India is not just an example to the world with its industrial and technological
development -- the vast country is more
than that. India, with its success story
in organic farming, is also a lesson for other countries.
from South Africa (SA) who visited Bangalore on Tuesday were surprised to
discover that Karnataka farmers have been cultivating crops in dry land without
using chemicals or fertilizers.
The farmers from Makhathini, SA, a
region famous for its success in growing genetically modified (GM) crops, said
they have lost most of their traditional crop varieties. Agriculture is mainly
under corporate control there.
"After the apartheid broke out,
companies like Monsanto and other giants took over the agricultural sector.
Eighty per cent food is produced by the companies while farmers contribute 20%,
that too GM maize and cotton," said Mariam Mayat, director of African Centre for
"Seeds and fertilizers are subsidized and companies have
flooded the farmers' mindset with propaganda on GM crops. None of them know how
to practise traditional farming."
More than 35 organic farmers from
Nanjangud taluk, T Narsipura, Bellary and Kolar, among others, interacted with
the visiting farmers.