The harmful impact of chemical inputs on the biomass of the earth has been observed since industrial revolution. This has deepened the concern worldwide about the gradual malefic consequences on human health, soil, air and environment, and elicited the necessity to move towards sustainable and healthy living, with prudence of other living beings in the biosphere. By observing all the dynamic conditions in the world, the need for organic farming surged.
Organic farming is a production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, genetically modified organisms and livestock food additives. To the maximum extent possible organic farming system rely upon crop rotations, use of crop residues, animal manures, legumes, green manures, off farm organic wastes, biofertilizers, mechanical cultivation, mineral bearing rocks and aspects of biological control to maintain soil productivity and tilth to supply plant nutrients and to control insect, weeds and other pests.
The main principles of organic farming are to work as much as possible within a closed system, and draw upon local resources, to maintain the long-term fertility of soils, to avoid all forms of pollution that may result from agricultural techniques, to produce foodstuffs of high nutritional quality and sufficient quantity, to reduce the use of fossil energy in agricultural practice to a minimum, to give livestock conditions of life that confirm to their physiological need, to make it possible for agricultural producers to earn a living through their work and develop their potentialities as human being.
Due to increased awareness among people scope of organic farming increased drastically. According to IFOAM Organics International total of 71.5 million hectares were organically managed at the end of 2018, representing a growth of 2.9 percent or 2 million hectares compared to 2017.
Australia has the largest organic agricultural area (35.7 million hectares), followed by Argentina (3.6 million hectares), and China (3.1 million hectares). Due to the large area of organic farmland in Australia, half of the global organic agricultural land is in Oceania (36.0 million hectares). Europe has the second largest area (15.6 million hectares), followed by Latin America (8 million hectares).
Globally, organic farmland on percentage is 1.5%. However, many countries have far higher shares. The countries with the largest organic share of their total farmland are Liechtenstein (38.5 percent), Samoa (34.5 percent), and Austria (24.7 percent). In sixteen countries, 10 percent or more of all agricultural land is organic.
India stands in ninth position. In India 1.1 percent of farmland is organic. There were 2.8 million organic producers worldwide, and India ranks first in producing organic products (11,49,000) among 170 countries, followed by Uganda (2,10,000), and Ethiopia (2,04,000).
|As on 31st March 2020 total area under organic certification process (registered under National Programme for Organic Production) is 3.67 million Hectare (2019-20). This includes 2.29 million ha cultivable area and another 1.37 million Hectare for wild harvest collection.
Among all the states, Madhya Pradesh has covered largest area under organic certification followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Sikkim and Uttar Pradesh.
During 2016, Sikkim has achieved a remarkable distinction of converting its entire cultivable land (more than 75000 ha) under organic certification.
|India is the highest producer of organic products in the world. India produced around 2.75 million MT (2019-20) of certified organic products which includes all varieties of food products namely Oil Seeds, Sugar cane, Cereals & Millets, Cotton, Pulses, Aromatic & Medicinal Plants, Tea, Coffee, Fruits, Spices, Dry Fruits, Vegetables, Processed foods etc. The production is not limited to the edible sector but also produces organic cotton fiber, functional food products etc.
Among different states Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. In terms of commodities Oil seeds are the single largest category followed by Sugar crops, Cereals and Millets, Tea & Coffee, Fiber crops, fodder, Pulses, Medicinal/ Herbal and Aromatic plants and Spices & Condiments.
Over the years the growth of state-specific organic labels, expanded domestic production and exports of organic goods from the north-eastern region have contributed to organic promotion activities. A target of 20 lakh hectares of increased area coverage by 2024 is envisaged in the vision plan, taking into account the progress of the organic initiatives. Awareness campaigns, sufficient post-harvest infrastructure availability, marketing services, premium rates for organic goods, among others, will undoubtedly motivate farmers towards organic farming, thus increasing the country’s organic coverage. The Government of India, through numerous schemes, offers assistance to encourage organic farming throughout the region.
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
- Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER)
- Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) under Soil Health Management Scheme
- National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP)
- National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
Even during these tough times, state agencies like Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), entrepreneurs among others can avail loans for setting up of post-harvest infrastructure for value addition to organic produce under 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
ICCOA is India’s leading networking organization. It has full-fledged division and expertise on policy advocacy, project management, Capacity building, market linkage and event management. It is working Pan India with large projects in over 16 States, reaching out to over 28,122 farmers directly in the organic certification program.
In addition, through the many other projects undertaken, it has connected to 71,485 farmers across an area of 1,74,302 acres. It organizes India’s biggest International Organic Trade Fair and conference program annually since over 12 years.
According to Organic farming Executive summary, the major issues are:
(a) the lack of a nodal agency as exists in other countries, with several government agencies introducing piecemeal regulations in an uncoordinated manner,
(b) lack of a comprehensive policy for the holistic development of this sector,
(c) lack of uniform standards for organic inputs,
(d) lack of standards and clarifications regarding labelling and certification requirements for the domestic market and imports, leading to malpractices such as mixing organic with conventional produce,
(e) lack of willingness on the part of key trading partners to sign equivalence arrangements
(f) lack of a proper organic supply chain, leading to product contamination and spoilage. The lack of a proper organic supply chain is felt more acutely in hilly, tribal and remote places that have a high potential for organic farming, but have difficult terrain or underdeveloped infrastructure.
Organic farming Executive summary
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