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Farming the "Natural" Way: Fruits, Flowers and Medicines

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Rohit with his fresh capsicums

Rohit Kaushik is a natural farmer from tehsil Kandaghat, district Solan in Himachal Pradesh. His guru is Subhash Palekar, the promoter of natural farming whose lessons have been a motivation for Rohit who has followed his example not only as a farmer but also as a supplier of natural alternatives to chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. He explained what he does and how he farms "natural" through this platform provided to him by Krishi Jagran, Himachal Pradesh. He reads out a small poem to us emphasizing on the instability and difficulties in life as a farmer.

Rohit started natural farming in 2018. He said he chose this poem as farmers working with chemicals are at risk themselves. In addition the soil looses its fertility and its condition deteriorates day by day. He said he is working with natural farming and not organic farming. He said there is a great confusion in these terms and they are assumed to be same type of farming, however these two types of farming are very different from each other. He continues that "Natural Farming" was invented by Padam Shree Subhash Palekar, who invented and developed these natural medicines. He said having learnt from him he is developing these medicines himself. 

He was the first in Himachal Pradesh to be licensed owner of a Sansadhan Bhandar where he provides self made medicines at low and affordable rates. His customers are farmers from Solan, Shimla and Sirmaur and most of the farmers of these regions come in contact with him regularly. He has created a group of over 250 natural farmers who are always in the loop for anything they need. Most of the farmers can develop these medicines themselves but they must have cattle. The main aspect of natural farming is that instead of using chemicals you use cow urine, which is boiled, treated with leaves of plants that cattle don't feed on like congress grass, dhatura, bhang, guava leaves and lemon leaves.

Fresh produce from the farm

One such medicine is "Brahmastra" which controls white flies. It doesn't kill it repels it, because if it killed the flies it is poison. These medicines protects plants attract friendly insects which attack the enemy insects that will harm the plants. He sings another poem praising Subhash Palekar for the great work that he has done in natural farming. The Palekar way of agriculture is being regarded highly in the market. He said the aim of the Government and our Prime Minister Modi to double the farmers income by 2022 will only be achieved if the inputs are reduced and outputs are increased 

He added that if you reduce relying on market bought chemicals and develop natural medicines you will also save on money and get better averages. He has a business relationship with collectors in Delhi called  Supriya Collection Centre, which farms naturally over 10 acres of land. They don't have cows so they are not able to produce natural medicines which they buy from Rohit. He and about 10 other farmers from his group provide vegetable and fruits to the collection centre. Once a week a vehicle loaded with their produce travels to Delhi for delivery. 

medicines to keep plants healthy

Products of "natural farming" are also being given preferential treatment in the market in terms of rate. He said the Jalandhar mandis buy the organic cauliflower and his "natural farming" cauliflower at the same rate of Rs 35 per Kg, as there is no market for "natural farming" products. However in Delhi Supriya Collection Centre offers him Rs 65 per Kg for his same cauliflower preferring his naturally grown products over other farmer's organically grown products. 

At the moment he has planted 5,000 tomatoes and 4,000 capsicum plants in his farm. He has also sown 4 Kg of fresh beans seeds and 7 packets of cucumber seeds. He has also planted 8,000 chrysanths flowers plants. He repeats his focus on natural fruit, flowers and medicines. He grows varieties of pomegranates, apples  (Jeromine M9, Kala) and Black Amber plums. He is getting good rates for all these in the market.

He then addressed the natural farming farmers and farmers interested in natural farming. He said first and foremost you need to look after the mother soil, which is loosing its fertility and ability to produce enough. He says few decades back the Green Revolution was initiated by the Government due to shortage of food items. Chemical fertilizers and other chemical products were introduced in farming which gave good results initially but killed the soil's fertility slowly. This revolution was adapted everywhere in India including Himachal Pradesh, but the pH levels kept lowering with each passing year. Earthworms that rejuvenate the soil died out, the friendly insects that killed the enemy insects too died out. The reduced fertility meant reduced production. So, one problem of production was solved but the problem of soil infertility was born. 

The solution for this problem, which we finally came to is "natural farming". With it the earthworms are visible again in the farms and our friend insects which work against the enemy insects are back too. He said he observes how the friend insects work in the farm. He observed one day that one of these got under the leaf and attacked the spider our enemy pest. This destruction of enemy insects solves half of our problems and the rest of them were solved by the farm produced medicines.

At last he describes the uses and formation of the natural medicines which have replaced the chemicals. He said firstly we buy seeds for the crops. Most of the times these have been treated with chemicals and to clean the seeds we need "Beaj Amrit". To produce the "Beaj Amrit" you need a bowl in which you add cow urine and mix with some cow dung and lime. Put your peas seeds in this solution for 5-6 hours and then take your seeds out. This will remove the chemicals and your seeds will be fully natural. Before and after you sow these seeds you must prepare the "Jeo Amrit". You fill a big drum with 200 Liters of water. Add 10 Liters of cow urine to it and 10 Kgs of cow dung. Then 2 kg jaggery and 2 kg besan will be added . Mix the solution with the help of any wood and your "Jeo Amrit" is almost ready with thousands of friendly bacteria. Cover it with jute bag for 5-6 days and we are ready. "Jeo Amrit" is a quality product, it removes the earlier deficiencies from the soil and adds fertility to it. It can be used fortnightly before and after sowing of the seeds, it can be used when your peas are growing on the plants. If your plants suffer from any disease, immediately apply "Jeo Amrit" weekly and your plants will be disease free. Please click here to see the video.

Rohit Kaushik

Rohit Kaushik

Solan, Himachal Pradesh

Natural Farming

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