8 Methods That Could Help Farmers to Conserve Their Land
Traditionally, farmers have had their own means of conserving land, soil and water. While modern agricultural practices like the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have deterring effects, traditional agricultural practices are eco-friendly and cost- effective. These methods adopted by farmers include:
i. Handpicking larvae and removing eggs from the tips of the leaves to remove harmful insects.
ii. Farmers also use scarecrows and drums to ward off birds so they do not prey on the precious crop.
iii. Indigenous agronomical practices like intercropping, trap cropping, border cropping, crop rotation and fumigation have proven very effective over time. While a number of these practices still remain, a number of them are not being used, though they can prove to be very useful.
iv. Traditionally, when the larva population in fields would increase, farmers would make structures that would invite birds to the fields to eat them up. This was known as the bird perch method of cultivation to control larva growth.
v. Under intercropping or trap cropping, side crops were planted along with the main crop. These side crops would attract the pests, thus saving the main crop.
vi. With fumigation, smoke from some natural products was used to control diseases. Fumigation is particularly used for vegetable crops.
vii. Traditional light traps were very popular with farmers. Farmers were able to keep a check on the proliferation of pests and as the light traps helped trap the insects; their population could be brought under control.
viii. In the indigenous agricultural practices in India, all the requirements for farming such as water, soil, manure, organic pest repellants and seeds etc., are conserved, preserved and managed in an integrated manner locally. Therefore, no inputs are required from outside. This is very important aspect of indigenous farming.