Everyone in the village is busy with rice transplantation, our rice will be the last to be transplanted. While our rice saplings are only 1/2 ft long, everyone else had theirs at more than 1 ft long….
Q: All of us sowed at the same time…… but how did everyone else’s suddenly perk up ?
A: the answer is the magical Urea !
Seeing the situation, a good friend from the neighbouring village Shankar & his beautiful wife Anjana came up to me & said, almost pleadingly: bhau, please put Urea…….after so much work you’ve put into rice field, you must get a good crop, urea is the answer, please listen to us.
I said : Sunhemp & daincha were grown as cover crops, cowdung was applied on the soil…. what more do you want me to do ?
NO, you have to put Urea, otherwise you will get nothing.
I said: sorry, i will not.
I thought the conversation will go to something else, but it returned after a while, when they were going & with a pathetic look they told me: ……Agreed, but can you at least put 30 kgs of salt… that will also do the trick.
Me : What trick ? Salt ? I am sorry, i will not put any salt in my soil.
They shrugged their shoulders & went off, talking among themselves about what a crazy man he is yada, yada, etc, etc
Now to some recent conversations with friends/ cousins/ relatives or acquaintances…..
Are you doing organic farming ??
Me : I am farming…
Do you use pesticides on your crop ?
Me: What ? How can i grow our own food laced with poison or destroy my soil ?
Have you got Organic certification ?
Me: (i am about to say Saaley benchod… & go for the neck ritual, but i revert back to ‘good behaviour’ and reply)
No… the bees, the frogs, the butterflies & millions of other fauna on the farm has given me the Organic certification
I get a very quizzical look and end of conversation
Sometimes i wonder : Why do consumers demand certification from Organic farmers, for a change why not demand it from Chemical farmers ??
There are all kind of shady looking government agencies involved, now there are even shadier looking NGO’s jumping into this bandwagon, a couple of them who had invited me to join their managing committee etc & also some industries which are trying to exploit the organic market has also got into what they call as the certification process for organically grown produce. Now even many organic farmers have got into this.
Why only non-chemical farmers need certification ? Does that paper mean anything ? Why not seek certification from Chemical farmers ? Why should the chemical farmers get away without certification ? Let them say our produce is 100% laced with poison, Let them say eat this produce at your own risk, just like the ads on cigarettes.
Chemical farming has become such a norm, it’s reached a stage where we are made to believe that there is no other way of growing our food. ( just like for eg: patriarchy, communalism, paying bribes etc) From the Multi national seed companies to the ministry of agriculture, ministry of science & technology, all the seeds, pesticides, fertilizer industries, to the cartoons who run the agriculture universities & colleges, everyone is strutting their stuff as if chemical farming is the only way agriculture is done. It’s a global loot & now even farmers also behave as if they have no alternative….. & to get through with a crop small farmers borrow money from money lenders & traders, big farmers borrow from banks & at the end of the day they all get tied to the pillars of gulaami. Then they start parroting the views of industrial farming to justify their actions.
Shockingly for all them building one’s soil is not part of farming. Farming means just to take a crop, how you take it is not the issue. There is no relationship with one’s own soil. Soil is something which is dead, its like some one who is in a state of coma, just clinging on to a bit of life. So whenever one wants to take a crop…. pump in the life saving machinery & medicines to prevent the soil from going dead, just enough so that the comatose stage is maintained, take the crop, then say f%$# off to the soil. Use & abuse, at its best !
Just before the rains i was planting Karanj along the bunds of the rice field…. so people ask me what plant is it ? why are you planting it here ? Why don’t you plant it in the slopes & wooded areas ?
I said: i am planting it for the leaves
Leaves ? What are you going to do with their leaves ? What use are the leaves ?
I say: its my fertiliser factory, these trees are the ones which will help me with maintaining the soil fertility especially on the rice field, in a couple of years i will get a regular harvest of the dry, mature & tender leaves…. which will be put on to the rice fields at least twice a year
Why don’t you buy fertilisers from the pune, they are good & effective, why waste your time with all this ?
I ask: If everyday you eat food from a hotel, will you survive ?
end of the conversation
Recently i was in a seed shop in Pune, i had to buy some 200 gms of leguminous seeds, cost of it was probably Rs 10/- But i had to wait for 30 mts, because a farmer was purchasing herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones etc worth of Rs 25,000/- Actually i did not mind the wait… i was quietly listening & watching to what he was purchasing. The list was long….. Aldicarb, parathion, Methamidiphos….. the list went on & on.
Aldicarb, Parathion & Methamidiphos, three of the acutely hazardous insecticides are being used by farmers today. Aldicarb can kill a person with just one drop absorbed through the skin, yet it is used in 25 countries & many have reported it their ground water also. Next time one eats Mushrooms, Yellow & Red Bell peppers, brocoli etc one can enjoy the tastes of these chemicals.
Or even when one buys some Gerbera flowers one should hold it close to one’s nose & do the inhale, exhale routine…… Bliss, its called instant nirvana! One can save a lot of nuisance by saying f#$* off to Ramdev , Ravishankar etc
With all this pumped in, does one need to say anything about Nitrogen Synthetic fertilizers ?
Monday & Friday is market day in the town & farmers throng a small shop of the ‘friendly’ Agricultural department. I also had a look at all the products on display & for sale in our small town. On sale for use only on rice saplings, i repeat only on rice is : Alluminium phosphide, DDT, Lindane, Methyl Bromide, Methyl Parathion, Sodium Cynide, Methoxy Ethyl Mercuric Chloride (MEMC), Monocrotophos, Endosulfan, Fenitrothion, Diazinon, Fenthion, Dazomet……
Farmers are convinced by the agricultural officer to go for it, the temptations are huge, it’s very difficult to see anyone step up & say NO, i do not need this crap……
We are well & truly living in the Times of Bullshit.