The common question asked of organic farmers is whether they can produce enough to feed the world. The volume of yield is an issue that has bothered farmers, scientists and policy makers alike.
This is the question addressed by ASHA’s (Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture) new book “Ecological Agriculture in India –scientific evidence on positive impacts and successes”, that was released on Thursday. The book explores issues of productivity, profitability, social benefits, and challenges for organic farming. In an interaction between Bernard Declerq, Claude Alvares and Sultan Ismail, pioneers in the realm of sustainable farming, on the occasion, the issues of the importance of preserving seeds, soil and challenging the dominant farming paradigm were highlighted.
Mr. Alvares, the editor of the Organic Farming Source Book and Organic Farming Manual, lamented the dwindling diversity of seeds. He said, “A society that surrenders control of its seeds, surrenders control of its society at large.”
Underlining the skewed system of control and ownership, organic farmer Mr. Declerq said, “With the Green Revolution, the traditional farmer was robbed of his cultural and economic sovereignty.”
Sultan Ismail, the former head of the department of bio-technology and director of the Eco-Science Research Foundation, identified soil in itself as requiring conservation.
Experts at a book release function talked about challenging the dominant farming paradigm