Soil Management and Organic Farming
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We increasingly face ecological and environmental problems as a result of injudicious use of fertilizers and other chemicals pesticides, herbicides etc. in intensive agriculture. The deteriorating soil and water quality, and the raising agrochemical toxicity in farming are serious concerns. All these factors jeopardize efforts to sustain growth in food production. The big questions before us are Can we sustain high productivity with deterioration of soil and water environment Most of the additional food grain production must come from irrigated and potential rainfed lands. We need to use more complex technologies and management practices to further intensify crop production systems and to conserve resource base from which all food is produced. The immense task before us is How to orient our research to generate innovative technologies . Plants like human being, animals, birds and other living organisms need energy for their survival and proper functioning. Unlike other living organisms, they use to manufacture their food through conversion of solar energy into chemical energy vide process called as photosynthesis. The photo-synthates, thus synthesized, are partly consumed by plants for their growth and development till their active vegetative growth and rest is accumulated which we harvest. The entire process is regulated by various elements which are known as plant food elements. The list of such elements, is gradually enlarged with the advancement of physiological and biochemical knowledge.
These elements, though present in soil yet the quantity being so meager need to be supplemented through their respective carriers called as fertilizers. Role of fertilizers in boosting agricultural production has already been proved and they have become so essential that the cultivation of present day plant types without them is rather a dream. There has been ever increasing trend in fertilizer consumption starting from negligible quantity in 1950 to over 13 million tones of nutrients or over 28 million tones of fertilizer materials in 1992-93. Concern about environmental safety and sustainability of land productivity is increasing among scientists, administrators and environmentalists. With increasing population, it is also becoming clear the food security to the teeming millions will not be possible unless the available resources are efficiently utilized for increasing the productivity. The strategy adopted during the green revolution era can not be valid anymore under the prevailing conditions. A new strategy of living with the nature and nurturing it for sustainable high productivity should be evolved. Though use of chemical inputs can not be altogether avoided, their use in agriculture has to be rationalized. Organic agriculture shows us the way of effectively use the available natural resources for the benefit of the mankind. But, unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions about organic agriculture. Though a large amount of information has been generated on various aspects of agriculture, they are scattered in