Why Punjab Finds It Hard To Quit Chemical Farming
Punjab has amongst the highest use of fertilisers, pesticides and large machinery, including government support for chemical farming, making it difficult for to transition to organic and natural farming
Punjab has the lowest number of organic farmers in the country because of its well-established system of intensive agriculture. The state is one of the biggest users of agro chemicals, has the highest farm power available, high use of machinery, and the research and extension system is oriented towards chemical farming. Assured procurement of wheat and rice also leaves little scope for diversification and alternative systems of farming. Organic farming can reduce input costs and water requirements, improve soil health, and resilience to erratic weather. Lack of government support, however, is the biggest dampener. In the second story in our series on natural farming, Manu Moudgil asks farmers and agricultural experts what Punjab needs to transition to chemical-free farming.
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