ENVIS Centre, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of India

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Trial on paddy farming sans urea reaping fruit

Source: Chronicle News Service

 

Imphal, November 02 2021: In its endeavour to cease the chronic dependence on chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides in farming, Green Foundation Mani-pur has successfully carried out trial of organic paddy farming by using bio-fertilisers in Pungdongbam area of Imphal East district.

A team of experts and scientists of Green Foundation Manipur along with a media team visited the organic paddy farms in Pungdongbam and assessed the crops on Tuesday.

Interacting with the media, the farmers said that in previous years, they used chemical fertilisers and pesticides but this year, they applied bio-fertiliser they produced.

They received training for making bio-fertilisers from Green Foundation Manipur and used liquid manure, Pseudomonas Fluorescens, bio-control agents and Neem herbal extracts without adding any chemical ingredients.

Surprisingly, they found the crop far better from previous years and no pest infestation was detected.

Farming cost has also reduced and they find organic farming far more economical and better than the conventional farming technique.

Moreover, they no longer have fear of health hazards while consuming their products, the farmers said.

Crop Solution's plant protection expert Dr M Thoithoi, who was also part of the visiting team, explained the differences between organic and non-organic farming.

The media team found the crops in the organic farms better than those in the non-organic farms.

Former dean of College of Agriculture, Central Agricultural University, Imphal and advisor of Green Foundation Manipur professor N Iboton said that the organic farm trial in Pungdongbam is the first held trial of Green Foundation.

Pseudomonas Fluorescens used in these farms increase the growth hormone of the crop, keep them healthy and protected from pest infestation by providing adequate amount of phosphorus through phosphorus solubilisation.

They also use Azotobacter biofertiliser instead of urea and it not only improves soil health but is also cheaper.

Being a cost effective and healthy farming technique, farmers will prefer organic farming, he said.

Green Foundation Manipur chief executive officer U Himmat said that the foundation has been involved in organic farming as a service provider under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) implemented by Manipur Organic Mission Agency (MOMA).

They faced various hurdles in introducing organic farming initially.

They provide training to the farmers on making biofertilisers under the advice of the foundation's scientific advisory team.

Apart from increasing growth hormone and other benefits, the Psedomonas Fluorescens can protect the crop from Neck Blast, which is very common in paddy crops.

One has to apply this biofertiliser four times during the life cycle of the crop.

Herbal neem extract Agrovita can protect the Crops from 'Wahik'.

A total of 205 farmers are registered in the Organic Farmers Field School, Pungdongbam and they avoided using around 500 bags of urea normally required by adopting organic farming, he said.

Earlier, from the Chak-hao organic farming, they came to know that product from organic farming has more weight than that of chemically-based farming.

Chak-hao crop from organic farms weighs around 8 kg more than crop from non-organic farms.

The foundation took up the initiative with the objective to produce healthy foods and to improve soil health, he added.

A training programme on Pre and Post Harvesting Management of Organic Rice' was also held at Pungdongbam community hall.

During the training programme, Himmat said that there are certain changes in new farming techniques from those practiced earlier due to changes in crop breeds.

A slight delay in harvesting will result in crop loss of around 10 to 15 per cent and as such, farmers need to have clear knowledge of the new farming techniques, crop breeds and their related information, he said.