Yoga to Boost Crop Yields?
Indian spiritual group claims new, 'thought-based meditative practices' as a method to improve agriculture.
November 21, 2012
While most farmers explore the value of chemical solutions, one Indian group is offering an alternative approach.
The Brahma Kumaris, an Indian spiritual organization, claims a new method of yoga will enable farmers to boost crop production. It has been working with four agricultural universities in India to cultivate what it calls "Sustainable Yogic Agriculture."
The yogic approach is as follows: meditators "focus thoughts of peace, non-violence, love, strength and resilience" on the seeds for up to a month during the sowing process. Regular meditations follow remotely and in the fields during each phase of the crop cycle. "Early data indicate statistically significant effects on crop quality and crop yield," according to the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University website.
The Brahma Kumaris claims that 500 farmers of Maharashta and Gujarat states have been using the approach to good results, and are receiving inquiries from various countries and organizations.
"The interrelated spiritual and physical methods are bringing clear economic social benefits to smallholder agrarian communities in India," the group says.
Perhaps the approach will be used to address the lack of rainfall through the month of August. While more rain fell in the ensuing months, crop protection chemical companies felt the rain deficit.
Complicating the limited rainfall is India's inadequate supply chain. A report by an international consulting organization highlighted poor post-harvest infrastructure and inadequate supply chain management in Indian agribusiness. About 30% to 40% of horticulture produce in India is wasted because storage capacity and transportation facilities are incapable of handling the harvest. It is estimated that by 2015, India's storage capacity will fall short by 70 million to 80 million tonnes.
(Submitted by Dr. Bipul Saha; edited by Managing Editor Jackie Pucci)
Dr. Bipul Saha is an editorial advisor and regular contributor to Farm Chemicals International. He has more than 30 years of experience working for multinational and Indian crop protection companies, pharmaceutical companies and other chemical industry divisions. He most currently was Senior Vice President with Nagarjuna Agrichem Limited, and he has also worked for Gharda Chemicals, Monsanto and Pfizer. He is a preeminent pesticide chemist in India and is an astute observer of Indian market influences that affect the domestic and global chemical market. Dr. Saha has been invited as Chairman and speaker in various National and International seminars in crop protection chemicals and agriculture.