Modern Agriculture – Neither Green nor a Revolution

Ever wondered why the taste and quality of fruits and vegetables grown using modern agricultural methods is decreasing like hell?

Nobody adds any fertilizers to the soil in forests and yet the growth and yield is so enormous there, so is the taste and quality of the fruits grown naturally in the forests. Then why do we need to add fertilizers to the agricultural soil? Why do plants in agricultural lands require nutrients to be added artificially to the soil, while the same is not required for plants and trees growing in the same soil in the forests?

A snap I took inside the Thekkady forests of Kerala, India.

The reason is, micro organisms in the soil help roots absorb the nutrients from the soil by converting the nutrients from non-absorbable format to absorbable format. In forests, nobody interrupts this process.

But in agricultural land, with the introduction of chemicals – insecticides and pesticides – these useful microbes also get killed. So plant roots are unable to absorb the naturally available nutrients from the soil. And so the farmers have to buy costly fertilizers to artificially feed nutrients to the plants.

In summary

1) You try to solve a problem (of insects and pests) using artificial chemicals (instead of natural insecticides and pesticides like cow’s urine and butter milk which has been traditionally used in India with great success). This was also one of the reasons why cow or cattle in general is such a revered animal in India.

2) Now this solution creates another problem, by killing the useful microbes in the soil. Soil becomes loaded with harmful chemicals (insecticides and pesticides), and plants are unable to absorb nutrients from the soil.

3) So you create another artificial solution by adding artificial fertilizers to the soil. This even though solves the problem temporarily, it is costly, the farmers have to pay for both insecticides as well as artificial fertilizers, both of which were unnecessary and only add burden to the farmer’s pocket.

4) And you now have an even bigger problem. Depleting soil quality because of lack of microbes creating useful nutrients for crops. Increasing soil contamination with harmful pesticides and insecticides. In the long run, we end up eating food crops which have only quantity and no quality.

So now we have farmers who have to spend money to spoil the soil and spend more and more of it to keep the yield nominal if not high. Ever wondered why the suicide rates of farmers are increasing like this? And ever wondered what would we eat the day the next generations of these farmers stop farming and look for alternate employment?

  • Karthik Menon

    Subhash Palekar’s zero budget spiritual farming is a great technique using native indian cows as a resource.please take a look and spread the message.