Traditional Farming

Traditional Farming, a farming, that involves locally available bio- degradable materials and combine scientific knowledge

Subhash Palekar, who was born in the district of Amaravati, in the village of Belora two years after independence. Right from his childhood Palekar had a liking towards lush Greenery. Owing to this reason, Palekar had done a degree in Agricultural science.

Palekar, in his early years used to go to nearby forests as he was a nature lover. The heart warming lush greenery made a feast to his eyes.He had closely observed the nature in close proximity and came to the conclusion that a forest is different from a farm. With the same thought, Palekar started farming.

The first crop

Palekar was overwhelmed seeing the bumper crop. Palekar who bought powerful pesticides was exhilarated seeing how the pesticides were killing the insects. He felt as if the cruel demons like Narak and Tarakasura were annihilated.

The next crop was also turned out be good. Palekar's joy and enthusiasm multiplied. But to his disappointment though he used chemicals, the output hasn't given the same as that of the first crop.

But, Palekar did not  leave his grip. But, the yield had further gone down so much so that, the investment could not be realized.

Introspection started

Palekar felt guilty.  This feeling of guilt  haunted him day in and day out. He again went to the forest. Again  looked at the nature and the greenery. He had to change his opinion that was formed earlier. Now, in the view of Palekar a forest is not the same as farm.

Mother Nature

During his introspection, many a thought hovered in his mind. Who will take the responsibility of watering these plants in this dense forest ?

Then the wisdom transpired in him. Mother Nature takes care of every plant and tree like mother feeds her offspring with her breast milk. Palekar thought,in nature farming, no other element should intervene between Nature and farming. Human's or Farmer should act as a coordinator only.

Chemical farming - Ill effects

As  Palekar was thinking,  more and more reasons for the dreaded Food crisis and the farmer suicides started surfacing up. He found that Chemical farming was the real culprit. Man out of excess greed started confronting with the nature. Palekar felt that this kind of man's nature is alarming and unwanted. It's only when Human and nature live together with harmony human survival is possible. Only Natural farming is the panacea  and the only way to solve the ill effects of Chemical farming.

This change in Palekar was akin to Siddhartha's  awakening after seeing the death and penury.

Vexed and disgusted Palekar

Investment which are unbearable, heavy expenditure involved in Mechanized farming, farming ways that endangered the soil and the organisms made Palekar turned his against  chemical farming.

 Green Revolution looked like a dangerous proposition. It took no time to Palekar that the Green Revolution is gradually and in a slow manner driving the farmer down into the abysmal depths. The illusion that created by the Green Revolution looked like a nightmare. He realized that Green Revolution is not a revolution at all, but a bane on the farmer and an enemy to the farmer.

 True. Once, in farming there were only Farmer and nature. Now a third nature replete with chemical fertilizers machines etc.entered farming.

The Beginnings

During his college days, as part of his training, Palekar, spent some time among Girijans. Seeing the lush greenery  in the forests, he was immersed in the thoughts. In this process, he was many questions appeared before him. Many doubts and suspicions haunted him.  Palekar was perplexed by questions and doubts like, who will feed these plants with fertilizers, Who will feed them water.

As the thoughts continued, more and more new doubts and suspicions stood before him. Even after finishing his education and training these  questions remained unanswered.  Palekar, who faced bitter experiences, Drove him in to nostalgia.

Palekar, in order to find answers, had become a scientist. He had studied all about agricultural ways during Vedic period to the Modern age.

It was not a cakewalk

After deciding his future course, Palekar, had tough time. It became a Herculean task  to convince his co farmers. Palekar had to face many hurdles, He had been subjected to ridicules oppositions and what not ? In a way he had been alienated and isolated from the society. On the other side, there were financial problems. The feeling of his inability to do do his research on agriculture made him dissatisfied day and night.

To overcome his financial problems and solve them, Palekar was forced to submit his resignation,  He was working as an editor in a Magazine called , 'Baliraja'. At one particular stage, his entire family had to face starvation.

At this time, only one individual stood by Palekar. His better half,Chandrangi . though Palekar has directed all his endeavors to convince the farmers in his village, Chandrangi rested faith fully on her husband's views on natural farming.

Chandrangi has got her ornaments melted and sold them in order to facilitate her husband's cherished beliefs on Natural farming.

Fate plays a cruel Joke

Palekar, suffered a death blow, just when he was about to start his stalled efforts to do research on Natural farming. Bis better half Chandrangi died of Liver Cancer.

Though upset in the beginning at the sad demise of his wife, Palekar composed himself. He thought that there is a meaning and purpose behind every deed of the Almighty. The God who took away my wife may be having some intentions through which, he wanted to bring in a new mission. His mission may be that I should go ahead with my experiments on Natural farming and spread the truth that Natural farming is the only panacea for the good of the nation in particular and to the world in general

The campaign has become everything for Palekar.

After the sad demise of his wife, Palekar has become Committed to his cherished exploring all the way to  prove Natural farming is the only panacea. Before the death of his wife, wherever Palekar went to  for preaching and propagating the goodness of Natural farming, always used to remember about his wife who gave away everything to her husband in her husband's mission.

