The COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic crisis has brought some new ideas, ideologies and habits into the limelight.
Is everything going to be normal after lockdown ? No, never. It will take 4-5 quarters to normalise the financial situation. So, now the question arises how to combat with it? Yes, certainly there are ways. After all need is the mother of invention. Hence in this time of need we all have to work towards betterment of the earth. This lockdown has certainly taught everyone that health is the most important thing and food and agricultural products are the most essential items. As ministry of AYUSH suggested to take some ayurvedic products e.g. tulsi (basil) leaves, black pepper, synthi, pipali to fight against corona by increasing immunity, it shows how medicinal plants are important to us. The kind of misery people faced to have vegetables showed us the importance of kitchen garden. Yeah, all of us can have our kitchen garden, window garden, Terrace garden or vertical garden not only for decoration but also for our own consumption.
This outbreak makes us alarmed to go for gardening in a small area for our own. We can grow leafy vegetables like amaranthus, spinach, corriander and medicinal plants like tulsi in our home. That makes us productive during lockdown and we can avail fresh healthy vegetables anytime. For the farming community out there, Corona certainly brought a loss to you but it also showed you the practical implications of integrated farming system(IFS). To all the respected farmers: it’s not late, you can go for IFS now too.
How IFS will help?
- You can switch from crop to crop as per the demand of society. e.g. during lockdown, we found many farmers had to bear loss because of huge production but less marketing of certain crops like watermelon, bananas. In such crisis time we should go for some short time crops like spinach, amaranthus, radish that will bring good income.
- Secondly, diversification brings more sources of income like those who just do paddy are at great loss than the one who does mushroom as well. Mushroom is easily and fast grown agricultural product.
- Thirdly for the farmwomen, be the true partner of your husband in this crisis time. Go for post harvest management and processing of excess produce and reap the benefits e.g. banana chips, tomato ketchup, sauce, pickles etc.
Hence corona outbreak and post lockdown situation will be a beginning of a new era and all of us should be well prepared for it. Because struggling for existence is the bitter truth of nature. Opt for the right method to bring about right changes in the right time.
Richa Mishra , Msc (Ag) , OUAT