In Gulbarga , Karnataka a group of students have proved that organic farming is definitely the way to go. The scholars from Vasavadatta Vidya Vihar, run by the Vasavadatta Cement Factory in Sedam taluk in Gulbarga district were declared the first runners-up in a state-level contest. They have being selected for the Indian Science Congress , to be held at Visakhapatnam , Andhra Pradesh in the first week of January.
School principal Neeta Purohit and guide-teacher Sulochana Reddy proudly reported that the team led by Anjali Tapadiya, Priyanka Reddy, Soumya Raghav Reddy and Nihal Shah, had emerged on top in the grueling competition . The project assigned was "Jiyo Aur Jeene Do" (Live and Let Live). This team was selected from 310 science projects featured .
According to Tapadiya , the innovative project was the brainchild of their principal , Neeta Purohit .Accordingly, she used to encourage the students to pursue experiments on the benefits of organic farming in comparison to chemical fertilizer-based farming.
The team was able to experiment with organic farming in a small way, in the farms abutting the factory. For the competition, they decided to take up the experiment on a larger scale.
They chose Betegera village in Sedam taluk for a comparative study of the merits and demerits of organic and chemical fertilizer-based farming.
The students camped in the village during their holidays and in their spare time, took up the cultivation of black gram using organic fertilizer. They used chemical fertilizer for the same crop in nearby plot.
According to the students the results , which proved beyond doubt the benefits of organic farming were amazing. It was seen that the average height of the organically grown crops was 5 cm more than the other. Besides this, the number of root nodules of the plant treated with organic fertilizer was also higher.
Most importantly, the number of flowers and pods (which contribute to crop yield) was also more. Another important finding the students reported was that organisms such as arthropods, annelids and molluscs useful for maintaining nutrients in soil and keeping it fertile, thrived in the plot where organic fertilizer was used. Where only two arthropods were found in the first layer of the plot where chemical fertilizers were used, nine were found in the plot where organic manure was used.
The total biomass of annelids, arthropods and molluscs was heavier in the plot where organic fertilizer was used, the students reported.
It was also seen that soil nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were comparatively higher in the plot where organic fertilizer was used. This proved that using organic inputs and cutting out chemical fertilizers contributed to the fertility and sustainability of the soil.