Now after the death of his wife, his movement for promoting Natural Farming has become a single point agenda, that is spreading the message, " Natural Farming " is the panacea both for the man and nature.

Now the movement has made him more strong and determined to carry on his mission further.

A New Palekar

Once Palekar used to  remember, wherever he goes for propagating Natural Farming, about his better half. Now, after the demise of his wife Scientific investigation and research, has become an integral part of his life. He thinks and breathes Natural farming from dawn to dusk. By nature Palekar was a simpleton. Now he has become more simple. He eats limited food. Whatever he eats that is the food farmed by Natural farming. Drinks like coffee, tea and cool drinks completely disappeared from his life once and for all. Palekar never goes for Soaps, shampoos or Shaving creams.

He is always on the move. The best part of his daily routine is filled with holding seminars, creating awareness on natural farming and writings on Natural farming. Never he complains of fatigue or tiredness despite his hectic traveling.

Farmer's Gandhi, Palekar

If Mahatma Gandhi takes a rebirth and converts Sabarmati Ashram into a farming land, Palekar would look like Mahatma Gandhi. This is the reason why Palekar has been hailed as the Farmer's Gandhi, an apt and well deserved comparison.

Palekar, during his tours has shown a plethora of solutions, which led to crisis in the the field of Farming. Through his findings, he has shown it is the Natural farming alone that ends the crisis of food shortages and farmer suicides.

Simple devices

Palekar's farming tools are as simple as himself. There is no need for heavy investments. What all a farmer needs are a wooden plough and a pair of bulls. There is no need of heavy tractors. There is no need for expensive  fertilizers bought from a Multinational fertilizer company. In Natural farming farmers can make his own fertilizers, This means, a farmer need not go for loans. Hence, the condition of farmer suicides will never arise. The farmer need not be driven to the desperate condition of dejection.

Rice, wheat, sugar cane, grapes..there is no limit for his produce. Any kind of land can breathe in to life in Natural farming.

Natural farming revolves around Cow

Palekar's Natural farming revolves around Cow. Palekar says affirmatively that  with a single cow, mixed farming that involves different varieties of produce like Vegetables and fruits can be farmed.

Leech is considered as the Farmer's friend since ages. Palekar says it is absolutely necessary to provide congenial atmosphere to help for the growth of Leeches and many such simple organisms.

Palekar, has done intensive Research on Indian cow and foreign Buffalo for a prolonged period of 8 years to know how the Indian cow's dung and urine are the most effective natural  fertilizers.

If one observes cow dung, one can see the small openings. in the cow dung. And through these openings leeches and other smaller organisms enter the dung. It means that these small organisms can instantly identify the smell of the cow dung.

It clearly establishes the fact that this phenomenon strengthens the soil. His investigation found that, there is no other cow that is so effective as Indian cow.

Owing to this reason, Cow has been given the highly esteemed status in mythologies and Sanatana Dharma.

Future looks gloomy

Seeing cows being sent to slaughter houses, Palekar shudders with fear. The thought that over the years, Farming without cow makes Palekar shiver with fear. It's not all. Farming requires millions of tractors. Entire farming becomes mechanized. How much of fuel is needed for running these machines. And to what extent, all these machines contribute to the atmospheric pollution.

Questions, questions.. all questions that make Palekar gloomy and sad..

Amrit surfaces up at last

Churning of the Ocean.We all know about the the story of  Mount Mandara was used as the churning rod. And during this churning, of mind, Nectar or Amrit, emerged out. He found that this Nectar is going to work like Nectar to the crops.

Palekar devised several ways to that  Nectar, so that Natural farming yields best of the results. In this process he designed a manure using Desi cow dung, urine of the Desi cow, and powder of various pulses. The Nectar so designed will utilize all the nutrients under the soil by the roots.

Mixed crop is Palekar's favorite

Palekar is of the firm opinion that even if the first crop goes towards the cost invested, the second crop on wards, farmer gets dividends.

Palekar's efforts Started yielding results

Palekar was delighted to see, his efforts did not go waste. Awareness towards Nature farming is growing. Approximately 40 lakhs of farmers in the country are doing Nature farming through their respective Agricultural departments. the intricacies in Nature farming. The pleased Palekar aspired that Nature farming should spread to the other parts of the country.

Age did not deter his firm determination to spread the Nature farming. Even at the age of Sixty, Palekar used to spend 25 days in a month touring the other parts of the country. It is enough to send a word. Palekar readily comes to any place and teach his findings on Natural farming. He fills the people with inspiration and visits the crops and offers valuable suggestions.

Both his two sons, resigned from their jobs and stood as a support to Palekar. Palekar's daughters- in- law to followed the suit.

There is no need for funds

Whenever Palekar is offered funds from the people during his interactions and meetings, Palekar flatly refuses to accept the funds. " What is the need of funds for Natural farming that doesn't need funds ? " asks Palekar.

