Quarantining time “art of agriculture” piece by Gagan, India!


This beautiful piece of encouraging “agricultural life” is submitted by Gagan Bihari Mohanty, M.Sc.Ag(Nematology),

Retd. Deputy Director of Agriculture, Govt., Odisha, India.

This fascinating (Art of agricultural life) during Covid19, the worst global pandemic is submitted by Gagan. It is a deeply moving piece of (art of agricultural life at the time of quarantining) work that we feel fortunate to put it in our featured wall. Thank you, Gagan for your valuable contribution. We think it will surely comfort millions particularly elderly who are having tough time during this deadly covid 19 pandemic and back our mental health awareness campaign!

Gagan says:

Jai Jagannath, Let me peep back to 1960s’ ,when I was an ignorant child , living in a remote village continuously affected with  flood and hence consuming low cost diet produced here like suan,ragi, kulthi etc many a times in shortage of rice . Then I was shifted
to town life and good schooling at the capital city of my State.As I recall there was food stuff shortage in those days.My food habit was accustomed to rice and wheat as daily diet.
Slowly there was improvement in irrigation ,supply of good high yielding seeds of  suitable duration and fertiliser of different combinations   to which farmers initially accepted it with hesitations but started spectacular increase in yield rate.This was only possible through long research,lab to land programs , field demonstrations, education and training with intensive extension works in Agriculture and allied professions , this revolution in Agriculture was slowly geared up.

Lucky enough , I started my job around mid 70s’ worked in different dimensions in field of food production works in my loving Deptt.of Agril. & food production,in tribal to coastal and village to townships in my state and gained experiences.

Even around end of 20th century,I witnessed the scarcity of food grains and tragedy of hunger in the poor mass to a sizeable extent.
With much of reformed Agriculture  policies, Agriculture Technology management programmes in Agril. & Allied fields, National food security programs,  farm mechanization, improvement in irrigation status, farmers& farm women  training,  education, fertiliser application, following improved crop production methods with pest control could be able to thrust the yield rate in food grains and gradually able to raise the standard of living of a good mass of farmers in the States as well as the country as a whole..

Thank to GOD , the food security for all of us , the over populated country in the world ( although 2nd highest but ,china being the highest populated is possessing 3 times more area than India ) is more or less achieved by now that I visualise at this fag end of my life span.
Coming to the prsent days, when plenty of cereals, millets, pulses, oilseeds, fibres, vegetables, fruits and flowers etc are produced, it is all are loosing the quality & utility for human health is now a matter of great concrned for all of us.
It is creating havocs in the nature & upserging abig question mark on sustainability to which the remedial measure may be control of population and mordernised environment farming , emphasizing on natural balance and non polluting environment .

The government (both central and State) is primarily concerned for development of farming & farmers’ community on priority basis and launching significant programs from day to day   for faster achievements.

As such , care is being taken for proper soil health,irrgation ,integrated nutrition management,farm mechanization, excellent agronomical practices , integrated pest management,bumper yield, proper harvesting & storing of produced,food processing etc. etc. etc  and raising standard of living of our Annadata ((produced and supplier of food)
Srimad Bhagavad Geeta says: Annad bhabanti  Bhutani, Parjyanad anna sambhabah; Yangyad bhabanti parjanyo, Yangya karma samudbhabah.
Hence, for any living entity , the basic requirement of life is food. I am privileged to have been working in a department doing the sacred work of farmers engaged in the work of food production.

I being a subject matter specialist in plant protection works for a long time was concerned with the job of pest management programs of the Govt.and dealt with pathogenic & beneficial viruses in  relation to plants.

I think  comparision between a plant  pathogenic virus and the pandemic CORONA virus infecting human beings can be made as per the following example.

As we all observe Bhendi/okra/lady’s finger(Abelmoschus esculentus) is widely infested by Bhendi yellow vein mosaic virus(namely BegomoVirus) creating a devastation to the crop in a big way.

Going back to the history of occurrence, this was found in India , long before independence affected Bhendi (okra) crop and as yet , this viral disease is counted as the major limiting factor in production of Bhendi (Okra)
Bhendi(an important vegetable).

This virus is transmitted by White fly(Bemisia tabaci) that is an insect vector ,carryng the virus to the healthy plants.
Symptom of the disease observed is yellowing of the entire network of veins in the leafblade and is also characterised by leaves mottled with yellow ,white , light &dark green spots or, streaks.
1) Avoiding use of susciptable varieties and growing tolerant and resistant varieties.
2) Avoiding use of synthetic pyrethroids which may aggravate the disease.
3 ) Using selective chemicals e.g: chlropyriphos+neem oil sprayings with water in right time & dose , may be other reccomended pesticide emphasizing on environment friendly ones.
4 ) Adopting other integrated pest management methods including sanitation, obstructing entry of white fly to Bhendi field and blocking mass transmission by checking the vector( white fly ).
5) Management is adopted before sowing of seeds & measures taken in the standing crop as per reccomendations.

Hence prevention of infestation and integrated pest management methods are the remedial measures to keep the plants free from the pathogen infections and prevent disease infestation of the crop, resulting in boosting up the yield .

To sum up ,it is needed to take prevention methods for keeping the Bhendi field / healthy plants away from infections and check the spreading of the disease in the crop field by keeping it free from the pathogen carryng vector, the White fly.

This is like preventing CORONA virus infections in human society with practising social distancing, be in quarantine at need and observing Govt. guidelines for preventing CORONA virus infections thus fighting COVID- 19 pandemic through checking community transmission as a prime mission.

Now this world war is in between CORONA VIRUS & Human race.
The law says,
Struggle for existence & survival of the fittest.
Prayers at the LOTUS FEET of LORD JAGANNATH to bless the mankind to win the battle.

Leave a Reply