The Goa government is promoting a novel technique to improve crop yield: asking farmers to chant ancient Vedic 'mantras' (hymns).
The state government has started advising farmers to adopt 'cosmic farming' in which they need to chant 'Vedic mantra' for 20 days in the farm for better quality and quantity of their crop, an official of the agriculture department said on Friday.
He said the government has been holding talks with institutions like the Shiv Yog Foundation and Brahmakumaris who have expertise in this field.
Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai and Agriculture Director Nelson Figueiredo recently visited Guru Shivanand in Gurgaon in Haryana, the promoter of Shiv Yog Krishi, to see how 'cosmic farming' can benefit farmers in Goa, he said.
"The agriculture department wants to tread the path of organic and eco-friendly farming. It has been holding talks with propagators of cosmic farming and other believers of similar activities, which can increase the farm yield in an organic way," Figueiredo said.
Farmers are being explained importance of 'cosmic farming' under the guidance of Shiv Yog Foundation, he said.
"As part of this, a farmer needs to spend at least 20 minutes a day chanting the 'Vedic mantra' for 20 days in his farm. The believers of cosmic farming claim that mantra draws the energy of universe into the field and helps the seeds to sprout better and gives quality yield," he said.
Importance is being given to organic farming practise in Goa so that environmental stress due to use of fertilisers and chemicals reduces, he said.
"India is at the centre of an organic revolution that is set to take the world by storm and Goa wants to contribute to this in a big way," Figueiredo said.
The state government is also in touch with Sustainable Yogic Farming project of the rural development wing of the Brahmakumaris, he said.
"They (Brahmakumaris) claim that over 1,000 farmers in India are combining organic farming with meditation and it is showing remarkable results," he added.
Figueiredo said farmers are also educated on how sustainable yogic farming can result in lower costs and reduce the pressure on environment.
Earlier this year, Sardesai had said the state's paddy yield would increase if its farmers chanted Vedic mantra in their fields and adopted 'cosmic farming' techniques.
"Cosmic farming will give you safe food without any chemicals or fertilisers. Under this type of farming, no chemical is put on paddy and it will be grown with organic manure only," he had said.
Claiming that the technique proved beneficial for the farmers, he had said: "The testimonials of the beneficiary farmers make us believe that there is science beyond science and Shiv Yog Krishi may be the future of farming in the country."