Beneficiary speak

Nearly 50,000 farmers are practicing Natural farming in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Among them  Software engineers and Business people are also there.The Andhra Pradesh representative of SAVE, a non profit organization known as N. Vijayaram, says that he met Palekar for the first time in a camp held at Rajahmundry  He was impressed with Palekar's ways on Natural farming. Vijayaram started his first camp on Natural Farming in the year 2012. In this camp and other camps, SAVE distributed seeds enough for doing farming for one acre.

Vijayaram, further says that he is doing Natural farming in the six acres owned by him in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. Vijayaram found that his crops had yielded  more than twice than before when he was doing Chemical farming.

Vijayaram and his wife were working in cognizant, Hyderabad. At that time, he was influenced by Palekar.s views on Natural farming. With this Vijayaram started  farming leafy and green vegetables, fruits through Natural farming in his farm of 10 acres in Vijayawada.

Rayappa a software engineer from the district of Nalgonda, Hyderabad  resorted to Natural farming, on his farm of 10 acres. Rayappa bought a tractor. But it was stuck in the mire in the farm. Immediately, Rayappa bought four bulls which were about to go to a slaughter house. Now Rayappa has 100 cows. Cultivating Using natural farming in 10 acres was unprecedented in the state at that time. Encouraged by this, Rayappa had gone further. He cropped 27 Quintals of Basmati rice. In the district of Nalgonda, it was the first time to crop Basmati rice. One cannot miss the spark in the eyes of  Rayappa while narrating his experiences in Natural farming.

It's a Duck that gives golden eggs

Vedas say, land is like a Milch cow that caters to all the needs of humans. The earth is like a goose that lays golden eggs. Wisdom lies in preserving this goose. Not in killing it. Such activity is nothing short of committing a Hara-kiri. It's only then the humanity survives.

What Subhash Palekar says is the same.

Palekar's encounter with Scientists

Once Palekar took part in a National Seminar of Scientists. Nearly 150 Scientists attended the seminar. During the Seminar, Palekar's speech created waves.

All the Scientists, surrounded Palekar, showering question after question. Palekar's speech on Natural farming was termed as ' Cock and Bull stories' by the Scientists. They further asked him, how it could be possible to do Farming, to that matter any farming, especially Natural Farming without  chemicals and pesticides.

Palekar's answer left the Scientists speechless. Palekar asked them to to leave their Laboratories and go once to the forests. see those trees bent by the fruits. Further Palekar questioned  the Scientists, who is feeding those trees, who is giving them fertilizers and pesticides. Palekar did not stop there. He asked the Scientists, how, those trees are surviving even when we are facing famines.

There were no answers to the barrage of questions posed by Palekar.

More about Palekar's thoughts on Natural Farming

In a nutshell Palekar's thoughts are

That food which is not poisonous that air,water, environment that is not polluted,  happy life to the humans are the birthright of all of us. But hazardous Green Revolution and Chemical farming are more dangerous are robbing away human rights.

The aim of Natural farming is to bring back all those human rights. We are not enemies to any. Nobody is opposing Natural farming.

Palekar further added that in the last decade, Chemical farming has gained prominence This Chemical farming damages environment in a big way. Global warming takes place. As a result soil becomes hollow. The fertilizers used in chemical farming pollute the ground, river and ocean water with high high amounts of Nitrogen and phosphorous. This further makes the stable carbon in the chemical fertilizers unstable. This entire process releases carbon dioxide,methane, Nitrous oxide and warms the environment.

In natural farming, the fertility of the soil increases every year.It means, productivity too increases. The food sans harmful  chemicals has a heavy demand all over the world. The farmer will get 2to3 times more than what he has invested. Natural farming done in this way, electricity consumption reduces drastically. In totality, Natural farming has several benefits than the Chemical farming.

Agriculture has the strength to bring a mental change in the farmer. In that environment that is free from  pollution, a farmer's mind will be rejuvenated and invigorated. Astonishingly, in this pure atmosphere, a farmer will never be drawn towards vices like liquor or drugs. Another heartening aspect is , the farmer will not be burdened by the heavy investments. Because, in Natural farming, there is no necessity of investment at all. The farmer will be free from stresses and strains. Because, natural farming is done with the  cow, leeches and other living organisms, the farmer will develop a love towards them, which is very essential for the environment too.

Oriental Countries in the fore

It must be noted that Natural farming is widely practiced successfully in over 30 countries.  Those countries which are practicing felt very strongly that, natural farming is the only way to eliminate hunger and poverty in comparatively poor countries of the world.

Oriental countries like Japan, China and Korea have been doing natural farming since centuries.

Masanobu Fukuoka, A Japanese farmer and and philosopher is a prominent figure in the field of Natural Farming. He is a pioneer in, who firmly believes " No- tiling and no herbicides kind of farming. Fukuoka has many books to his credit.

" Shizen noho" is the word for Natural farming in Japanese language.

" Soil is a living thing", A Mantra for Japanese farmers. Sakae Suka, wife of Kazua Suka.

Now it's time for arriving at a conclusion. From the aforesaid , any one can see that, there is nothing like Natural Farming. Natural farming is the only panacea to save the environment as well as the population from many diseases.

Above all,it is less expensive.

 


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