Tamil Nadu has the second biggest state economy, and it is one of the primary states in the country to encourage organic farming techniques. Organic farming has strolled a long mile in the state because of Dr. G. Nammalvar, an organic scientist who spearheaded organic farming and furthermore took the development to a few different states of India. He committed all his life to rouse and exhibiting farmers about this sort of farming.
Dr. Nammalvar was born in a farmer’s family in Elangadu, Tanjavur locale of Tamil Nadu in 1938 and was the youngest amongst his siblings. Thanjavur was the green belt of Tamil Nadu due to Kaveri River.
A crusader against genetically adjusted harvests and composts, he was leading the development against proposed methane project in the fertile Kaveri Delta locale by an American multinational. On account of his endeavors and farmers’ fomentation, the scheme was scratched off.
He upheld that if we can consolidate soil and water, we can deliver food. Nothing else is required as the soil has all that it needs to develop food, given that we don’t sully it for agribusiness.
“Agribusiness is imported subordinate and fare arranged which overlooks the soil, producers, and the consumers. Manures, hybrid seed, pesticide are for business crops, not food crops. He trusted that food ought to be delivered locally and consumed locally”, said one of the representatives of Nammalvar Ecological Foundation Vanagam.
Nammalvar traversed the world and learned the agricultural practices and techniques in various ecological frameworks and prepared a few ranchers and NGO workers. He has composed a few books and articles in the Tamil dialect. His works may soon be converted into the English dialect to make his insight available to all.
Perceiving his extensive work in the field of farming, the Gandhi Gram Rural University, Dindugal, in 2007 honored him with a Doctorate of Science degree.
His life in his words
After my graduation, I joined the Agricultural Regional Research Station at Kovilpatti as a scientist. It was the principal agricultural research place initiated by the British in 1901. I would say that Kovilpatti is the driest place in Tamil Nadu. Originating from the greenest piece of the state, it was an inconsiderate stun and a test to me.
I was doing trials on dispersing and compost levels of different chemical manures in cotton and millet crops. Every one of the yields like Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, millets, pulses, cotton, and so forth which I experimented with there turned out effectively.
There were trials on rain-sustained land about the utilization of hybrid seeds, chemical manures, and chemical pesticides. I felt the tests were useless as the rain-fed agriculturists were resource poor. I needed to reorient the research work but was not successful. Disappointed, I left the institute.
At the Island of Peace
I put in the following ten years as an agronomist at the Island of Peace, an association established by the Nobel Laureate R. P. Dominic Pyre. My emphasis was on enhancing the way of life through the agricultural development of the Kalakad piece in Tirunelveli region.
I was responsible for the dark cotton soil cultivated there. As we were in a low precipitation area, the agriculturist’s utilized cow excrement as manure. They likewise kept sheep and cattle on the soil so that their urine and excrement added richness to the soil. I was told to include manure and analyze the outcomes.
By utilizing chemical composts, I found that farmers just brought about misfortune and the cost went up. On the off chance that you apply chemical manure, you have to give more water, or the consequences will be severe, the plants will wither. I understood by then that so as to get ideal outcomes in farming, farmers ought to depend insignificantly on other data sources like composts, and all information sources ought to originate from inside the homestead. I realized that if chemical composts were utilized, the soil would be spoilt and ranchers would be ruined. This was a defining moment in my life.
I lost trust in the ordinary farming practices and started trying different things with maintainable agricultural strategies. I began Kudumbham, society, in 1979 to spread the possibility of “Participatory Development.”
Two individuals who changed my life
I resembled a western taught man in pants and shirts. However, two persons – Paulo Freire and Vinoba Bhave – changed my life totally. An article by Paulo Freire in the magazine Idea and Action distributed by the Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome harped on participatory development and participatory education and said you needed to do any development for the general population, you additionally ought to take an interest all the while.
For that, you ought to go to their level. Along these lines, I chose to change myself in my dress, conduct, and state of mind, and be one of them.
Vinoba Bhave wrote in a similar magazine that education is a procedure of giving and unadulterated hypothetical education is not education by any stretch of the imagination.
