Demand for urea dips as farmers turn to organic farming in Prayagraj

Efforts to reduce use of urea in the agricultural fields seem to have finally begun showing results, at least in Prayagraj.

If agriculture department’s data is to be believed, till 2018 up to 1.5 lakh metric tons of urea was being used by the farmers of the district per season while now it has come down to 80,000 to 90,000 metric tons, inform officials.

The main reason for this fall in urea use is a result of the push being accorded to organic farming, they claim.

Officials claim the impact of promoting organic farming has resulted in more money being spent by the farmers on pesticides, and less on urea.

“Urea and other fertilisers were being used mostly in the river bank areas where farmers grew crops. The survey conducted by the agriculture department in areas like Karachhana and Meja as well as some villages located in trans-Ganga region of the district has revealed that the money spent by farmers on pesticides and other chemicals has drastically come down. Along with this, the condition of the soil has also improved. PH value has increased which is directly benefitting the farmers, shared a senior agriculture department official.

“Continuous efforts are being made for promoting organic farming. Our survey shows that the use of urea has gone down in the past three to four years and therefore the demand for urea has also decreased. Now we are moving towards the organic produce market. The dip in usage of urea means that now everyone will be able to eat vegetables, pulses, rice and wheat produced through organic farming and this in turn will help more people to be healthy in the coming times,” said VK Sharma, deputy director (agriculture), Prayagraj.

Officials say that a key reason for working towards healthy farming and organic produce is also the supply of agriculture products from the district to other countries. Rice grown in Koraon is exported to Iran and Bangladesh. Agricultural produce using urea is not preferred abroad, they said.

Agricultural experts say that using organic farming technique reduces production by up to 15% to 20% in the first year. For example, if five tonnes are being produced in one hectare, the production decreases by 15% to 20% in the first year, but in the second and third year onwards the production starts normalizing. So, opting organic farming in the long term is beneficial, they claim.

After promoting organic farming, the department of agriculture is now also busy developing a market of organically produced vegetables and other items. “It is being built in the guest house of farmers in Mundera Mandi. It will be formally launched in October. People will also be able to buy organic produce directly from this market,” the officials said.

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