On Organic Farming and Climate Change

Now I just want to divert into
two other aspects of Agriculture. One refers to climate change. If we want to reverse climate change, we have to go back to organic agriculture because chemical agriculture,
the way it is running today, is destroying Mother Earth. All the carbon, which was in the earth, has gone into the atmosphere, in the form of CO and CO2. In our handbook called ‘Transforming India’, which I have a copy here, there are 18 articles to the Prime Minister of India, in fact, there’s a whole section on
Letters to the Prime Minister of India… and in this, there is a whole TED Talk on organic agriculture
and how it can reverse climate change because what happens,
when you use these chemicals, it has a very negative effect on the land. The land becomes hard,
it can’t retain water, water flows on top… With organic agriculture, it becomes very porous
(the earth), it retains water. Also, the quality of the food which you eat… if you could test the minerals, the vitamins,
and the goodness of food, which was grown 30,40,50 years ago, compared to what you are getting today….
today, the food may look bigger, smarter, cleaner, but it’s all rubbish that you’re eating,
it doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t have the necessary vitamins and minerals. So then what do you do? You’re popping pills. Because you don’t have enough minerals, you don’t have vitamins, so you keep on popping pills, because you’re not getting nutrition from your food. I mean, how stupid can we be? Something which Mother Earth
was giving us free of cost… we’re so busy buying those medicines,
and they have so many after-effects, they’ve got chemicals, they’ve got this, they’ve got that… Organic agriculture, let me just tell you a few things, which you may not know… Earthworm… one of the farmer’s best friends… why? Because the earthworm goes into the ground
upto a depth of 9 feet and makes the earth porous. You put chemicals, you kill the earthworm.
You kill so many millions of microbes. What has taken this earth
three and a half billion years to stabilise, we finished it in 100 years… in 150 years…
with chemicals and this and that. Why are we trying to ape the west? They don’t have people. There, nobody wants to work
in the farms, they’ve got heavy machinery,
they’ve got chemicals and all… Why? We’ve got so many people in the farms.
Why are we thinking of aping the west? Why are we thinking of trying to copy them? We’ll have small, small farms like in Japan.
They’re very small farms, smaller than in India, In India, we have average 2-acre, there it may be
half an acre, but their productivity is very high. In Japan, for your information,
the productivity is 7 times more than India. 7 times. Because they have no land,
but they have very high productivity. They have hydroponics also, they are growing many things in water. We have not come to that stage… We have a lot of land,
but we have to increase the productivity. So this is something very important
about organic agriculture. It really purifies the air. And if you’ll read in our handbook –
there are at least 15 pages on organic agriculture – compared to chemical agriculture,
how good and bad it is… So I don’t want to go into details, you’ll have to
buy this book from amazon.in or from us.
You’ll get an idea. But what is very important about organic agriculture, which you may not know, as to why it is so good… If you take any crop –
cotton, or any vegetable or any fruit, you’ll find that in organic agriculture, the same plant,
in one field you’ve got chemical,
in the other field, you’ve got organic, you’ll find in the case of organic, the roots have
gone down, 4 or 5 times deeper in the earth. So cotton for example… bt cotton…
if there is a storm, or a hurricane, you’ll find that those plants fall,
they don’t come back because the roots are so shallow,
the plant has no strength. But in case it is organically planted cotton, the plant springs back, because the roots are deep in Mother Earth, it has strong foundations. The same thing happens for fruits and vegetables. The roots are so deep inside Mother Earth that the plant is sucking out all the vitamins,
all the minerals, and bringing all the goodness
into your fruits and vegetables. So this is one of the few things I wanted to mention, that if we want to reverse climate change,
we must go to organic agriculture. I know… solar power… wind power…
but these are small things. I mean look at the amount of food grain
which is grown all over the world, look at the amount of area, look at forestry,
look at any aspect of agriculture… I mean, today India… for your information, we are Number One in the world for milk. We’re at 150 million tonnes The way this country is going,
we’ll probably cross 200 million tonnes. And India should be exporting,
