Tuesday, 5 October 2010

UP farmers yet to take stars help

UP farmers yet to take stars help

Research On But Department Of Agriculture Still Wondering If The Concept Is A Mere Occult

Swati Mathur | TNN

Lucknow: Farmers in Uttar Pradesh will have to wait longer for solar or lunar assistance in increasing their agricultural yield.Even though the concept of Biodynamic Panchang a system which prescribe the dates on which crop must be sown,for better yield is gaining ground in some parts of the country,state government authorities have still not warmed to the concept or given their nod to its approval.

Director,Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture,Lucknow,H Ravishankar,said: The pilot studies for biodynamic panchang were carried out at CISH a few years ago.However,the concept needs extensive testing on farmers fields.The system has still not been validated by accepted scientific measures.

Biodynamic panchang,or calendar,adheres to lunar or solar cycles,and is regarded as part of organic farming.In India,the concept has been practised since 1993,but without government support.The concept,however,has been widely accepted in parts of the southern states,and is,also practised during the sowing and harvesting of medicinal plants in Shantikunj,Haridwar.Professor,department of microbiology,Lucknow University,Sudhir Panwar,said: The system follows a prescribed method.For instance,if medicinal plants are picked during full moon,they will have certain properties that will change if the plant is harvested at another time of the day.All these are clearly listed. But though the concept lacks official support,organisations like Bio Dynamic Association of India (BDAI) and Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI) continue,routinely,to release biodynamic panchangs for farmers each month.The September 2010 panchang provided by BDAI,for instance,prescribes that leafy greens be planted on water constellations days,roots on earth constellation days,flowering plants on air or light,while fruit or seed plants on fire constellations days.Similarly,the system also prescribes days on which organic compost must be made,spread,crops harvested or seeds transplanted.In several cases,in Tamil Nadu,for instance,farmers are also swearing by the benefits of biodynamic farming.Coimbatore based farmer Vidya Prabhu,said: My family has been involved in biodynamic agriculture for the past 15 years.We combine organic compost and bacterial preparations along with the cropping and harvesting patterns provided by the biodynamic panchang.Our yield has been good and farmers in the neighbourhood have also taken to biodynamic farming.

Closer home in UP though,officials of the department of agriculture confess that the pros and cons of the system were debated,but no decision was arrived at.Joint director research,department of agriculture,LB Singh,said: Currently,the department has not released the biodynamic panchang officially.Research in this area is still on and a decision may be taken.However,there is no deadline for this. With most people believing that a farmer needs little help when it comes to deciding the right time to sow or harvest their crops,the department is still wary of dismissing the concept as mere occult.And if cosmic energies could only lend a helping hand,who could possibly complain ?

Source: Time of India

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