No pesticides, no debts!

An insightful article in Down to Earth (Science and Environment online) reports how farmers in Andhra Pradesh have switched to non-pesticidal management methods with excellent results benefiting the land, the farmers and consumers.

Farmers in the rural villages of Andhra Pradesh have discovered that growing pesticide-free vegetables, grains and pulses is profitable. By doing away with chemical pesticides, they have been able to cut their farming costs. Though the yield remains the same, profits have gone up because less money is spent on costly pesticides.

The demand for pesticide-free vegetables is also growing. Consumers are happy to pay a little extra to have vegetables which taste better and are pesticide-free.

The article reports that the use of npm [non-pesticidal management] farming methods is an increasing trend: “The trend of npm [non-pesticidal management] farming has grown steadily since 2005… npm started as a campaign of non-profits to get farmers to give up pesticides to earn better. The state rural development ministry took it forward through serp which is currently implementing npm in 3,000 villages across 18 of the 23 districts.”

With many farmers adopted npm, dealers of pesticides and fertilizers have watched demand for their products dwindle. Some, like twenty seven-year-old Krishna Reddy of Todalapalle village in Kadapa district, have switched to selling natural products to control pests, like neem powder, seeds and pheromone traps to villagers. He says: “Eighty per cent of the farmers in my village had stopped using chemicals and asked me to keep bio-products. Though my earnings from the shop have gone down from Rs 10,000 to Rs 8,000, I am able to cover up the deficit by selling my own farm produce grown without pesticides.”

Women have also been able to benefit from npm. K Keija, a 30-year-old mother of two, sells bio-products in the shop she set up in Kondapatturu, Guntur district, where she sells bio-formulations like ghanajeevastra, neemastra and brahmastra, which is made from cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd, chillies, garlic, neem.

The switch to npm has also been attributed to the decline in suicides in the state. The article reports that there were “no debt-related suicide deaths in any of the 3,000 npm villages in 2007.” Many farmers and their families have also seen their health improve and medical bills go down because they have fewer complaints like skin and stomach problems, nausea and restlessness linked to the spraying of pesticides. There have been no hospitalizations since the introduction of npm.

Villages like Enabavi and Ramachandrapuram which have become pesticide-free are now teaching other villages how to become self-reliant and free of debt.

Read the full article:



About adz25
Sourcing out articles focusing on organic farming, healthy living , home schooling , GMO, human trafficking in order to benefit the community

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: