Thursday, 29 November 2012

Homa Organic Farming: A New Dimension in Agriculture

(Experience from International Conference on Organic Farming for Sustainability in Horti-Agriculture)
Ritesh Kumar
Senior Research Fellow (Plant Pathology)
ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region
Research Centre, Plandu, Ranchi-834010

An International Conference on Organic Farming for Sustainability in Horti-Agriculture was organised by Jharkhand State Horticulture Mission in association with Directorate of Horticulture and Organic Farming Authority of Jharkhand. The objective of the two day conference (8th and 9th November) was to create awareness on the recent advances in the field of sustainable organic farming. Organic farming has become the most talked subject today. It is an ancient approach to farming and is a gift given by India to the world. Global presence of Indian certified organic produce in International markets is receiving wide attention by countries around the world and as a result India was the ‘Country of the Year’ in Biofach, 2012 held in Numermberg, Germany.
The conference dealt with different themes-
o   The Present scenario of different Organic Farming Systems and way forward for their integration.
o   Organic Produce: Certification, Marketing, Promotion & Exports.
o   Organic Farming: Select Protocols, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Improved Techniques.
Among all the themes and lecture in between them the most interesting was lecture on ‘Homa’ for organic farming. The concept of ‘Homa’ being used in agriculture was quite new although it is an ancient method used in prehistoric times. The thing is only this is now getting scientific validation. It was surprising to know that rigorous research is going on Homa Organic Farming and people from outside India e.g. Gemany, Australia, Austia are taking much interest in it. In her lecture ‘Concept of Homa Organic Farming’ Karin Heschel from Five Fold Path Mission, Austria said that ‘tremendous amount of energy is gathered around the ‘Agnihotra’ copper pyramid (pot used during Agnihotra) when  Agnihotra performed in Homa therapy. Agnihotra, the basic healing fire of Homa therapy is a small fire prepared in a copper pyramid exactly at sunrise and sunset each day. Agnihotra can neutralize the effects of pollution on plants, animals and human beings and at the same time give nourishment.  The rhythms and mantras generate much subtle energy which is thrust into the atmosphere by the fire. An aura energy field is created around plants during Agnihotra and as a result plants become stronger and resistant to disease. Also when the flame dies the energy is locked in the resultant ash which is used for preparing various folk medicines’.
Ulrich Berk from Five Fold Path Mission, Germany emphasized Impact of Homa Organic Farming in mitigating soil, water and environmental crisis. He mentioned in his lecture that ‘Experiments done with Agnihotra showed indoor microbial pollution is greatly reduced and regular use of Agnihotra controls pathogenic bacteria. Also the concentration of negative ions is an important indicator of atmospheric pollution. The more negative ion in the air, less is the pollution. Normally smoke particles are charged positive. But when Agnihotra is performed, the smoke of Agnihotra fire shows a higher concentration of negative ions and thus it purifies the air in an area around where it is being performed’. In his lecture “Homa Jaivik Krishi: A Hope for Sustainable Agriculture”, R. K. Pathak, a Homa Teacher from Five Fold Path Mission mentioned that there is need of intensive research on organic farming systems by networking of ICAR institutes and S. A. Us to develop reliable data for convincing policy makers and promotion of Homa Jaivik Farming.
The above said concept was quite strange and new for the participants of the conference. And validation of its effect in farming would be a new horizon of research for the biologists. It must be mentioned here that there is nothing new in the Homa therapy and is a quite ancient practiced in our country.  It was simply our ignorance which has taken the attention of others. Is it that we are ignoring our traditional knowledge/ancient knowledge and we accept when the same get certification from some others? If things will go like that only time will come when we will be having everything after getting branded and that will not be in  our hands in true sence. Who is going to take the responsibility of conserving everything we have?