The over-use of Bromazolam Powder for sale fertilizers and pesticides in tandem with the Green Revolution of nineteen sixties and seventies (also known as the new seed-fertilizer-water technology) in the Indian context following two decades of their widespread application in the West, has hardened the soil, decreased its fertility, polluted air and water, and brought hazards to our health and environment. Ironically, despite the disastrous consequences of the Green Revolution in the northern parts of the country in recent years, the government seems to be in mood to spread the aftermath of this chemical-seed-fertilizer technology to other parts of the country. However, the hazards of chemical fertilizers on health and environment have been well established by studies carried out from time to time and they pose serious challenges to sustainable development. In this perspective moving towards bio-fertilizers and organic farming from a system of farming requiring high doses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides seems to be a viable alternative as the latter is observed to be friendly to health and environment.
Chemical Fertilizers and Environment
Chemical or synthetic fertilizers are basically salts by definition, and therefore, are expected to be harmful to agriculture in the long run. Yet they were promoted by their manufacturers under the misgiving that they would replenish the nutrients in the soil. Contrary to this, studies carried out from time to time have established that synthetic fertilizers tend to replenish only nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, while depleting other nutrients and minerals that are naturally found in fertile soil. Decrease in soil fertility also corroborated with continual use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the field as revealed in these studies.
Excessive use of phosphatic fertilizers cause hardening of the soil as phosphorous does not dissolve in water, while alkaline fertilizers like sodium-nitrate, basic slag develops alkalinity in soil reducing its fertility. Increasing use of chemical fertilizers also causes imbalance in quantity of specific nutrients in the soil adversely affecting, in turn, soil fertility and vegetation.
Soil fertility is also reduced due to pesticides applied to wipe out unwanted herbs in the field, insecticides meant to kill pests, and chemicals that have bio-cidal activity affecting rodents etc. Pesticides cause land degradation in various ways. They kill some useful species like the earth worms and micro-organisms that maintain the natural fertility of the soil by their activities. The bacteria or micro-organisms in the soil would normally break down organic matter into plant nutrients, and help convert nitrogen from the air into a plant-usable form. There are other useful soil bacteria such as “disease organisms” which keep cutworms, chinch bugs, grubs, and other parasites in check. Decline in the organic matter of the soil also results in hardening of the soil which, besides affecting vegetation also decreases infiltration and water retention capacity.
Besides, application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides causes contamination of the aqua system both directly and indirectly. For instance, nitrogen is toxic to fish and invertebrates. It is also toxic to humans. People who depend on rural wells for potable water have higher risk of exposure to conditions like Methemoglobinemia, and aka Blue Baby Syndrome which damages blood cells and is traced to high levels of nitrate concentration as ground water is contaminated. The herbicide atrazine, one of the most commonly used pesticides, is known to be a common water contaminant. Pesticides developed in recent years are found to be more toxic to water dwelling insects, planktons, crustaceans and fish. Even a low level of the herbicide atrazine, through contamination of streams, ponds and estuaries can be harmful to the whole aqua system. It may inhibit the growth of algae and plankton affecting the diet and reproduction of fish or other water bodies.
It has been observed that, chemical pesticides no more killed the target pests, for the latter had developed resistance absorbing the residue of such pesticides while they have hit the non-target pests, birds and micro-organisms beneficial to agriculture and environment. There are pesticides like organochlorine that are, though breakable, relatively faster than DDT, hit the non-target organisms. They enter the food chain of human-beings and remain accumulated in species like the eagle, falcon and kites. The recent decline in the eagle population is the cause of it. There are cases of decline in kite and vulture population in India due to use of pesticide of an US multinational corporation. It was banned only recently following protest by ecologists.