Advisory ArticleAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Farming as a Business Outlook, Not Just to Accomplish Daily Necessities!
We had the opportunity to meet the farmers from the Netherlands a few months ago to experience their farming methods very close. It was noted, for instance, farmers may use ordinary tap water for drinking, but they use good quality (Bisleri-like) water for farming purposes. As farming there is not only practiced to meet daily basic needs but from a business approach. The Dutch people adopt all sorts of tactics so that their crops would not become substandard. On the other hand, do we care about our farming to this extent?
Monsoons are the Indian farmer's greatest gift as the rainfall that occurs in the month of June provides water for agricultural purposes throughout the year. However, there are only a few farmers who prepare the storage of each drop, whereas many are not. In the Netherlands (Europe), there is irregular rainfall with possibilities of rainfall at any time along with excessive snow fall during the winters; even in such circumstances, farmers practice polyhouse farming over there. Temperature, moisture and light are all managed in the polyhouse. Despite the low temperature of 5 degrees, the crop production within the polyhouse continues.
The polyhouse or glasshouse structure in the Netherlands is such that it can collect all the rainwater that drops over it and these thousands of litres of water are stored in the pond built-in farm next to the polyhouse. If a farmer does not practice rainwater harvesting, then he must bear the consequences as it will be challenging in farming to provide water with pH quality and electrical conductivity (EC). If the water quality is fine, farming will be beneficial; but if this is not the case, then all farming activities will require RO filter water.
We have not experienced periodic rainfall in the last 5 years, and owing to declining rainfall and the rise in the frequency of storms, farming is disastrous. We have abundant fertile soils, monsoons, varied climate, almost all year round and sufficient sunlight, despite so many things, so why are our farmers in crisis? In India, not every farmer needs to or can spend millions of rupees building such a glasshouse, however, it is necessary to understand the mentality and approach of the farmers in the Netherlands.
We can also think of farming from a business angle and work to increase production by applying all the vital parameters of farming from time to time. For example, soil testing, water quality testing, crop rotation, water conservation, well recovery, organic fertiliser production, inclusion of green manure, conservation of biocontrol agents and use limited chemical fungicide, conservation of honeybees to boost pollination. With minimal expenditure, these things are readily feasible.
Source: Tejas Kolhe, Senior Agronomist
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