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Scientific Aspects of Agnihotra: Agriculture - Biodiversity (Part II)

      How does Homa Organic Farming help to calm down this "storm on the horizon", to bring Nature back to Harmony, to restore biodiversity?
Reports from farmers and scientific studies give some answers.
Let us start with an observation Rita and Thomas Hirt made on their Homa Farm in Rippistal, Switzerland. When they started the farm one big problem was that the meadows were widely covered with a tall growing weed, the broadleaf dock (Rumex obtusifolius). A few of these plants are o.k., they can even be used as medicine. But as these meadows are used for cows who graze there in summer and hay is made for winter, it was a problem that large areas were covered by broadleaf dock, making these areas useless.
All neighbouring farmers had the same problem – but they used herbicides to control the broadleaf dock. Not possible on a Homa Farm – and as we have seen this may solve one problem, but create more other problems as it brings Nature more away from Harmony.
Interesting what happened after some time of performing the Homa fires and spraying Agnihotra Ash water: Green dock beetles (gastroidea viridula) arrived in large number and controlled the broadleaf dock.
These beetles were not found on the meadows of neighbouring farms. This is an example how on a Homa Farm biodiversity is restored and automatically beneficial insects arrived. This also reminds on the experience which Abhay Mutalik Desai had on his farm where woolly aphid was controlled by two natural predators - Micromus igorotus and Dipha aphidivora (see Homa Health Newsletter # 136).

Greendock beetles arrive in large numbers.

Finishing broadleaf dock.

     At Palampur Agricultural University (in Himachal Pradesh, India) some groundbreaking studies on Homa Farming were done. The studies were on yield and quality of medicinal plants as well as on soil health. Results were very positive (see Homa Health Newsletter # 132). In addition to that following observations on various aspects of environment (land & biodiversity) were made:
• Spread of White clover (Trifolium repens) (Legumes) & Kikyun (Pennisetum clandestinum) grasses (Soil binder) increased in farm.
• Weeds problem a little bit suppressed.
• Frequency of occurrence of Brahmi (Centella asiatica) increased naturally in farm.
• Birds diversity and their frequency of visit has been increased
• Friendly insects occurrence has been enhanced.
• Robust health of plants, animals and microbes

Some interesting study on frogs was done at Bhrugu Aranya in Poland by Prof. Dr. Wojciech Puchalski and presented at the conference “Halting The Global Decline in Amphibians”, London 2008. Following an excerpt from the abstract.

      “Earlier experiments had shown significant effects of Agnihotra ash treatment on the structure of algal/macrophyte/invertebrate communities in aquatic microcosms. Then, to assess Agnihotra effects on survival and growth of Rana temporaria tadpoles, freshly hatched ones were placed in water containers with algae, macrophytes and decaying plant debris, with addition of Agnihotra or non-ritual ashes of the same substrate against control tanks, placed each in triplicates at an Agnihotra and an organic farms in Southern Poland.

Agnihotra ash treatment significantly increased growth of tadpoles by 17-32% and reduced their mortality. With non-agnihotra ash the mortality was even higher than in controls. Also, significant differences in final yield of diatoms, filamentous algae, plants and in decomposition of plant debris were found. Agnihotra atmosphere may be responsible for faster development and emergence of frogs. This is consistent with observations of Agnihotra farmers who claim their crops ripe earlier and more simultaneously than in conventional neighbours' farms.

Although the mechanisms of Agnihotra effects on biota are not fully known, some explanations are proposed. Further studies are needed on more endangered species, and on treatment of chytridiomycosis, as Agnihotra ash is often considered an effective remedy against fungal diseases. As many Agnihotra farms are located in or near global biodiversity hotspots, they may contribute to conservation of endangered amphibian populations living there.”

       Recently biodiversity along the river Narmada in India was studied systematically under the guidance of Dr. Shailendra Sharma, Principal, AIMS College in Damnod, Madhya Pradesh. One study was about the bottom fauna of the river – analyzing the number of various types of invertebrates in the mud from the riverbed.
For biological analysis the mud samples stored in bottles were immediately transferred to the enamel trays for sorting and separation of individual organisms from the debris. The bigger animals were picked up by forceps and were counted separately as number/m2. The small animals were isolated by centrifugation, sieving and floatation.

Near the Homa Therapy place there is a very significant increase of all
different types of invertebrates – from plus 42% to plus 300%!
     A second study examined the number of different butterflies at three stations along the Narmada River. 32 different species of butterflies were counted at these three places. One of these places was the Homa Therapy Centre near Maheshwar – and here an average increase of 68% was observed!
Really astonishing is that in all the different species, the number at this Homa place was highest.

One observation many people have made who came to Homa Farms or other Homa Therapy places the first time: The number of different varieties of birds astonishes them. But that has not yet been scientifically studied – will be good if some ornithologists look into that matter!

Many butterflies near Homa Therapy Goshala in Maheshwar, India

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