Seed growth: organic agriculture in Asia ... 2

Seed growth: organic agriculture in Asia …

Seed growth: organic agriculture in Asia ... 3

The tea garden in Sikkim. Image: Subhrajyoti07 / CC BY-SA 4.0

… and urban gardens in the Middle East as a survival technique

Across the globe, several multinational corporations such as Bayer, Syngenta and BASF control the seeds market by hybrid or gene seeds and pesticides and add thousands of small farmers to their dependence.

Only a few years ago hundreds of farmers from India swallowed pounds of pesticides. Corporations had to buy expensive genetically modified seeds and pesticides, and many families were in debt. Low yields were not enough to repay debts. Many peasants chose pure desperation Suicide.

On the other hand, there are many examples in India where agriculture works without chemicals and gene seeds. In a small state Sikkim, for example, with about 620,000 inhabitants. High Alpine landscapes are combined with subtropical vegetation, bamboo woods alternate with teak plantations and banana trees.

Rice terraces stretch all the way to the valley on the mountain slopes. Corn, lentils, wheat, and wheat are exchanged with banana, mango, cucumber, stone, nuts and spices such as cardamom and curcuma at 1,500 meters above sea level. Pimp trees grow tall in trees.

India in organic trend

Why does the Indian state completely switch to organic farming? To understand this, we have to look back in time in the early nineties, when large agribusiness companies opened up. At that time, Prime Minister Chamling saw human and animal life endangered by the influence of chemicals.

To protect its country from ecological catastrophe, it simply declared it the "Total Organic State". In any case, only 11% of the area can be grown in a mountainous landscape and no high yield can be expected in small-scale fields: the optimal conditions for organic farming. At training, farmers learned organic farming methods.

At over 10,000 composting plants, compost and fertilizer are converted into biological fertilizers. Due to the great variety of crops, pests are difficult to appear. Several diseases and pests of insects are preserved naturally, eg with milk, pus and cow urine. One part of the vegetable is self-sufficient, and the other part farmers sell to local marketers.

Instead of high yields, the health of the soil is in the foreground, through ingenious crops increases soil fertility and minimizes pest infestation. Since 2005, small farmers have abandoned subsidized artificial fertilizers. In 2010, "Sikkim Organic Mission" announced the Sikkim Organic brand.

Five years later, 76,000 hectares – in other words, the entire territory of the country – was "certified organic". Since January 2016 the use of synthetic sprays is prohibited. Anyone who sells, imports or distributes artificial fertilizers and pesticides must expect punishment or imprisonment.

About a hundred kilometers south of Sikkim, at the southern foot of the Himalayas, there is a Darjeeling brewery area with nearly 90 tea gardens. In a mountainous landscape, British experimented with native Camellia sinensis tea from the Chinese 1840s. The result was light yellow to yellowish infusion with a mild, floral delicate aroma. Meanwhile, most plantations and small cooperatives in Darjeeling are managed without artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

Other Indian states also reveal an organic market for themselves: in Uttarakhand and Kerala, organic farming gains more and more market segments. The young company is Terra Greens Organic, for which 2000 small farmers breed vegetables, medicinal herbs, fruits, cereals, legumes, spices, honey and tea. More than 90 products are sold under their own brand via online delivery, in specialized stores and supermarkets.

Bhutan: Living more happy with organic farming

Bhutan is considered the only neutral neutral country in the world, because the whole energy comes from hydro power. More than 70 percent of the country is covered by forests. Despite careful modernization, agriculture is still the most important economic factor. Although 70 percent of the population lives there, many have to buy grain and vegetables.

Half the rice is imported from India. On the steep terraces on the slopes grow mustard, beans, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes. The small kingdom of Himalayas strives for an ambitious goal of producing its food 100% in eco-quality. In 2013 there were at least 2,000 eco-farmers in the country.

However, a growing population requires more food. When switching to organic, productivity must be increased. Again, farmers are trained in composting methods and learn how to distribute the stack in such a way that as little nutrients lose through percolation and evaporation. The extract from the chicken, garlic, liver and pepper is extracted from the pest. Neem oil products protect against harmful insects.

From over-exploitation to sustainable use of forests

The rented forest is part of the Nepal state forest, which was considered largely untouched by 25 years ago. The year of striking and burning led to serious damage and erosion on the slopes. In 2000, the state leased some 100 hectares of forest for 23 local peasant groups, mostly members of Chepang, which are 52,000 people among Nepal's poorest populations.

Before modern civilization forced them to settle, they moved nomadic people through the woods. Today, the last native inhabitants give some of the crops with corn, prosciutto and beetroot.

People who use their own forest, so the idea was, have an interest in its preservation. Responsible and sustainable management, "their forests" helps them get the most out of poverty. However, it can only be managed under strict conditions. Only permanent crops such as permanent crops such as bananas and long-lasting spices can be grown here.

In 2009, the ONE World – Learning Center initiative has established a nursery for afforestation trees. In addition, they were brewed with sesame and ginger. Since 2010, Demeter Farmers Groups, which consists of 250 families. Focus is on breeding lemongrass for the production of essential oil and Moringa for tea.

Since 2019, five farmers have processed organic chillies of selected cultivars on one hectare of cultivating land. At about 350 hectares, six to eight plant species are sold from a certified organic wild collection. In addition, fragrant sticks and Demeter products from Ajurveda enable long-term income for people.

This initiative also includes a farm in Gorkhi on the Marshangdi River. At a locality of seven hectares, between 10 and 20 people find seasonal work, including women in disadvantaged environments. For more than 20 years, aromatic aurored teas and plants for fragrant sticks have been biodinamically grown and marketed under the brand Nepali Gardens.