according to me, in the next 5 years, ice cream, cheese, butter, milk, and chocolates. What does chocolate need?
Chocolate needs 3 ingredients: We need milk, we need sugar, and we need cocoa. Now cocoa… all over the world, people know
it comes from a few countries in the world – West Africa, and some other countries. So we need to tie up. We have sugar, we have milk, why can’t we
become Number One in the world for chocolate? Why should Belgium be the
Number One country, or Switzerland? The question is, this is what we have to realise:
there is a huge, huge potential in India. The latent potential in our agriculture is mind-boggling. If you add all these value-added products,
the earning of our farmer can go up 10 times. And I think it will happen.
With the new government, it will happen. So I want to end this note on organic agriculture. India should become the leading country
in the world for organic agriculture. Sikkim has already converted itself…
I do not know if any of you know this… Sikkim is the only state where 100 percent
organic agriculture is only allowed They don’t allow any chemical farming, and I think that should spread
to other parts of India. The other example I want to give… I just wanted to give one example about organic…
as to how it will help the country… Besides climate change, besides productivity, besides being a better product… Menthol – which is exported from India –
we do 4,000 crores a year of menthol export. I had a talk with a Professor who is a Director of the Indian Drug Research Institute, in Jammu, which was set up by my wife’s grandfather,
Sir Ram Nath Chopra. He set it up a long time ago, 80-90 years ago, and they have one drug research institute in Leh, in Ladakh, one in Kashmir… one in Jammu… and one in Bombay now. There are 4 drug research institutes, and we were talking about organic agriculture,
and he was shocked that we had so much of literature. He said, “Krishan, can you do me a favour? We are doing 4,000 tonnes per year of menthol export, if we can make it organic, we will earn 40,000 crores The world is ready to pay 10 times higher price
for organic products.” Double, of course… but in many cases,
where it is going into the… most of it is going to be consumed by human beings, ready to pay higher prices. I know that India is producing cotton, for example, in 14 states of the country. But in 2 states – in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra – the Swiss have pumped in nearly 100 crores
in the last 10 years, to grow organic cotton. So whatever they have spent, they have
taught the farmers how to grow organic cotton. This entire amount goes back to Switzerland. And then the organic clothing which is made,
sells at 2, 3, 4 times higher price than the normal cotton, which comes
from chemically raised agriculture. So these are the few examples
that I thought I’ll give the audience… because the huge potential India has in agriculture,
we have not even scratched the surface. India, only in agriculture, can become
more than a trillion dollar economy. Right now it’s 2 trillion, but in agriculture,
we can be 2-3 trillion, only in agriculture. So from 2 trillion, we can go to 3-4 trillion We can go from 2 trillion to 5 trillion,
according to me, in 5-7 years, just in agriculture, forget about manufacturing,
forget about services. Our goals should be 5 times more
than what we are planning. Our final objective should be
to make our rural India so rich that none of them will migrate to urban India. Our goals can only be achieved
if you go for skill building and we have recommended to the government that we have 2.5 lakh panchayats, have a skill centre in each panchayat, because one panchayat caters to 6 villages,
so have one skill centre. What we have today, 1300 centres, is a disgrace. So we need to have a minimum of 2.5 lakh centres. China has 3.5 lakh, we should have at least 2.5 lakh… In fact we should have even more,
but that is something which can… Let’s go from 1300 to 2.5 lakh;
and this can be done overnight. I think if we can do that,
we’ll see the results coming within 2-3 years. Our entire country will become green,
our forest cover will increase also, which is being degraded, because we are not understanding the advantage of a good forest. And when I say ‘agriculture’…
(to end, I will make it very clear), I don’t mean only agriculture; I mean forestry, I mean horticulture, I mean floriculture, and I mean animal husbandry. So all aspects of agriculture have a huge potential, not only agriculture, not only fruits, vegetables, grains, but the rest of it, which is connected. Thank you very much.

2 thoughts on “On Organic Farming and Climate Change

  1. true Sir, we have to follow natural multipayer farming else our future generation will curse us..if not now then when if not us then who? let make India Organic Capital of the world

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