'Agri Law for natural farming will double food production'

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Coimbatore, Mar 23 (UNI) Food production in the country cannot be doubled by the year 2050, unless the Union and State Governments bring in an agricultural law for natural farming, according to Subash Palekar, a Mumbai-based farmer.

Speaking at a four-day workshop on 'Zero Budget-Natural Farming' here yesterday, he said, ''chemical fertilisers and pesticides are harmful to people. Even the agricultural yield is coming down every year due to their use.

Mr Palekar said, ''by using natural fertilisers, we can increase the yield and become self-sufficient in food production. For natural farming, we need only ten per cent of the total electricity and water consumed for other methods of farming.'' A sum of Rs 50 crore allocated as subsidy for fertilisers in the state budget would only encourage the use of chemical fertilisers, he claimed.

Regretting the Centre's claim of self-reliance in food production, he said it had imported 1.2 crore tonnes of wheat last year. About 30 years ago, 40 quintals of wheat were produced per acre in Punjab, whereas now the production was only about 12 quintals.

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