Organic Farming: Junagadh Pesticide Hub' Switches to Organic Farming.
Ajab [Junagadh]: A farmer Mahesh Ratanpara, who is forty-year-old and a resident of Ajab village, 45km from Junagadh town. He has decided to switch to organic farming. So for that, this year he has not used a single drop of chemical-based pesticide in his 22-bigha farm.
At least 102 other farmers from the village with population of over 9,000, have decided to switch to organic farming.
Mahesh said "The pesticides are slowly killing human beings and my father may have got the cancer due to pesticides that we farmers use for our crops. Ever since my father died, I have decided to switch totally to organic farming."
Ajab village has acquired the dubious distinction of being the 'pesticide hub' with over 35 shops selling some of the deadly chemical-based pesticides.
Advocates organic farming in the village, Ashwin Ratanpara said "We have damaged nature and now we are facing its consequences. According to an estimate, over 135 people from Ajab village are cancer patients. This is alarming and pesticides are directly linked to various kinds of cancer and nobody has denied its ill-effect on human health. This is the reason villagers are adopting organic farming."
Ashwin Ratanpara added "Slowly, more farmers will adopt this natural way of farming. We are also going to establish a system of organic produce certification with the help of a recognized agency."
"This year, 102 farmers have opted to switch over to organic farming and stop using pesticides," said Pankaj Ratanpara. He initiated organic farming three years ago.
Mahesh was surprised by the results after he stopped using pesticide and he claimed that "We could see the impact on nature in our farms as all the nature's creatures returned. Butterflies, bees, insects, etc, which help crops were observed. They had disappeared when we were using pesticides."