It is Nanak Kheti : The Natural Farming with passion for wellbeing of all
By Umendra Dutt
They are not environmentalists, neither economist nor religious preacher nor trained agriculture expert nor a health professional, but they still posses and practice wisdom of all these. They practice Guru Nanak’s precept Sarbat da Bhala means well being of all in their farming. They are natural farmers of
Their farms are laboratories of happiness for all and this all encompasses every living creatures of earth, every life form. It is the Farming with passion for wellbeing of all; one can call it spiritual farming, natural farming, non-violent agriculture or simply Nanak Kheti. These farmers are even taking care of large verity of birds, earthworms, honey bees, butterflies and fireflies and whole lot of magnificent life forms.. For these farmers all living creatures are part of a family and - it is their family.
KVM preaches to adopt famous verses of Guru Granth Sahib –“Pavnu Guru, Panni Pita Matta Dharat Mahat” in farming practices. which means Air is Guru, Water is father and Earth is mother. This holy guiding principal should be part of life, practice and mission of farmers who want to do natural farming.
There is a silent and constructive revolution happening in
KVM is farmers based movement dedicated to natural farming, conservation of natural resources and traditional wisdom. Most of farmers associated with KVM works through its Vatavaran Panchayats. KVM farmers are farmer with a mission, vision and action these farmers has taken pledges to start natural farming in one go or in a phased manner. KVM currently has around a 100 formal and 800 informal members.
Natural farmers of
KVM has evolved a distinct philosophy which defines soil as the 'source of infinite lives'. "Yes, it is true and we have experienced it," avers KVM chairman and a farmer from Rai Ke Kalan
Harjant Singh further elaborates on the scientific premises of natural farming. All living organisms require nutrition and minerals for their growth, and amongst them plants, being stationary, get their nutrition at that spot. They get carbon dioxide and water from nature and by the process of photosynthesis, the required amount of sugars is produced. Similarly nitrogen is available in the air and the rhyzobia bacteria in the soil can capture it for the plants. These microorganisms perform different functions for the plants. "By using the chemical inputs, especially the pesticides, we have destroyed the delicate microbial equilibrium of soil and tilted the game in favour of external chemical inputs thus making the situation even worst," says Singh.
KVM farmers use Jeevaamrita (a cow urine based microbial preparation) to revive microbial activity in soil. With the application of Jeevaamrita and Ghan Jeevaamrita (a solid form of Jeevaamrita), the soil is gradually becoming rich in the humus, yield has increased and other life forms are coming back in the fields, says Charanjeet Singh Punni, another KVM farmer from Chaina village and a natural farming trainer. Punni highlights another aspect of natural farming. "Although the sunlight of some of its radiation is essential for the photosynthesis, yet it is a threat to the soil bacteria. Mulching is the best answer to this."
Mulching is an essential part of natural farming. Natural farmers aver that when the soil is covered with various forms of mulching, the results are unimaginable. Earlier the soil had lost all soil bacteria, microbes and earthworms. But after adoption of Jeevaamrita and mulching, the farms are again becoming wealthy in soil health. Krishnan Jakhar of village Dhaba (near Dabawali), Vinod Jyani of village Katehra, near Fazilka, Swarn Singh of Karamgarh Shattran, Madan Lal of Bullowal in Hoshiarpur, Jarnail Singh in Meharu, Nakodar and other natural farmers of the KVM network are using inter crops, plant residue, fallen leaves, bushes, weeds and sometimes even the wheat straw or the paddy straw cuttings spread in the fields to cover the naked soil. Besides protecting the bacteria and retaining the moisture, this also keeps the temperature of the soil low and it never goes beyond the 40 degrees Celsius, which is the upper limit for the survival of microbes, tells Ajay Tripathi, associate director of KVM.
KVM farmers have redefined, reestablished and regenerated their mother-son relation with the soil. They feel a spiritual bond, an oneness with the soil. That is why they are against all forms of agro-chemicals and burning of fields - to them it is a form of violence against the earth.
There is a common question usually asked to KVM activists. Does the natural farming economics work? This spiritual soil science is also more financially beneficial to these farmers. After adopting natural farming they are spending far less from earlier chemical farming days. Natural farming is more cost effective and input efficient says Amarjeet Dhillon a small farmer from Dabrikhana village, who owns only two acres of land. For example, farmers having sugarcane and black gram in their farms have to spend virtually nothing on inputs asserts, Dhillon. He cities several examples where farmer had spend only Rs.100-200 on inputs for one acre as against Rs.3000 by a chemical farming farmer. "Some of us had stopped cash out flow to cities any more to purchase Urea, DAP and pesticides and thousands of others have reduced this out flow of cash in a big way", he adds.
On an average in Malwa's cotton belt farmers are spending Rs.7000 on chemical inputs per acre annually in normal conditions. If there are more pest attacks, then there may be no limit to this amount. There is a rough estimate that every village is spending a large sum of money -- from Rs.40 lakhs to Rs.6 crores -- purchasing agro-chemicals, depending upon area of cultivation and cropping pattern. Natural farmers want to stop the loss of village wealth by bringing down farmers' spending on agro-chemicals. This is Kissan version of Swadeshi movement says Chamkour Singh of Dhudhike
KVM feels that there is urgent need of Swadeshi agriculture movement to decolonize Indian agriculture and to liberate Indian farmer from clutches of westernized agriculture and developmental paradigm being convinced by ICAR and
The KVM’s natural farming movement has also brings another significant change in mindset of farmers. Now they are not looking towards
The list of natural farmers includes names from all corners of the state. The Pingalwara Charitable Society,
Similarly many professionals such as those from the medical field, college and university lecturers and professors, advocates, journalists, even government officials and civil servants have joined this movement for rejuvenation of the soil. They are in contact with the KVM and participate in its activities.
Now KVM is concentrating few villages for change the entire village in natural farming field. Two villages in Faridkot district -Chaina and Dabrikhana were chosen for this initiative.
In the just commenced wheat season -- from now to mid-April -- KVM activists are planning to reach out to at least 60 blocks of the state. These activists are committed farmers who work in the fields, not experts who come by when they can spare time by choice. These farmers the true sons of soil are trainers, scientists and leaders of this ecological initiative, in the service of Mother Nature.