Sun, Mar 17, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Indian farmers think big,
but grow micro to enrich their soil

Agriculture in Karnataka State is enjoying a spurt in productivity as farmers rejuvenate the soil using micronutrients

By Mark Tran  /  The Guardian, BENGALURU, India

A critic of the green revolution and its reliance on fertilizers, Suresha says: “One hundred hectares set aside for organic farming looks great compared to other states, but it is still not a lot and it is not part of Bhoo Chetana. Still, Bhoo Chetana is a remarkable initiative although it could do with more integration with watershed management and organic farming.”

For SV Ranganath, the top civil servant in Karnataka, Bhoo Chetana has been a “game changer,” transforming what was the state’s Achilles’ heel into a sector growing at a compound rate of between 5 percent and 7.8 percent.

“Sixty percent of our people are in farming. If we can make an impact in agriculture, we can definitely make an impact on inclusive growth,” he says in the legislative building, Vidhana Soudha.

“The challenge is: Can we have this rate of growth over the next 20 years? Can we get to the point where a rural family of five will be able to make 200,000 rupees? Because that is the need of the hour,” he adds.

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