You might have reasons to believe that one of the reasons we’ve switched to genetically modified crops and herbicides is the lack of production that we get using organic methods. However, there is no truth to it and a farmer from Indian state of Bihar has proved it for once and all by growing world record amount of rice by using 100% organic methods.
Sumant Kumar, who enjoyed the world record rice crop last year, claims that he has not used any chemical pesticides and GMO. He believes that there was some divine help in shape of just the right amount of rain in addition to his dedication to produce large amounts without using GMOs. Farmers not using GMOs and pesticides usually get 4-5 tonnes per hectare but Sumant Kumar knew that he could improve this. When the crop was finally harvested and weighted, everyone was surprised at the kind of weight it was showing. Every rice grain was bigger and healthier than ever.
This was not six or even 10 or 20 tonnes. Kumar, a shy young farmer in Nalanda district of India’s poorest state Bihar, had – using only farmyard manure and without any herbicides – grown an astonishing 22.4 tonnes of rice on one hectare of land. This was a world record and with rice the staple food of more than half the world’s population of seven billion, big news.
It beat not just the 19.4 tonnes achieved by the “father of rice”, the Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, but the World Bank-funded scientists at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and anything achieved by the biggest European and American seed and GM companies. And it was not just Sumant Kumar. Krishna, Nitish, Sanjay and Bijay, his friends and rivals in Darveshpura, all recorded over 17 tonnes, and many others in the villages around claimed to have more than doubled their usual yields.
The villagers, at the mercy of erratic weather and used to going without food in bad years, celebrated. But the Bihar state agricultural universities didn’t believe them at first, while India’s leading rice scientists muttered about freak results. The Nalanda farmers were accused of cheating. Only when the state’s head of agriculture, a rice farmer himself, came to the village with his own men and personally verified Sumant’s crop, was the record confirmed.
The rhythm of Nalanda village life was shattered. Here bullocks still pull ploughs as they have always done, their dung is still dried on the walls of houses and used to cook food. Electricity has still not reached most people. Sumant became a local hero, mentioned in the Indian parliament and asked to attend conferences. The state’s chief minister came to Darveshpura to congratulate him, and the village was rewarded with electric power, a bank and a new concrete bridge.
Read more about Sumant Kumar’s amazing effort to grow world records amount of 100% organic rice on the next page…