NEW DELHI, April 25 (PTI): Natural farming is the need of the hour, as the cost of food grain production has increased due to the use of chemicals and fertilisers, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Monday.
Addressing the ‘National Workshop on Innovative Agriculture’ organised by NITI Aayog, Kant further said, India is now an exporter of wheat and rice.
“Natural farming is the need of the hour and it is important that we identify scientific ways through which we can ensure farmers can directly benefit from it, thereby increasing their income,” he said.
Kant added: “The cost of production of foodgrain and vegetables rose due to excess use of chemicals and fertilisers.”
The NITI Aayog CEO pointed out that due to inefficient supply chain and imperfect market linkages, India’s agriculture sector productivity is less.
Natural Farming is a chemical-free farming method. It is considered as an agroecology-based diversified farming system which integrates crops, trees and livestock with functional biodiversity.
Speaking at the event, NITI Aayog member (Agriculture) Ramesh Chand said there are many methods of natural farming that can be adopted, such as organic farming, diversification and agroecological farming.
“Through our shared experiences, it’s crucial to understand the pros and cons of each of the methods,” he added.
Chand noted that it was easy to promote chemical farming but it will be difficult to promote natural farming.
He observed that India is in a position to choose an alternative of chemical farming as the country is a food-surplus country now.
NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar said the time is ripe to encourage natural farming and share its benefits with the people at large, especially farmers.
“The shared experiences of states will help build a robust roadmap to adopt innovative agricultural practices in the country,” Kumar added.