An Article by Syed Asad Hussain,
Published in daily English newspaper "THE NATION" on Tuesday, 7th March 2000.
EFFECTIVE MICRO-ORGANISM TECHNOLOGY
Syed Asad Hussain
(Published in Daily “The Nation” on Tuesday 7th March 2000)
I read Dr. Riaz A. Khan’s article (The Nation, February 2) on the above subject with deep interest. He has praised the knowledge of the farming community: “Our farmers are very shrewd, they immediately adopt any agricultural innovation which they consider beneficial to them”. As President of Pakistan Organic Farmers Association, with membership all over Pakistan, and as an old farmer, I confirm his verdict.
He has put across his own arguments and those of his research colleagues against effective micro-organism. Just to relate his basic knowledge of farm facts, I quote another extract from his article: “Unlike Thailand nearly 80 percent of Pakistan has hyper-arid, arid and semi-arid climate. The PH of the soil varies from 8.5 to 10.5 or even higher. These environmental conditions of Pakistan are much different from Thailand. Under these conditions EMT may of may not have significant impact in Pakistan”.
I, as a humble on-farm grower, challenge this contention as under: Firstly, all micro-organism, harmful or useful, are not affected by climate.
Secondly, he should know that of all cash crops in Pakistan, germination is possible only between the PH value of 5.5 to 7.5. If we take his statement of PH value (8.5 to 10.5) as a basic fact, then we should have been a country without wheat, cotton, sugarcane, etc. after the disclosure of this basic error, I need not comment on the other facts mentioned in the article and contradict every word stated therein.
As a former member of Faisalabad Agricultural University Syndicate, it is my considered opinion that the university has lost its utility for on farm growers. It is a burden on our national exchequer and is a hotbed of intrigues between Heads of Departments.
The article opens up with a disclosure that EMT was first introduced to President Farooq Leghari and Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, however, they only used it freely at their farms and nothing happened thereafter.
That is not the fault of EMT if they used it for their own benefit and did nothing for its promotion in Pakistan. Dr. Khan goes on to refute the claim of increase in production and asks why it has not spread among the farmers. He is wrong there, since it is being used by thousands of farms with amazing results, but has failed to spread since those who were responsible for its production promoted their own interests.
This was the basic reason why Dr. Higa came to Pakistan to express his dissatisfaction with the performance of the centre at Faisalabad and requested Army Monitoring to check its performance.
Since I was one of those who spoke for EMT before the respected Chief Executive as a member of Dr. Higa’s delegation, I briefly enumerate what I stated before him.
“Sir, I am here before you as a patriot farmer in support of EMT. Our farmers’ innovations are internationally recognised. I have brought great honours to my country, more than any other agricultural scientist, which are state as under:
The Council of Agricultural Science and Technology AMESIOWA USA is an advisory body to the Ministry Agriculture USA. In its 30th Anniversary Number, Pakistan Organic Farmers Association was given a singular honour to be quoted as an example on its farmers’ innovations. On all international forums held in Japan, Korea, Denmark, Philippines, India, this humble farmer, as the lone delegate of Pakistan on self-help basis, kept the name of the country high among the comity of nations. I was also nominated leader of the Asian delegation in Organic Asia Conference held in Japan in 1993. The Organic Asia Book published in Japan devoted 24 pages to our farmers’ innovations, while only seven pages were devoted to those of India.
Recently, on November 22, 1999, at IFOAM Asia Conference, held in Tagatay City, Philippines, I was elected unopposed as Chairman of IFOAM Asia Farmers Group, proposed by Taiwan and Sri Lanka. A strong contingent of 19 delegates from India could not dare oppose me.
So, as a patriotic Pakistani and Founder of Government Syed Altaf Hussain Eye Hospital, I am here not for any personal motive but as a devotee of my motherland.
The Department of Agriculture is leading us to a barren Pakistan. Pakistan Organic Farmers Association is a missionary association of farmers working on self-help basis founded by Late Sadiq Qureshi, editor Jadeed Zaraat.
