The farmer

Out of all the chaos that goes on around me every day in India, the only real form of any organisation that is clearly visible is in the farming community. These guys really know what they are up to. The rolling farms are neat, well run and clean. You hardly see any litter in these areas compared to the normal village that one runs through. The rows of vegetables are all perfectly straight. The tractors all looked after; the little hamlets in which they live are neat. This community is in touch with nature, they understand the importance and how dependent they are on it. They know that they have to live in harmony with it. Looking at this community in its isolated pockets as I run across this vast country, I worry and wonder, for how long they are going to be able to manage this fine balance that is being eroded from every side.

There is such demand on the production side that the farms are turning crops quicker than is sustainable. They are reverting to massive amounts of chemical fertilisers. This is causing problems of heavy metals in the ground water. Adding to this is that of industrialisation, with the uncontrolled heavy industry growing all the time, uncontrolled and unchecked pumping toxic waste into the rivers and ultimately the ground water. Uranium and mercury contamination has become the biggest problem in the Punjab province, causing a massive spike in cancer cases. To top this, the air pollution caused by industry has left that province as the most polluted in India.

The dated farming method of flood irrigation of the fields is still practiced by 70% of all the farms that I have seen, this is a massive waste and drain on the ground water resource as well as this it causes soil leaching and contamination at a much faster rate. The last little bit of sanity seems to be tinkering on the verge of the great abyss.

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