(The Gist of Kurukshetra) ORGANIC
FARMING FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT [MAY-2019]
ORGANIC FARMING FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
- The overall a significant agriculture development role sector in
is ensuring of a primary rural areas. food sector security, It of plays the
raw materials, livelihoods and providing a spur to the growth of the
industrial and service sector. Therefore, the agriculture sector is the
backbone of Indian economy. A large proportion of labour force still depends
on agriculture. Based on Usual Principal Status Approach (UPSA), 46.1
percent of the persons were estimated to be employed under agriculture in
India during 2015-16 (Gol,
- The health of the individual is at greater risk than ever before
because of the chemicals that we ingest into our bodies through the
inorganic food we eat. Organic agriculture has positively impacted on the
quality of natural resources and biodiversity. Therefore, organic
agriculture provides high nutrient foods to human beings and animals for
their well-being. Raising awareness, increasing market requirement,
nurturing the attitude of the producer to become organic, increasing
research and government supports have resulted into amazing development in
organic agriculture since last two decades in the world and India. The
global ranking of India in organic agriculture stood at eighth position with
1.78 million hectares of area under it in 2017.
- The share of organic agricultural land of India was 2.55 percent
in the total world of organic agriculture. India has the highest number of
organic producers in the world accounting to 30.58 percent. The area under
organic farming in India, was over 17 lakh hectares and its total production
was 16, 75,560.70 metric tonnes in the year 2017-18. In 2016 Sikkim became
the first organic state of India.
The concept of Organic Farming:
- The system of organic farming is based on an intimate
understanding of nature's laws and rules. In today's terminology, it is a
method of a farming system which primarily alms at cultivating the land and
raising crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by
the use of organic wastes and other biological materials along with
beneficial microbes (biofertilizers).
- They release nutrients for increased sustainable production of
crops. "Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health
of soils, ecosystems, and people.
- It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted
to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects.
Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation, and science to benefit
the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of
life for all involved.
Principles of Organic Agriculture:
- The principles of organic farming were formulated and developed in
September 2005 by IFOAM. These four principles are the roots from which
organic agriculture developed.
- The Principle of Health: Organic farming should sustain and
enhance the health of soil, water, air, environment, animal, human and plant
as one and indivisible.
- The Principle of Ecology: Organic agriculture should be based on
living ecological systems and cycles, work with them, emulate them and help
sustain them on nature's laws.
- The Principle of Fairness: Organic practices should build on
relationships that ensure fairness
- with regard to the common environment and life opportunities.
- The Principle of Care: Organic farming should be managed in a
precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of
current and future generations and the overall environment.
Characteristics of Organic Farming:
- Protecting the long term fertility of soils by maintaining organic
matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, and careful mechanical
- Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble
nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil
- Self-sufficiency in Nitrogen 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 by relying primarily on crop
rotations, natural predators, diversity, organic manuring, resistant
varieties, and limited (preferably minimal) thermal, biological and chemical
- The extensive management of livestock, paying full regard to their
evolutionary adaptations, behavioral 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.
- Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming: Sustainable
agriculture integrates the main goal to sustain biodiversity; enhance the
quality of natural resources, economic profitability, and social equity.
Organic farming provides several benefits for people and the planet. Many
changes observed in the environment are long term, occurring slowly
overtime. Organicagriculture considers the medium and long term effect of
agricultural interventions on the agro-ecosystem. Improving Soil Fertility:
Soil building practices such as crop rotations, cover crops, and organic
fertilizers are central to organic practices. These practices replenish soil
organic matter, feed soil life, reduce erosion, improve soil structure, and
enhance nutrient cycling and water retention. The length of time that the
soil is exposed to erosive forces is decreased, soil biodiversity is
increased, and nutrient losses are reduced, helping to maintain and enhance
- Improving Water Quality: Organic farming practices, such as the
application of compost manures and the use of fodder legumes and green
manures within extended grain cropping rotations, can optimize soil nutrient
release and plant nutrient uptake, and subsequently improve water quality.
Enhanced soil structure, water infiltration, and nutrient retention also
reduces the risk of groundwater pollution. In many agriculture areas,
pollution of groundwater, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are major
difficulties. In some areas where pollution is a real problem, conversion to
organic agriculture is highly encouraged as a restorative measure.
