On the ‘Ground Reality’ blog we read that instead of promoting GM crops, and precision farming technologies, which actually bring profits to the manufacturers, a model is offered by the Community-based Sustainable Agricultural system of Andhra Pradesh.
In the Huffington Post, Sharma reports that what began as a small initiative some six years back in a nondescript village in Khamam district in the southern State of Andhra Pradesh in India, has now spread to over 2.8 million acres. When he first talked about the miracle brought about in village Pannukula in Andhra Pradesh, many thought he was simply trying to romanticize agriculture. “How can farming be done without the use of chemical pesticides, and that too without any drop in yield?” he was repeatedly asked. But in the past six years, farmers’ enthusiasm for a farming system that does not use pesticide and fertiliser has steadily grown.
In 28 lakh acres spread over 21 AP districts, farmers have stopped the use of chemical pesticides, and are now phasing out the application of chemical fertilisers. The yields have not declined, and because no pesticides are used, the health expenses of the rural population have drastically fallen by a minimum of 40%. Here we have a sustainable farming model , worthy of adoption.
It does not lead to farmer suicides, and nor does it cultivate naxalism.
For readers new to the term: naxalites are variously described as terrorists or freedom/justice fighters.