This article throws light upon the four things required for adopting ecological farming. The requirements are: 1. Biological Nutrients 2. Economics of Energy Efficiency 3. Employment Potentials 4. Environmental Friendly Package.
Requirement # 1. Biological Nutrients:
A sound preparation and perfect conviction is needed for ecological farming, thus it becomes cost reducing or cost effective system. The cultivation cost minimization has different reasons such as availability of bio-fertilizers, vermin compost, neem cake powdered minerals and rock phosphates as well as on farm produced inputs.
To name a few bio-fertilizers they are: azospirillum, azotobacter, rhizobium, phaspobacterium VAN.
Vermi compost contain several beneficial soil micro-flora and other growth promoting substances in addition to major nutrients which are in readily available form and quickly absorbed by the crops, with availability of eco-friendly nutrient the farmers can work out a manurial schedule for various crop based on the soil test results of the fields.
Besides, a number of green manure plants and trees can be grown around the farm for bulk manners. Proper rotation help in restoring fertility by the inclusion of leguminous crops. Burnt rice husk provides potash as well as coir ash, press mud, tank and river silt act as soil amendments.
Blue green algae and azolla add organic content in rice fields. Rich organic manures make crops drought resistance, within limited irrigation and resistant to pests. Plant products and their derivatives have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities.
The qualities of neem products are enormous such as repellent to stored grain pest being systematic, anti-biotic and anti-fungal does not harm beneficial insects nor induces resistance to pests. Neem oil and kernel powder are ideal in integrated pest management (IPM).
Besides, neem there are other plants like, vitex neundo, Ponganina pinnute, Melia azadirach, Adethoda vesica, Anona squamosa, Acorus calamus, Calotropis gigantia, Lantana camera, Glyrididia sepium control pests. IRRI, Manila scientists have evolved a combination of neem oil and custard apple seed oil for controlling insect vectors. Also Bel leaf and fruit extract control pests.
Requirement # 2. Economics of Energy Efficiency:
The chemical fertilizers and plant protection chemicals account for 30 per cent of the total costs but on the other hand several farm grown inputs are economically attractive to farmers. The input-output ratio of modern farming is 3.76 while for the ecological farming it is 4.95.
Requirement # 3. Employment Potentials:
Ecological farming is labour intensive as well as the organic inputs used for it shall create employment such vermi composting, neem and other plant derivatives used as pest control substances. For large area under this farming system community participation is important such as in pest control and rodent eradication.
The package needs for ecological farming will involve rural youth. Besides, other linked avocations like mushroom cultivation will create employment.
Requirement # 4. Environmental Friendly Package:
The environment friendly package of organic farming or ecological farming is time honoured farmer’s wisdom which is blended with best of modern farming. The gestation period is short as it is knowledge intensive and skill oriented package of practices.
It is a holistic approach to sustainable agriculture which makes use of improved crop varieties, bio-fertilizers, bio-control agents, botanical pesticides, vermi composting and other efficient routes of organic recycling and other bioactive compounds to stimulate plant growth.
Ecological farming is foreign exchange saving as the organic manures will be substituted for imported fertilizers. The fruits and vegetables produced with organic farming have a longer shelf life and could be transshipped to long distances.