Close to half a century after the Green Revolution won over people’s hearts, the general public is slowly but surely getting a better view of the hidden picture. The nasty side effects of genetically modified crops and overdose of synthetic fertilisers is eating away not only our health, but also our children’s future.
Thankfully, the government has taken note and is trying to take constructive baby steps towards correcting the issues. The Washington State University has been awarded a $750,000 grant so that they can explore the scope of organic farming and can investigate about how to get rid of pests without the use of harmful chemicals.
The projects aims to look into organic crop growing techniques like bio diversity and crop rotation, so that they can utilise the pests as a helpful source instead of killing them.
An attempt is being made to learn about the complexities and intricate functioning of the ‘predator bug.’ This will help them to understand about how the various insects affect soil health; and if there is perhaps a way for the bugs, the soil, and the crops to co-exist in harmony without having to compromise on any of them.
One way to achieve it could be crop diversification. Instead of focusing upon growing one particular variety of crop, farmers could think about growing several crops instead of letting their fields remain barren on the ‘off season.’ This will mean less harmful effects of bugs. The other big benefit with organic farming would be that it wouldn’t really do a blanket destruction like pesticides.
Pesticides do kill the harmful bugs, but they also end of up killing the useful ones like ladybirds, spiders, wasps etc. If there was some way to avoid this, then maybe we would require much less amounts of pesticides. For example, pesticides kills wasps. But these same wasps lay their eggs inside harmful pests like aphids thereby killing them from inside out.
There are also a segment of people who do not seem to mind these pests at all. The common sentiment seems to be that if one can spot a bug or a pest among their food in the supermarket, one can at least be assured that it came from a natural source. The key is to identify which insects are good for your crops and then use them to help you eliminate other pests.
Another important aspect that the project will be looking into is soil health. The research shall be studying organic farming methods to understand how it can help improve soil health and help the agricultural growth in general.
This agricultural growth is crucial because it can help plants and crops to develop a natural immunity to harmful bugs. And at the end of the day we do know that it is almost impossible to have healthy plants if the soil is not healthy.
We hope that the studies are conclusive and substantial, because a lot of things depend upon it. Most important among them is how we look at organic farming and develop an understanding about GMO crops and chemicals that are used to give us the ‘perfect yield’.