Our demonstration farm was discovered by Dr. Higa, the founder of EM technology, and since that day we have been hooked to EM technology. I enumerated various benefits, which have accrued to our farms and health sector from EM products. We have established thus a less labour and capital-intensive system self-sufficient in all inputs”.
I appealed to the CE to establish an Agricultural Development Authority, which should look into the performance of all sectors of Agricultural Departments and to abolish those sections that are of no use to the farming community.
Dr. Khan quotes the reports of unknown scientists opposing EMT. To be a learned scholar on agriculture does not give any person a right to pass sweeping remarks against the findings of on-farm growers. I humbly assert that this article, with all good intentions of its author, promotes the interests of chemical fertilisers and pesticides producting multinationals, that with the force of enormous resources, gag the voice of us humble farmers advocating natural farming without the use of chemical inputs.
They were scientists who proved on public forums that DDT is best for farming purposes, while it was benned all over the world. Because of these scientists, Pakistan was the last in the world to ban the use of DDT, after many Pakistanis had died due to the use of DDT on farms.
Dr. Khan mentions the views of one expert, without naming him, that EMT use is controversial in Japan. I have visited Japan as IFOAM Member from Pakistan and have toured there extensively, meeting thousands of farmers. I am not aware of a single voice against EMT.
In Japan, all foods produced by chemical fertilisers or pesticides bear the label of the skall. Has any scientists every spoken on the hazards to human health and soils from chemical fertiliser and pesticides used on arms? Has any scientist every stated that continuous use of chemical fertiliser is slowly depleting organic matter in the soils and we are heading towards a barren Pakistan? Pakistan Organic Farmers Association is a missionary body and is raising its lonely voice which has been acclaimed all over the world, but within our own country we are dubbed as illiterate and as promoting personal motives.
While all over the world the use of chemical fertiliser and pesticides is recognised as a killer of human life and soil, and organic farming is being promoted on official level all over the world to save humanity and soils, Pakistan is the only country where eating of this poison is being promoted at the official level.
Pakistan is the only country in the world where organic farming is not officially patronised. Nobody is more aware than us of the atrocities committed on farmers by our agricultural scientists, at the behest of the multinationals. Why hasn’t any Pakistani scientist spoken on the most dangerous issue of chemical poisoning?
Why do they only come forward to pass verdicts against the weak voice of humble natural organic farmers? As for comparison of EMT operated agriculture and chemical sponsored farming, we give as under the comparative study on our less labour and capital-intensive system of agriculture.
Thus we have achieved self-sufficiency in all inputs. Average production per acre is increasing. Fertility of the land is also increasing. Farming is more profitable than conventional farming. We farmers are proud of our governments and government extension workers and researchers’ inefficiency. They paved for us a way to survive on our own. So what is narrated above is a story of success, achieved through sheer hard work and experience. We achieved self-sufficiency in all inputs, even though chemical producers, dealers and all government agencies obstructed our actions and hampered our publicity.
We can see the conspiracy to force Dr. Higa to continue with the EMT Centre at Faisalabad where a betrayal of faith has taken place. As such we were also opposed to the idea of setting up many EMT Centres which again would have result in the same tragedy (as at Faisalabad) of Centres on private land. We Organic Farmers urge Dr. Higa to establish one Inocula Centre of EM under his own supervision, and we farmers repose full confidence in its efficacy and thereby in the prosperity of Pakistan. Thus our soils and people will live forever, and our great country will also come out as usual from the evil designs of vested interests.
We want our farming community to become a true wheel of agriculture, completely integrated with our own self-innovations. We want to supply hazard-free cheap food to the hungry world. We visualise a profitable farming system to make our rural society prosperous and healthy.
We want to stop the elephants of the middlemen and scientists dancing on our heads. We want to cut down the middleman’s 20 per cent to 80 per cent share of the consumer price. We have faith in the Almighty and as students of the Pakistan Movement, we have seen worldly people, eating the flesh of our nation, destroyed in the end. To God in his mercy, we pray:
God save us from the poison of chemical fertilizer and pesticides being injected in our soils and bodies by a conspiracy of high-ups in the Agriculture establishment and multinationals.
God give us “the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, and the courage to do the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
EFFECTIVE MICRO-ORGANISM TECHNOLOGY
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