Reviving our soils
Greenpeace India’s campaign against chemical fertilisers is also a campaign to bring our soils, destroyed by intense chemical fertiliser usage, back to life. The government through its policies to subsidise and promote chemical fertilisers has played a major role in bringing the situation to this extent. In fact the subsidies to chemical fertilisers, which is Rs. 50,000 crore this year and had gone as high as 1,00,000 crore in 2008-09, is the single largest financial support that our government gives to agriculture every year.
Through this campaign we are trying to expose the contradictions in the government’s policies which on one hand promise agricultural prosperity and food security and on the other kills our soils and threatens the sustainability of our farming. We are also building a powerful network of civil society organisations and farmer movements across the country that will collectively fight for a shift in paradigm of our agriculture.
Greenpeace India launched “Living Soils”, a nationwide campaign with a call to implement government policies to save soils from the harmful impacts of chemical fertilizers. This campaign assumes significance in the context of the Central Government acknowledging the agrarian crisis due to soil degradation and initiating a reform in its fertilizer subsidy policy. The campaign plans to organise a series of social audits in selected districts of Assam, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Karnataka.
As part of the campaign we are demanding that the government
1. Creates an alternate subsidy system that promotes ecological farming and use of organic soil amendments.
2. Shifts the irrational subsidy policy for synthetic fertilisers to sustainable ecological practices in agriculture.
3. Re-focuses scientific research on ecological alternatives, to identify agro-ecological practices that ensure future food security under a changing climate.