The benefits of climate-resilient organic methods: A farmer’s success story
Harishankar has been using organic farming practices for the past 15 years and his farm has become a thriving ecosystem with increased biodiversity and improved water-retention capacity. (Photo: ISARC)
Harishankar, a farmer from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India had been practicing conventional farming for many years. However, he noticed a gradual decrease in the quality of his soil and farm produce. Using organic farming practices, he restored the health of his soil and improved its fertility over the years and his farm has become a thriving ecosystem with increased biodiversity and improved water retention capacity.
Recent trends show that farmers are shifting towards sustainable farming methods which, help restore the fertility of their soil and positively affect the productivity of their land. Conventional farming methods using harsh chemicals and pesticides not only degrade the soil’s fertility but also affect the whole food system by contaminating our food with toxic residues.
A farmer in search of sustainable options
Harishankar, a farmer from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. He has almost 5 hectares of land. He implements crop rotation with rice as the main crop. He also cultivates berseem, chickpea, and mustard as intercrops. He had been practicing conventional farming for many years. However, he noticed a gradual decrease in the quality of his soil and produce.
This led him to look for options that could help him restore and bring back the nutrients in his soil. His search ended when he decided to take up organic farming. Harishankar faced numerous challenges along the way. His decision to shift to sustainable farming methods was constantly questioned by members of his community. He also struggled because he lacked awareness and understanding of the subject in the initial stages. But, he was determined to towards his vision.
He attended many trainings and workshops, seeking knowledge from scientists and experts in the field. He learned about using organic inputs such as jeevamrut (biopesticide and organic manure), beejamrut (organic seed treatment solution), and farm yard manure for nutrient management, and neemastra (neem oil) for pest management.