as the quality of natural food is concerned, read my post http://www.rameshwari.com/2012/08/first-yield-from-rameshwari-natural.html, I had eaten this type of coriander years back when I was a child.

I am 1000% sure I am going to succeed in 2 years or so. I read cowheard and other inspiring replies and it boosted my thought. I have kept some link related with Natural Farming in my farm website, those can be also treated as a proof that Natural Farming is sustainable and is the way to go.

Thanks


#177

[quote="Phaedrus"]
Dear All,

In reply to my earlier posting, one of our members, has sent me a message to my mail box. For  a moment i thought of replying to him directly, then i decided that if it were to be “public” it might actually contribute to public good. So here goes:

This was the message:
[color=green]palekar has been giving lectures workshops in all over india since seven to eight years. he has his own land in his place near akola in maharastra. his land is under chemical farming 100%. he knows that farming will not yield him any income. he is earning money through such lectures, royalty etc.,
if his methods are so successful he shuld have implemented in his own land first w.
all in maharastra and karnataka know that his methods are not result oriented. many farmers who have adopted his methods have reverted to chemical farming.
his speeches attract everyone. but just speeech will not make field level agriculture successful.
this is the truth.
please do not mistake for telling the truth.[/color]

well, our friend could have written this in the forum itself, but for some  reason felt the need to write to me individually. why? is it because he is  a consultant and feels he will be out of business?

[ul]
[li]Firstly, i said , learn Palekar’s Teachings. I didn’t say vote for him to be our MLA or Minister or whatever. The " essence" of his teachings apply. Whether he follows it in his farm or not, is none of my concern. His teachings are. Thsy provide us all with the basic " raw material" , for our own minds to “process” and decide on our own.
[/li][li]Technically speaking, it is the conclusion of, all the “experts” from the West,to East, that soil fertility is the paramount factor for 1) High Yields and 2) Sustainability of  such yields over years. I think no “expert” will disagree on this point. If someone has an issue with the above statement, i welcome your opinion , so that it can be constructively debated upon.
[/li][li]Assuming the above fact is “accepted”, now we need to ask “what” makes a land fertile and “how”.
[/li][li]We need to look at the following properties: 1) Physical 2) Chemical and 3 ) Biological Properties of the soil. Agreed?
[/li][li]So now “How” are we going to bring our soils to the “Ideal” Properties?
[/li][li]By dumping chemicals, like DAP, SSP, Endosulfan?
[/li][li]Everyone , even the chemical manufacturer agrees, that the “MAJOR” quality aspect of soil is its " MICROBIOLOGICAL" health. And using the above chemicals annihilates the microbes. The microbes which basically provide N,P,K to the soils.  All plants obtain their nutrients , only in certain “forms”- be it N,P, K or mIcronutrients…any form of Nitrogen is not PLANT UTILISABLE NITROGEN. Any form of Phosporous Chemical is NOT PLANT ABSORBABLE P. Similarly for ALL Nutrients.
[/li][li]So what is this BIO_AVAILABLE FORM?
[/li][li]AND how can we provide this to our plants? IF i dump 1000 kgs of Urea( yes i meant a thousand kilos).does that mean my plants are going to have 1000 times growth?..and how does the BIO_AVAILABLE FORM form? The answer is simple…VARIOUS MICROBES DO THE WORK…upon which research and scientific data is still unavailable…simply because the topic is a very very very complex subject…but all scientists and farmers agree that it is this complex, yet to be completely understood, processes of the microbes is what actually converts any nutrient in the soil to BioAvailable form.
[/li][li]Either we can enroll in the University and do our PhDs researching this subject or…we can adopt methods by which microbe health can be enhanced in the soil. Palekar’s method is ONE such methodology. There are many other teachers like him , who basically point in the same direction.But no one else that i know of offers a structured workshop where people can go and learn. That is why i suggested Palekars method.[/li][/ul]A integrated, multicropping system, inter layered, with minimum tillage, and with the use of Active live mulching, and earthworms for providing aeration and porosity, where all the crop residues are recycled in In-situ live composting, where your nutrients are derived from Nitrogeneous plant material like beans and cowpea and other nutrients from crop residues and activation of the nutrient solublising microbes by Cow dung and Urine based activators is the Cheapest, Sustainable,Method to get to a Fertile Soil.

