Can Henna Bio Fences Save Indian Farmers?

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Indian farmers are facing severe crop losses due to a variety of reasons: wild boar and wild animal attacks, frequent natural calamities, the effects of global warming, and the lack of manual farm labour. Many wild animals have changed their habitations, going from forests to farm fields because of man-made mistakes such as severe deforestation and destruction in the forest areas. The farmers make up 70 percent of India’s population, yet now many are leaving their farms behind and migrating to urban areas and cities in search of livelihoods. As a consequence, many of the villages are becoming deserted and population pressures are increasing in urban centres, causing social and economic issues.

Helping to alleviate these problems faced by the farming community, the Green Universe Environmental Services Society (GUESS) an organisation in India, established to promote eco-friendly and pro-environmental initiatives, and sustainable development projects, has found a solution: to plant Henna bio fences. Henna itself is a natural dye in high demand globally. It is being used as a dye in a variety of industries, from textiles, leather and hair, as well as in cosmetics and tattoos. India is the largest exporter of Henna in the world. The World Health Organisation and the United Nations have recommended natural dyes over hazardous synthetic ones. Natural dyes are pro-environment, with no health hazards. There is renewed interest in the application of natural dyes, as the public has become aware of the health issues, ecological and environmental problems related to the use of synthetic dyes.

Henna Bio Fences are an eco-friendly, cost-effective sustainable solution, as the plant is pest-free, perennial and drought tolerant. It can adhere to severe climatic conditions as well as being able to generate an income because the demand for natural dyes is high. These natural plant fences can also help the farmers to protect the crops from the wild animal attacks, as they act as sturdy barriers.

In addition to the crop protection measures, Henna leaves have a strong chemical composition, which serves as bio pesticide for crops. It reduces the pest management expenditure for a longer period and also controls the cross pollination issues between different crops. GUESS firmly believes in Henna as a solution, and has initiated Henna bio fence projects to help struggling farmers.

Agriculture and farmers are at the core of India’s economy. Yet many farmers are committing suicide because they are being crippled by the debt and burden of farming. In 2012, 13,754 farmers took their lives, representing 11 percent of all suicides, the government reported. While, this year 1,300 farmers have committed suicide in the state of Maharashtra, according to the Times of India. These Henna bio fences could just be the solution that they are looking for to help the farmers get back on track. 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia