Activists campaign for organic farming

In their bid to minimize the use of pesticide in farming, social activists in the region have begun a campaign – ‘India for save food’ – urging the farmers to change to ‘non-pesticide management farming’ – a model that has worked successfully for the farmers of Andhra Pradesh. In a workshop organized here on Sunday, the campaigners demonstrated how excessive use of pesticide was poisoning foodgrains and vegetables.

“A report by a government agency disclosed that people are consuming poison every day as chlordane, heptachlor and DDT are present in our foodgrains and vegetables from the excess use of pesticide. Unless we are made aware of this fact, the situation would worsen in the coming days. So we have started this campaign to create awareness among people about the negative effects of pesticide,” programme convener and farmer leader, Ashok Pradhan, said. He said they will continue organizing such programmes in various places to create awareness on the subject.

More than 20 mass and social organizations – including western Odisha farmers’ coordination committee, Sambalpur district farmers association, Utsarga, Patang, water initiative Odisha, Odisha Sanskrutik Samaj, and Hirakhanda Nagarik Parisad – are taking part in the campaign. Farmers of the region, who have successfully adopted the new method, were also felicitated during the event.

“I am quite successful after adopting ‘non-pesticide management farming’ in my village. I use organic pesticide that I prepare using locally available materials. It is not only non-expensive, but has also increased my yield several fold. Now others have also started adopting the method,” Siba Sahu of Bhutibhal village in Bargarh district said. He said he cultivated paddy on more than 400 acres of land without ever using chemical pesticide and fertilizers.

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