Integrated Planning and Management of Land ResourcesFAOCSDUNEP
World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa 2002


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Message 20

        Message 20 - Intervention by Dr. G. K. Veeresh
        Tue, 13 Mar 2001 18:26:45 +0100

Dear Friends,

My name is Dr. G. K.Veeresh, President, Association for Promotion of Organic
Farming-India and also member Karnataka Agriculture Commission and member
Research Programme Committee (RPC) of National Agricultural Technology
Project (NATP).

I read with interest - Further intervention by Brian Lewis. "Where are
solutions" offered or presented to the issues of poverty". I agree that
"Agricultural change can work to reduce poverty but only when linked to
social changes". The green revolution technologies have become "islands of
success" in a "sea of deprivation". We have 50 million tonnes of food in
bufferstock, yet 300 million people go to bed without a meal. Thirty percent
of our Farmers who have access to green revolution technologies like,
irrigation, high yielding seeds, fertilizer and pesticides have largely
contributed to the buffer stock of Nation. Seventy percent of Farming,
coming under dryland agriculture has not been influenced by this costly,
high input technologies. Like industries, few farmers have 'mass' produced
rather than large number of farmers producing for filling the granaries of
the Nation, resulting in 'poverty in the midst of plenty'.

The high input energy intensive corporate style agriculture is not only
non-remunerative to these farmers but will further erode the fragile
ecosystem natural resource and aggravate rural poverty. The globalization
forces are further pushing towards poverty and environmental degradation.
The solutions to rural poverty and sustainable Agriculture lie in
mobilisation of local resources and manpower for higher productivity with
non-external high cost inputs. A number of experiments in our 120
agroclimatic zones in the country have proved the potential of each village
to become self sufficient in their input requirements and reduce cost of
production to increase their farm returns. Many of our traditional
sustainable agriculture and rural development are still fresh in the memory
of our elders and they believe that if our rural India is to survive, we
have to fall back to self sustaining technologies suitable to each
agroclimatic zones and no with borrowed technologies and inputs. The self
help groups have demonstrated indigenous technologies like judicious use of
scarce resources like water, mobilisation of local biomass and animal
excrete to enriching plant nutrients to reduce the dependence on fertilizer,
avoiding any bind of synthetic pesticides etc. Some of the areas where these
farmers require in the knowledge and assistance in post harvest
technologies, value abolition and proper marketing facilities to get
reasonable price to their produce.

In the state of Karnataka with ten agroclimatic zones a few Taluks have been
selected in each District and in each Taluk 15 to 20 farmers are motivated
to take up demonstration with local inputs like seeds, manure and plant
protection to bridge the gaps between the actual yield and potential yield
to make farming more remunerative. If each village could have a reasonable
buffer stock of local staple food and made available at affordable price, to
that extent poverty could be reduced. This is one of efforts undertaken to
popularise the alternatives to the high input, energy intensive corporate
style of Agriculture.

G. K. Veeresh  

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