'Water management can solve Cauvery crisis'

Progressive farmer N Narayana Reddy said the ongoing Cauvery crisis was a result of improper water management by farmers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Instead of being used as political tools by politicians and ‘leaders’, farmers should learn water management and organic farming techniques, he said.

He was delivering the inaugural address at a national symposium on ‘Life-Water-Living’ as part of Bahuroopi Theatre Festival, here on Sunday.

Reddy, a noted ecological farmer, said industrialisation of agriculture, with emphasis on chemical fertilisers, has deteriorated the top soil, increasing water consumption. “In top soil, 70 per cent is stone and dust particles, 20 per cent mixture of air and water and eight per cent is bacteria. When fertilisers are applied, the percentage of bacteria and organic carbon in the soil decreases,” he said.

He noted that the percentage of organic compounds in soil, which was three per cent 30 years ago has reduced to 0.3 per cent due to the usage of chemical fertilisers. This has increased water consumption by crops, he said.

He said production of one kilogram of meat requires 16,500 litres of water, while a kilogram of vegetables can be produced in 60 litres of water. Speaking on the increase in chicken, mutton and other meat farms, “In a poor nation like ours, consumption of water for such luxuries is not advisable,” he said.

Commenting on excessive use of chemicals in fruits and vegetables, he quipped that we are living in an age where we have mercury for breakfast, lead for lunch and cobalt for dinner.

Criticising ‘agricultural sciences’, he said the subject was a ‘conspiracy’ to fool farmers.
“Be cautious of using water. Consider the water you use as a debt and use it judiciously”, he said.
Playwright K Y Narayanaswamy said, earlier, there was a humane relationship between water and people. However, water has become a commodity now. We are living at a time, when we do not have even minimum knowledge about the importance of water bodies around us, he said.

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