- Energy and Climate Change: Through the use of leguminous cover
crops, compost, and other organic approved materials for fertility
management, organic farms often decrease the greenhouse gas emission;
components. By prohibiting the use of synthetic fertilizer and pesticides,
organic production avoids the CO2 emissions associated with the production
of these inputs , Additionally, many of the practices associated with
certified organic production, such as diverse crop rotations, use of cover
crops, and application of compost manures enhance the accumulation of carbon
in soil. Organic agriculture reduces non-renewable energy use by decreasing
agrochemical needs (these require high quantities of fossil fuel to be
produced). Protection of Biodiversity: Organic systems enhance biodiversity
at several levels. A variety of seeds and breeds are chosen for greater
resistance to diseases, climate, and pests. Producers employ diverse
combinations and rotations of plants and animals to increase yields and
income. The maintenance and planting of natural areas within and around
organic fields and the absence of chemical inputs create suitable habitats
for wildlife and important pollinators and beneficial insects. Organic
farmers are both custodians and users of biodiversity at all levels.
Components of Organic Farming for Sustainable Agriculture Development:
- Crop Rotation: It is a systematic arrangement for the growing of
various crops in a more or less regular sequence on the same land covering a
period of two years and more. A mixed cropping, pasture and livestock system
is desirable or even essential for the success of sustainable agriculture.
- Crop Residue: There is a great potential for utilization of crop
residues/straw of some of the major crops. About fifty percent of the crop
residues are utilized as animal feed, the rest could be very well utilized
for recycling of nutrients.
- Manure: The organic manure is derived from biological sources
like the plant, animal and human residues. Organic manure acts in many ways
in augmenting crop growth, crop protection, and soil productivity. The
direct effect of organic manure relates to the uptake of humic substances or
its decomposition products affecting favorably the growth and yield of
plants. A) Bulky Organic Manure: Farm Yard Manure (FYM), Compost Manure,
Green Manure. B) Concentrated Organic Manure: Concentrated organic manures
are made from raw material so animal or plant origin. These manures commonly
used are oil cakes, blood meal, fishmeal, meat meal, and horn and hoof meal.
Industrial Waste: Among the industrial by products, spent wash
from distillery, molasses and ress mud from industry have good manure value.
This industrial waste manure can be used After pro er decomposition.
Municipal and Sewage Waste: Sewage sludge, particularly from
industrialized cities, is contaminated with heavy metals and these pose hazards
to plants, animals and human beings.
- Biofertilizers: Biofertilizer is microorganism's culture ca’able
of fixing atmospheric nitrogen when suitable crops are inoculated with them.
The main inputs are microorganisms, which are capable of mobilizing
nutritive elements from non-usable form to usable form through a biological
- Bio-Pesticide: Bio-pesticides are natural plant products that
belong to the secondary metabolites, which include thousands of alkaloids,
terpenoids, phenolics, and minor secondary chemicals. These substances have
usually no known function in photosynthesis, growth or other basic aspects
of plant physiology. However, their biological activity against
insects, nematodes, fungi, and other organisms is well documented.
- Vermicompost: Vermiculture has a component in biological farming,
which is found to be effective in enhancing soil fertility and producing
large numbers of agricultural crops. It is organic manure produced by the
activity of earthworms that generally live in soil, eat biomass and excrete
it in digested form. The average nutrient content of vermicompost is much
higher than that of FYM.
- The organic agriculture positively affects and sustains the
quality of natural resources (soil, water, and air) and biodiversity. The
application of organic farming yields better economic and environmental
benefits to farmers for raising their standard of life.
- It is inevitable to frame and implement various policies,
programmes, and strategies to promote organic agriculture in order to
realize its full potential. Public awareness has transformed the initial
supply driven organic movements to demand driven.
- The premium prices and government support for organic farming has
led to the implementation of organic practices. The farmers have converted
their chemical farming method to organic farming method for economic, health
and environment reasons.
- The organic farming practices are sustainable in nature and have
enhanced environmental quality and ecosystem. Organic farming is based on
the principle of maximum production with high quality, without affecting the
soil fertility and the environment.
- India has the potential to become a major organic agricultural
country given the international demand for our farm products, different
agro-climatic regions for the cultivation of a number of crops the size of
the domestic market and above all the long tradition of environment-friendly
farming and living. Developed and developing countries have rapidly adopted
organic farming practices.
- At the global level, every country has taken initial steps to
support organic farming through implementing various programmes and policies
for spreading organic practices among farmers.
- A strong national organic policy is the need of the hour to
address the important current issues and obstacles and for promoting organic
farming culture in the country.
- Considering the current organic status of India, it has a wide
scope for increasing organic practices for the achievement of sustainable
development of agriculture.