So, where is the Problem? Not in the Methodology. But  unfortunately, some farmers do not understand technically what this methodology is trying to achieve. In their ignorance they apply their own ideas to the recipe and end up in low yields or such other problems. It is like you consult with a expert doctor and after he gives you a  prescription,  decide on your own when to take the medicine and when not to…what “agrees” with you and what “not”…i am sure all of us have come across such people.

And in this midst, various consultants want to put this system down because it is for all practical purposes…ZERO BUDGET. Hence no farmer is going to pay these characters, for teaching a fisherman to fish or a farmer to farm. And obviously, will not be able to sell any of their “products”…

I strongly “urge” all people who don’t know about Palekar’s Method to at least " borrow " his books …that way, they needn’t add to Palekar’s Coffers like our friend suggested,and that objection can be laid to rest, and go through  the “ideas” and “reasons” and the “technical basis” of Palekar’s Method. Then perhaps we can all discuss, if ZERO BUDGET, SUSTAINABLE way to a fertile land is possible.

To repeat, it is not the man , but his teachings that are important.

And by the way…there is list of farms…with their addresses, name of the farm owner, with the mobile numbers…for all to see…anyone who has that list…can contact anyone in that list at their choice , talk to them directly…even visit the farms…i personally went to many such farms…spoke to the farmers, and then convinced myself that yes, if properly “understood” and “implemented”, this method is ZERO BUDGET…makes the land very fertile …yields are top class, quality is the best, and whats more it is sustainable…

I do hope  that our friend will find “Technical” Faults with Palekars Methods…and write about them here…then we can all discuss the “Technicality” of Soil Fertility and whether it can Be achieved by ZERO BUDGET or not… I say it can. And, if our dear friend feels i am wrong, then the onus is on him to  “technically” explain, why, in his opinion, it is hopelessly impossible.

Long Live the Microbes!!!

-P

[/quote] Are you there & active in the forum/land? Can you come back with your latest farm activities with results you claimed above?


#178

Nice post !

Of late I find a lot of people , and some natural farmers too, find fault with Palekar. They say " he is selling his lands every year , his methods are not profitable, he earns a lot by selling his books , he preaches just theory and that is not practical, etc. ".

Well , I have attended his 3 day seminar in Coimbatore even before I bought any land nor learned about farming. That meet was attended by more than 3000 practicing farmers from various parts of Tamilnadu . Talks and discussions went on about various crops including rice, sugarcane , coconut, turmeric, ground nut , vegetables etc. It was an open forum and the farmers interacted very actively . His books were also sold . I interacted with many of them and a good number of them were repeat visitors / participants . Everybody said they were apprehensive of his methods initially , tried them on small piece of land and seeing the success converted all their farms into ZBF . A number of farmers voluntarily came up on the dais and spoke of the benefits of ZBF and answered the questions raised by other farmers. This was not stage managed . Everybody who spoke on the dais gave their complete postal address and phone numbers for contact. I did contact a good number of them and they confirmed their success in ZBF. In his books , Palekar has given the address  and phone numbers of a good number of practicing ZBF farmers so that one can contact them and ascertain the efficacy of ZBF .

But still some people , unable to bear his success , have started mud slinging against him. I’d like ask them to give proof , proof of farmers who have actually tried and failed in ZBF on a continuous basis. I am not advocating ZBF or Palekar but i can’t agree to people simply level accusations without providing sufficient proof.

But that’s the way world behaves.


#179

The most credible and thorough debunking of the Stanford study I have seen has been done by Dr. Chuck Benbrook of Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University.

He shows exactly how the Stanford study deliberately limited and distorted scientific evidence and then misrepresented their results using clever techniques.

