India is agriculture based country where 70% of people living in villages and are involved in this work for their livelihood. India has a very fertile land as all around the country there are different rivers (most of them originate from the Himalayas) so these rivers are perennial. Here we generally plant different types of crops in our lands around the year so that we don’t have to depend on outside supply. There is also a proper ecological system that is balanced by providing nutrition to each other and plants grow on natural weather condition.
Situation after green revolution has drastically changed in the Indian agricultural context. Then, it was a necessary step and big revolutionary idea to introduce measures like hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. India had faced three consecutive years of drought and it was very adverse condition as people didn’t have enough to eat even for a single time. There was a requirement of yield from our fields. So government allowed green revolution techniques to farmers. It really helped in a positive manner, yields drastically increased and even earnings of farmers increased. But information relating to how to use these techniques in a proper manner as in what amount of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides are really required for particular piece of land and was not provided. Effects of these things didn’t appear for the initial few years but within 10-15 years problems arose in different places around the country.
In India, farmers generally preserve seeds from the previous year yields for next year’s so they don’t have to spend on buying seeds. Even for fertilizers and pesticide we use organic materials like Vermi composts, Amrit Khads and Amrit Pani which are prepared by cow dung, vermi and different bio degradable things obtained from plants so expenditure in these things are also very low. Thus overall input cost is very low in our conventional agriculture methods and yields are also good which generally depends on rains. These things drastically changed after green revolution as now farmers have to spend in everything right from seeds to irrigation. In initial years yields actually increase, so farmers believe that this is the right way of practicing agriculture. But on the other hand there are many things which are ruined. As conventional seeds are destroyed, in India there are more than thousands of varieties of rice and millets were present but all of these just vanished. There is a limit after which using any amount of fertilizers or pesticides do not increase the yield. It even starts reducing as the whole land is converted into dry land as soil is converted into rocks. Now input costs is going much higher than yield selling cost. There is one more effect that comes into picture which is the adverse effect on health – the amount of metal in the whole yield increases beyond the permissible level and they are now coming to us through markets as toxic foods.
Yes there is a shift toward ecologically friendly agriculture which has started as farmers have realized reality. There is one problem on shifting directly to these methods – as yield for first two-three years will be low as it takes time to soil to get used to the new technique. In these period help of government or NGOs is required for teaching organic techniques to the farmers and also provide a good market linkage for them. When everything has gone right for three years, we get really pure, green and healthy yield from fields which also help in balancing the ecological system of the environment. Sikkim is one such fully organic agriculture based yield producing state of India. I hope it will be replicated in other states of India soon.