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CSR: How Agriculture Affects Health

Inclusive Agriculture

Inclusive Agriculture is a type of organic agriculture where all the organisms are considered important in food production. It is a practice where every organism has a role to play, and thus, none of them is killed. It respects the natural food chain of different living beings. The fertilisers used for this kind of agriculture are prepared from elements that come from air, water, earth, fire or sky. For it is believed that the working of nature is powerful enough to prepare the most nutritious food. And humans need to only facilitate nature to do its work.

Agriculture has an immediate effect on the health scenario of the world. Changing the way we produce food can define the health of people who produce it, cook it and consume it.

“My father had high blood pressure. We are farmers for generations. I am pursuing my graduation in agriculture. I chose organic and inclusive agriculture as my major. I went to Sikkim to receive training on it more than a decade ago. After that, we started reducing the use of chemicals on our farm. Now, we have been farming completely for 7 years,” said Ramesh Bhupati, a farmer from Chhattisgarh. His father’s blood pressure is normal for a few years now without having to take any medicines.

Chemicals that are used in agriculture contain elements already present in nature in a concentrated form. This causes them to stay in the environment for years before they can decompose. They stay in their same toxic form in various mediums causing harm wherever they go, impacting the health, water, soil and environment.

However, the farmers still opt for the chemicals because they are readily available without them having to work too hard to find solutions to various problems they face on their farm. The ignorance of this has caused several farmers to face life-threatening diseases. It has become so severe that, the government has especially started a train from Punjab to Rajasthan for the farmers who need treatment for cancer they developed because of exposure to these chemicals.

India spends millions of dollars on fertilizers. The farmers are provided with subsidies of up to 70,000 crores for them. Instead of promoting the use of chemical fertilisers in this manner, if the use of natural fertilisers is encouraged, a major chunk of this amount can be saved and be redirected to improve the healthcare infrastructure and nutrition scenario in the country.

This article is part of a series on Organic and Inclusive Agriculture practices.

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The CSR Journal Team