Thursday, February 12, 2009

Going green in India, and hopefully in Japan someday

Yesterday I turned in my 水稲生産計画書or something to that effect to the farming cooperative, which shows how much of what and where I plan to grow in my rice fields this year. There are several columns, the main two of which show what you will grow in the winter and one what you will grow in the summer. I had entered that I am growing wheat now, and that I intend to grow rice in the summer. The gentleman who accepted my form gently led me to another room and told me that it was physically impossible to do both. I disagreed and told him how I would plant rice under the ripening wheat, which would keep the other weeds at bay as the rice germinated, and then would flood the fields after the wheat was harvested. Though he was not convinced that such a system was practical, he let that go and suggested that I start by using herbicides. He suggested that in his experience that he has never seen such a scheme work, and that using herbicides was the only way I would see a crop of rice. He also suggested that modern Japanese herbicides were in no way harmful. I assured him that I would be successful in growing rice without chemies because others have before me, in fact the whole country did before WWII.

Then I read articles like the one attached, and I feel vindicated.

Seventynine-year-old Balwant Singh of Khanora village is one of the first farmers in Patiala district to opt for organic farming. "People try to discourage you but you have to override this negativity to start off on the road to self-discovery," he says, adding he grows organic produce on six acres.
A fine article describing the struggles of the Punjabi farmers to start growing organic.

The Tribune - Magazine section - Saturday Extra

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