It comes as a surprise to me to know that we know so little about farming in spite of immense advancements in science and technology.
With absolutely no idea of farming, I started farming. All I knew was – we put a seed, it sprouts and if taken care of, it turns into a tree. It was not that simple. A lot of things need to be considered, I learnt as I experienced farming. The impact of soil, stars, time, rains, water, species, weather, location – all needs to be factored in.
As my hunger to learn more and more about farming increased, the more I found myself in grey zones. There were no authoritative texts on even the most fundamental questions of farming. For instance,
Why do we till ? Is it necessary ? If no, how do we go about it. If yes, how much and how to do it ?
I Googled, I read books, I watched documentaries, I talked to local farmers and to old men of the villages. None of them could give a satisfactory answer. The old man, came closest to my satisfaction.
Why and how do pests/insects come up during a crop cycle ?
There is ample information on both chemical and organic treatments of pests and disease but no good reading on why do pests come up in the first place ? Vague answers do exists but they all have their exceptions right in the garden of the answerer.
Of-course we know a lot about a lot of things in farming but that information overload is perhaps what keeps us away from real questions. We might have technology to grow exotic varieties of rice, to grow crops without soil, to transfer a 100 year old tree. Yet, we know so little about what really happens when we grow paddy, what is life web in the soil and how an old tree communicates to cosmic energy !
There is need of sincere enquiry into farming and it’s practices. Perhaps each farmer has to carry out his/her own individual research. May be, we as community can find answers to some of the most important questions. For finding answers, or even simply pursuing fundamental questions such as these will open up a world before us.