Organic Farming

Organic farming is an agricultural system, practiced for growing of crops organically without use of harmful chemical providing substantial growth to them. They do not use chemical fertilizers, pesticides and weedicides and growth controllers. Ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilizers derived largely from animal and plant wastes and nitrogen-fixing cover crops are used widely for organic farming, organic farming uses fewer pesticides, reduces soil erosion, decreases nitrate leaching into groundwater and surface water, and recycles animal wastes back into the farm. Organic farming system in India is not new and is being followed from ancient times. It is a method of farming system which primarily aimed at cultivating the land and raising crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by use of organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco-friendly pollution free environment.

Some Of The Key Characteristics Of Organic Farming

 

  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by maintaining organic matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, and careful mechanical intervention.
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil microorganisms.
  • Nitrogen self-sufficiency through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation, as well as effective recycling of organic materials including crop residues and livestock manures.
  • Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, natural predators, diversity, organic manuring, resistant varieties and limited (preferably minimal) thermal, biological and chemical intervention.
  • The extensive management of livestock, paying full regard to their evolutionary adaptations, behaviour needs and animal welfare issues with respect to nutrition, housing, health, breeding and rearing.
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the wider environment and the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats.

History

  • The history of organic is quite amazing, agriculture was always practiced without use of fertilizers before modern agriculture took control. Agriculture was always considered as the most exhausting manual work since there was no such equipment that could provide easy facilities to the farmers.
  • While farmer’s life was dependent on rain and soil fertility, sometimes the attack of insects and pests ruined the farms and farmers became miserable. Using of fertilizers became a necessity for making the two ends meet, artificial fertilizers were first created during the mid-19th century, they were cheap, powerful, and easy to transport in bulk.
  • The use of fertilizers protected farms to a very extended later the use of pesticides also kept all kinds of flies away from the crops. These new agricultural techniques, while beneficial in the short term, had serious longer term side effects such as soil compactionerosion, and declines in overall soil fertility, along with health concerns about toxic chemicals entering the food supply.
  • In 1921 the founder and pioneer of the organic movement Albert Howardand his wife Gabrielle Howard, accomplished botanists, founded an Institute of Plant Industry to improve traditional farming methods in India.
  • Among other things, they brought improved implements and improved animal husbandry methods from their scientific training; then by incorporating aspects of Indian traditional methods, developed protocols for the rotation of crops, erosion prevention techniques, and the systematic use of composts and manures.
  • In 1924 Rudolf Steinergave a series of eight lectures on agriculture with a focus on influences of the moon, planets, non-physical beings and elemental forces. They were held in response to a request by adherent farmers who noticed degraded soil conditions and a deterioration in the health and quality of crops and livestock resulting from the use of chemical fertilizers.

Organic farming and Future

  • The reasons for promoting organic farming are:
  • The fertile capacity of the land increases.
  • Irrigationintervals increase.
  • Reducing dependence on chemical fertilizerreduces costs.
  • Increase in productivity of crops.
  • Increased demand for organic products in the market also increases the income of farmers.
  • The water level of the land increases.
  • Pollution through soil, food and ground water is reduced.
  • The use of waste, in composting, reduces diseases.
  • Reduction in cost of production and increase in income
  • Quality of organic product in the international market competition.
  • The future of INDIA is in safe hands if it promotes the use of organic farming and hence provides a more healthy future to the upcoming generation.
  • Organic agriculture will prosper in India and will contribute in feeding 1.5 billion people by 2030, the organic farming market in India will reach around $1.36 billion by 2020 with a growth rate of 25-30% per year.
  • Organic yields are usually 20-30 percent below conventional yields, with the sometimes exception of fodder legumes. Although organic farming will not be able to feed a growing global population and its increasing demand for livestock products, there is no doubt that the organic food market still has a bright future.
  • The effect of organic farming will be having a healthy and bright future yet the consequences cannot be defined but hoping for a bright future is all we can do.

Organic Farming And Goverments Policies

Cultivable land area under organic farming has increased from 11.83 lakh hectare in 2014 to 29.17 lakh hectare in 2020 due to the focused efforts of the government.

  1. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY):

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana promotes cluster based organic farming with PGS (Participatory Guarantee System) certification. Cluster formation, training, certification and marketing are supported under the scheme. Assistance of Rs.50,000 per ha /3 years is provided out of which 62 percent (Rs.31,000) is given as incentive to a farmer towards organic inputs.

  1. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER):

The scheme promotes third party certified organic farming of niche crops of the north east region through Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) with focus on exports. Farmers are given assistance of Rs.25,000 per hectare for three years for organic inputs including organic manure and biofertilizers among other inputs. Support for formation of FPOs, capacity building, post-harvest infrastructure up to Rs.2 crore are also provided in the scheme.

  1. Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) under Soil Health Management Scheme:

Under this scheme, 100 percent assistance is provided to state government, government agencies for setting up of mechanised fruit and vegetable market waste, agro waste compost production unit up to a maximum limit of Rs,90 lakh per unit (3000 Total Per Annum TPA capacity). Similarly, for individuals and private agencies assistance up to 33 percent of cost limit to Rs 63 lakh per unit as capital investment is provided.

  1. National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP):

Under the Mission, financial assistance at 50 percent subsidy to the tune of Rs.300 per hectare is being provided for different components including bio-fertilizers , supply of Rhizobium culture, Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria (PSB), Zinc Solubilising Bacteria (ZSB), Azotobacter, Mycorrhiza and vermicompost.

  1. National Food Security Mission (NFSM):

Under NFSM, financial assistance is provided for promotion of biofertilizer (Rhizobium/PSB) at 50 percent of the cost limited to Rs.300 per hectare.