S Africans take home organic farming tips
CHENNAI
 
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A group of South African farmers have been touring various states in India to observe and learn organic farming techniques in an effort to make their fields regain fertility. Now they have decided to follow organic farming methods in their country.

Participating in an interactive session organised by the Women’ Collective in the city on Sunday, 23 South African farmers clarified their doubts with Indian farmers.

Constant cultivation of ‘genetically modified’ crops had reduced the fertility of their fields and regular intake of GM food had affected their immune system, they claimed.

Mariam Mayet, a woman farmer from Mahathi village in South Africa, said, “Our government is weaning out cultivation of GM crops. A ban has been proposed against cultivation new varieties of BT corn and cotton.” “Most farmers who have been cultivating GM crops for five years are complaining about infertility and lower profit margin. Due to severe loss and high seed prices, farmers have reduced the area of cultivation,” she said.

Another farmer, Harald Witt, said, “Most Indian farmers possess livestock. In our country, only two out of 100 farmers own cattle.” About the success of organic farming in India, Perumal, a farmer from Tiruvannamalai, said, “After learning the advantages of organic farming, we have given up cultivating hybrid crops. Now our land retains its fertility. Organic foods are in demand and we are earning high profits through organic food outlets in the cities.”