“Influence of Modern Agriculture on the Environment”
In India, We are directly or indirectly connected with agriculture. Either being a producer (Farmer) or as a consumer. I am directly connected with farming since childhood but due to academic studies I had to leave the village and moved towards the cities. Since, 2011 I was in the cities, but due to COVID-19 pandemic I came back to my village for uncertain time periods and again I started loving the agriculture. I noticed remarkable changes in the techniques of modern farming. Agriculture is a valuable means of livelihood for the farmers in our country. Farming is the way of producing important products such as food, fibre, milk etc. Farming requires both indigenous knowledge as well as modern knowledge. I was excited to know about the transformation happened in nearly one decade and what would be the impact of this change on our environment so I had a conversation with a farmer and asked few questions. What is the modern method of agriculture? Apart from innovative knowledge of farming, utilising novel equipment there are some crucial parameters which also needs to be in practices for modern agriculture such as correct selection of field, proper preparation of the field, weed control, plant protection, post-harvest management and crop harvesting, he replied. He further added, in this type of agriculture, resources are concise and optimized which enhances the efficiency and productivity of the farmers. I asked the next question, what is the impact of modern agriculture on environment? He answered, As we all know that modern agriculture has not only increased the capacity of food and biofuel production but at the very same time has also increased our environmental problem because this modern farming system has high yielding variety of hybrid seeds and abundant in irrigation water, fertilizer and pesticides are used, which directly affects soil erosion, ground water pollution, water lodging and saltation. Therefore precautions should be taken in order to minimize the bad influence of modern agriculture on environment by reducing commercial farming, reducing the use of pesticides, reducing hybridization and special attention to soil fertility. He told me that beside all this advantages there are some good part of modern agriculture is also booming, which does not harm to environment for example, indoor vertical farming, farm automation, hydroponics, monoculture, modern greenhouses, ring gardens and rooftop gardens.
Bypassing the time agriculture sector has changed a lot, thanks to the researchers and farmers for all these innovations. Hopefully, with the changes we will be able to fulfil the challenge of producing food for growing population in adverse climate conditions. Along with traditional knowledge and modern technological enhancement will help India become the leading country in the world in the field of agricultural products.
|“Stories from the wild“|
The village comes to life with the break of dawn, people start with their daily chores quite early in the morning. Jeevan a young man moves out of the village towards the forest to collect some firewood. Let’s accompany him on this short walk. Ahh.. What a lovely morning it is, cool breeze and cloudy weather, adding to it, the orchestra of birds feels so good to the ears. It seems it rained quite a bit early this morning, most of the water has been absorbed by sand, but still there are some puddles here and there. Walking along the path Jeevan comes across a junction; from here one track goes left, to a water pond nearby and the other towards the right runs parallel to the forest. At this junction, Jeevan notices the tracks of some animal. What it could be, Jeevan decides to have a close look at the tracks. On having a close look, he was amused to see the pugmarks of a leopard. From the pugmarks, he can get an idea of the size of this leopard. Coming from the direction of the water pond the tracks look fresh, as it was raining early this morning, if the leopard had moved before the rain, tracks would have been washed away. This means he was here an hour before Jeevan arrived at the junction. Jeevan has been living alongside wildlife for many years; a smile comes on his face as he tells us about the big cat and what his villagers think of it while he sits beside the tracks examining them.
“Leopards are very elusive and highly adaptive. They sometimes do move around near human settlements for easy prey such as goats, sheep and even dogs are on their menu. I have spent my childhood in this village and know animals never attack unless surprised or cornered. Moreover they are as fearful of humans as we are of them. They have been here from ages. Fifteen years ago there were just a handful of houses in the village but now the village is expanding as the population is increasing. To keep up the food supplies, villagers have cleared more forest around the village to make way for fields. Cattle now graze deeper in the forest, as the outskirts have been overgrazed and every few days there is news of cattle being killed by a big cat. A big loss for the cattle owner, but still they don’t feel agitated. They receive compensation from the forest department for every domestic animal that is killed by a leopard or tiger and also because the tiger/leopard deity is worshiped by us. We think that big cats have supernatural powers and are considered as the protectors of forest. People believe that leopards live in and always belong to the forest. They also have the right to live, they too need space. My grandfather used to educate me that wild animals never hurt you intentionally. They also respect us as we do.” After this wonderful narration, Jeevan gets up, looks around, smiles again and continues with his walk along the forest in search of firewood.
It’s not the first time Jeevan has seen pugmarks of this leopard on this path. They have been friends for years now, giving each other their own personal space and greeting each other with footprints as they co-exist.
“My story with agriculture”