See his article: The Devil in the details
Or the brilliant point by point technical analysis [PDF]


#180

Dear farm enthusiast!
                                                                      Just think what is going around this globe.See how many climatic zones exist in this world ie, Equitorial , tropical, sub-tropical, temperate and polar climate. And also soil type like alluvial soil, red soil, black soil,sandy soil , lateritic soil and mountainous soil and problem soils like alkali, sodic and acidic soil exist in this world. Pattern of rainfall across the world.Any of you created these kind of variations here? of course not. Nature is powerful and play its role. Nature balance itself. We are part of the nature.Here is heated argument whether natural farming/organic farming is better than conventional farming/chemical farming or vice versa.Human himself evolved over millions of years and primitive people existed some 40,000 years back.They eked out their living thro’ hunting and collection of tubers and fruits but their population were miniscule.In neolithic period they invented farming ie, shifting cultivation. By then people were mainly tribal and lived in groups and farming was done using primitive tools made of either stone or woods.In Aryan culture , they too are predominantly tribal clans , agriculture in primitive farm continued alongside dairy. After invention of irons they made their tool in irons & cleared jungle and cultivated crops.Even now the population was bare minimum. Then came dynasties. Kings and emperors promoted agriculture and agriculture produce was the only source of tax income to their treasury. Even now the population was small and any natural increase in population were decimated either in war or natural calamities. These minimum population were put under check as aforesaid. When we got independence in 1947, our indian population was nearly 28 crore but without food. crore of people were malnourished and crores of people died of famine and hunger. By then we were practicing only natural/organic farming.we happened to import wheat from USA under an agreement called PL480 to sustain our lives.Inspite of all these odds our indian population kept increasing.First 5 year plan gave importance to agriculture in 1951-56 & agriculture and irrigation were thrust area. even so we did not attain self sufficiency . Hunger ruled the roost. Still we were doing natural farming , ie in right sense we were doing integrated and organic farming. It was during 1966-67 that our indian government seriously thought of new technology and hatched a new plan ie, green revolution. Food production increased  to match the alarming population growth. Now our indian population is 120 crores and food production is around 120 million tonnes. How many of you know around 30 crores of indian population are underfed and it is hard for them to find even a single meal a day.I ask how many of you are covered in 30 crores of malnourished people.I think almost all of you are well off , well paid and comfortably settled in life postings articles like this while most of our indian fraternity are running pillar to post to feed their hungry mouth. I accept there exist some negetivity in conventional chemical farming like toxic pesticide , fungicide and weedicide. We should devise an alternative like integrated farming system so as to avoid or minimise use of these toxic chemicals without much alteration to the detriment of human beings and evolve a better food culture to sustain ever growing indian population. Death not only comes thro’ cancer or other ailing diseases. It happens also thro’ natural calamities like tsunami, earthquake,endemic and epidemic disease & war and terrorism.You take into account of present century African people.They are having lot of yet untapped natural resources.They can practice organic farming . But they are still hunger stricken. Do you know why. A decade before , in ethiopia men ate men ie, cannibalism.In 21 st century wise decision is most important unnecessary deliberation.If any of you have technology to produce more to meet the requirement of our indian population purely thro’ organic methods, you are welcome to post your authenticated findings with threadbare details.Should accompany never failing technical details.Further you people used to talk only about agriculture. What about modern poultry production and any of you have given serious thought over it? No body. Bird produced in modern poultry farm does not carry cancer causing chemicals, ie, hormones?. And how many of you travel by bullock cart or cycle or horse or mule back?All of you are comfortably traveling either by car or scooter.Are these modern vehicle not emitting poisonous gases which cause cancer and lung diseases? How many of you are leading simple and humble life? No almost all of you are enjoying your life in pomp and pleasure using all synthetic cosmetics and other chemicals made out of modern manufacturing industries. problem comes not only out of Agriculture alone.I feel if any of you want to use this forum effectively , then better you post your useful technical findings, may be of your practical experiences carrying technical nuances. So that it may benefit whoever is much interested in undertaking organic farming without creating conflict of interest among our brethren.Better share your experiences with needed technicalities.

Ramu.