Art of Living teaches farmers chemical-free farming

Alabama, United States
11th August 2008

Practical training to help combat farmer suicides in state

BANGALORE: A three day Krishi Sammelan (Farmer's Meet) to address the issue of farmer suicides in Karnataka started today at the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore. To this effect the Sammelan will offer practical solutions to this problem by educating the farmers in natural farming.

Addressing about 300 farmers from various remote villages of the state, chief minister of Karnataka B.S. Yeddurappa thanked His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living, for providing a common platform where farmers could be addressed about the need and importance of using natural ways of farming. He urged the farmers to discontinue the use of chemical fertilizers as these are hazardous and expensive and to take up chemical-free farming instead.

Also voicing his concern over the attempted suicides by the farmers the CM said,

"All that the farmers need is social care and we must ensure that we motivate them and create a sense of self-belief and self confidence ".

During the Sammelan, farmers will be educated in the mechanics of organic farming which is cost-effective and farmer-friendly, and other related fields such as plantation of Lakshmi Taru plants, horticulture, ground water, borewell recharge, watershed management and various agriculture development schemes.

The farmers will be educated about the ill effects of using chemical fertilizers including the harmful effects on the human body resulting in fatal diseases like cancer.

Elaborating on the drawbacks of chemical fertilizers, Dr Shiv Shankar, Trustee of Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (SSIAST) said, "Nowadays chemical fertilizers are being used with little knowledge. On a daily basis, 10 million tonnes of chemical fertilizers are being used in India, when the crops can only absorb 2% of it. Besides being unhealthy for the yield, large quantities of chemical fertilizers are being wasted.

Citing the benefits of chemical-free farming, he said, not only do these yield high quality produce but also reduce more than 50% of the cost incurred by the farmers, which in turn saves them from landing themselves in huge loans and debts. Besides educating farmers on the natural ways to harvest, the 3-day Sammelan will also take the farmers through the Art of Living Part 1 Basic course which would prove beneficial in reducing their stress levels and help them rejuvenate and face their challenges with a positive approach.

The three–day Krishi Sammelan will conclude on August 13, 2008.