When I began sprucing up like them, every one of the farmers acknowledged me and held onto me as one among them. They began singing and hitting the dance floor with me. I then comprehended that I was at the opportune place. I went from town to town attempting to gain from them, in the process showing them too about organic farming.
What I did first was to hold hands with an active agriculturist who had two sets of dairy cattle. While he furrowed his field with one, I furrowed with the other. Furrowing was not unfamiliar to me as I had done that in the family fields as well.
One day, a few ladies gathering Ragi asked me, won’t you come and go along with us? I stated I don’t have a sickle. They said they would give me one. In this way, I went along with them with a sickle! I reaped a Ragi revise alongside the ladies, and amid meal break, I ate with them.
There was a yearning in me to accomplish something by which the farming group is elevated.
Organic farming and Aurobindo Ashram
Someone else I am significantly impacted with is Bernard de Clarke from Belgium who made Auroville as his work put. He had begun organic farming there. It was from him that I learned to do organic farming methodically. If done deliberately, organic farming gives more food with less cost, and you eat less toxin.
There was a 100-section of land plot in the Aurobindo Ashram where Bernard did organic farming. The story is that Mother once asked her stunned pupils, “I requested food yet you are bolstering me harm. Why?” From that day onwards, they quit utilizing any manures, and it was organic farming for them. They did it for as long as 12 years. I comprehended there that farming itself is logic.
(In 1995 he was assigned as the Tamil Nadu state facilitator for ARISE (Agricultural Renewal in India for Sustainable Environment). Bernard was the facilitator at the national level.)
In the first place, when I advised the ranchers not to utilize composts, they were frightened. I understood that as opposed to letting them know, I ought to exhibit and demonstrate to them what truly matters to organic farming.
Forest in a barren land
I alongside a couple of companions purchased a 10-acre barren plot in the arid Pudukottai region. There was no waterway there and was a low rainfall range. We initially fenced the land with live crops and not with cement. At that point, we began to collect rain water and planted a tree nursery.
After we had burrowed wells, we started a vegetable garden, and a poultry cultivate. The local boys and girls went along with us in developing plants. What we did was recreate what was done as a wasteland improvement at Auroville by Bernard.
I asked the people what trees they needed to plant. They gave the names of 52 trees. Be that as it may, the names of Eucalyptus and Babul (which are planted by the government in social forestry plans) were not there in it, and we planted all the 52 assortments.
When we first borrowed a well, even after going 30 ft profound, we didn’t get any water, however, following three years, the water level went up definitely. At that point, we had grass for the cattle and sheep we got. We likewise had many flying creatures there. There was nothing that we didn’t have. At this point, our community cultivator has 20 sections of land.
From all over Tamil Nadu and different states, people came to remain there and find out about organic farming.
In the wake of making our ranch fruitful, I began going to places in Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, and so on, and instructing people. I attempted a padayatra from Bhavani Sagar dam to Kodumudi for 25 days, and I flew out from village to village.
From numerous villages, several people strolled with me. After the yatra, I could do numerous agriculturists switch to organic farming. We are additionally promoting the need to reap millets and have begun an All India Millet Network.
Hereditarily altered seeds
I will give you a couple of reasons why GM seeds ought not to be utilized. GM seeds pollute different plants identified with the family. It will pulverize the biodiversity of the soil, and from that point forward, we won’t be able to pick the plants that are appropriate for the territory and need. It is an unsafe science, and anytime, the quality can move from plants to animals.
To control bugs, we needn’t bother with GM seeds. GM seeds are not created for the advantage of the community. The organizations say GM will expand the wage of the agriculturists. In any case, it is not valid.
The cost of the seeds is high. It has nothing to build the yield. At the point when a company has a monopoly, they will choose the cost of the seeds, and we lose our national sway. We need to take a gander at all these focuses before tolerating Bt crops.
I would state that what is occurring on GM seeds is the issue of the agriculturist as well as the problem of the nation as well.
Dr. Nammalvar passed away on 30 December 2013, near Pattukottai, while on an outing to challenge methane program by ONGC that he had been restricted for quite a while.
He is not among us but rather the legacy he deserted is precious, just on the off chance that we continue passing his astuteness and farming strategies to our future eras to shield our soil from men made toxic substances.
It is the time that we move towards organic farming and spare our land, water, soil and souls from contamination.