Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, November 27. An expert at a university in the US, Dr Rattan Lal, has suggested that only those farmers should be given subsidies who practise farming in an eco-friendly manner.
Lal, a professor at Soil Science, Carbon Management and Sequestration Centre in Ohio, said such a mechanism would not only benefit the soil’s health but would also prove to be an economically viable option for farmers in the long run.
Speaking at the ‘International Conference on Agricultural Sustainability Food and Livelihood Security’ at Punjab Agricultural University, he said, “Instead of giving subsidies for agriculture, various governments and international bodies like the United Nations should encourage green practices in farming.” The conference was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Lal said extractive farming practices, including removing crop residue for using it as fodder or household fuel, were the prime cause behind soil degradation. “Soil degradation is also caused by overuse of resources and ignorance and misunderstandings about the functioning of the ecosystem,” he said.
He also raised concern over the excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides, which were the main reason behind the spread of chronic diseases. “Moreover, fertilisers also damage the soil’s health,” he said. Several other farm experts and scientists echoed similar views on subsidy for eco-farming.