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Awareness on organic farming up, poor implementation sticks out



WITH about 5,200 acres in the district covered under Kuruvai paddy cultivation, and as most of the crops by now having crossed at least a month of their crop cycle, farmers rejuvenated by the re-cent rainfall are making use of the available groundwater to post a decent yield. Since the standing paddy crops are prone to blights and blast infections, farmers here of late have been using organic pesticides and manures to guard their crops raised solely based on the groundwater. Even as the awareness among farmers to go for organic pesticides is soaring, farmers fearing a downfall in yield when shifting to organic farming from conventionalf arming using chemical fertilizers was said to be hesitating to pur-sue organic manures which call for a proper sensitisation drive from agriculture department to promote organic manures. According to K Venkatachala-pathy, a teacher turned organic farmer near Srirangam, it is claimed that many of weed killers and chemical pesticides have been killing even the good insects and earthworm required for maintaining the permeability of the fertile fields. "Chemical fertilisers are wiping out the presence of benefiting earthworms in the paddy fields. So had been using organic manure such as a mixture of palm jaggery, cow's urine, cow dung with water as manure for my standing paddy crops." The 31-year-old organic farmer who has been raising ADT-43 paddy breed on his seven acres of land in Panayapuram village added that he has given up on us-
Back to usage of natural fertilisers A cultivation field that was used with chemical fertilisers when changes to organic manure would witness a marginal decline in yield by 350-300 kg in case of paddy cultivation. Agriculture Department and pioneers in organic farming should play a crucial role In getting back the organic manure.
ing chemical pesticides. Though the awareness is there among farmers to switch towards organ-ic manures, it is said that initial slump in yield during harvest period was cited by the farmers for hesitating to go organic. Farmers said that a cultivation field that was used with chemical fertilisers when changes to or-ganic manure would witness a marginal decline in yield by 350-300 kg in case of paddy cultivation. Awareness is at its high among farmers now but the effort to im-plement the same in the field is lagging. Agriculture Department and pioneers in organic farming should play a crucial role in get-ting back the traditional organic manures at the best interest of producing quality food products, Vankatachalapathy, MPhil graduate added. The organic pesticide cited as potential replacement for chemi-cal pesticides was said to be formulated from the leaves of Vembu (Melia dubia), Nochi (Vitex trifolia), Adathoda (Adathoda vascia), Erukkanchedi (Calotro-pis gigantea), Papaya, and !Cada-math (Jatropha gossypiifolia).

Source: epaper.new.indianexpress . com//c/21187379

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