(The Gist of Kurukshetra) ORGANIC FARMING PRACTICES IN INDIA [FEB-2018]


(The Gist of Kurukshetra) ORGANIC FARMING PRACTICES IN INDIA

[FEB-2018]


ORGANIC FARMING PRACTICES IN INDIA

Organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It emphasis the use of management practices in preference to the use of on-farm inputs, taking in to account regional conditions require locally adopted systems. This is accomplished by using, where possible, agronomic, biological and mechanical methods, as opposed to using synthetic materials to fulfill any specific function within the system. Since organic farming address soil health human health and environmental health and is eco- friendly, it is one of the best options for sustainable crop production and crop yields.

The area under organic cultivation in India is about 5.71 million hectares (2015-16) including cultivable area of 1.49 million hectares ( 26 % ) and rest 4.22 million hectares ( 74 % ) under forest and wild area harvest. Madhya Pradesh has the highest area under organic farming in India followed by Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Besides these states, Meghalaya has committed to have two lakh hectares of certified organic
land by 2020 and Sikkim is aiming to become 100 percent organic which was an official announcement during 2016.

Organic manures improve the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil which in turn, leads to better crop productivity. In India, there is sufficient availability of organic manures like farm yard manure (791.6 million tons) crop residues (603.05 million tons), green manures (4.5 million ha), rural compost (148.3 million tons), urban compost (1.22 million tons) and bio fertilizer (0.41 million tons) and these may become a good substitute of chemical fertilizers. Recycling of organic wastes is not only an ecological necessity, but in a country like India, it is a compulsion.

The non-edible oil cakes like neem, pungam, mahua and castor have low carbon nitrogen ratio and applied as organic manures which helps in quick releasing of the nutrients. The oil cakes also help in reduction of insect pests damages, soil borne root diseases and nematodes infestation. Use of crop residues after decomposition is essential in organic crop production, which increases the soil organic matter content,
maintains soil fertility status of the soil. Leguminous crop like beans, greengram, blackgram, soybean, lablab, peas and cowpea are raised on a crop rotation basis with cereal crops to improve the soil fertility status of the soil. It was reported that up to 35 percent yield shows improvement in succeeding crop through crop rotation cereal crops with root nodulating leguminous crops.

Vermicompost is a digested máterial of the organic wastes by earthworms, used as a quality manure in organic farming, recommended for basal as well as top dressing application. It is rich in plant nutrients viz., NPK (macro elements), Ca, Mg, S (Secondary nutrients), Fe, Zn, Cu, Mo, B (micronutrients), beneficial for micro flora, antibiotics and plant growth promoters. The C:N ratio of vermicompost varies from 7.93:1 to 12.5:1 easily and the nutrients are in easily available from. Vermiwash is one of the crop boosters from earthworms used as foliar spray @ 5 per cent.

In organic farming systems, the weed controls are achieved through in-situ incorporation with rotovator. Stale seedbed technique is one of the important non-chemical weed management tactics followed in organic farming, in which the field is irrigated once before sowing, after germination of weed seeds, it is ploughed and incorporated. Crop rotations, hoeing, mulching, hand-weeding, mechanical weeding, cover
cropping and poly cropping also helps in weed control in organics. Rice bran, tamarind seed powder, corn flour gluten and sunflower stalk extracts are used in organic weed management.

Utilization of botanicals in pest management is popular among organic farmers in India. Nearly 2400 plant species have been identified in their toxic effects against insect pests. Among them, around 250 plants have been screened for pest management in crop plants. Some of the commonly available herbal insect repellant plant species are neem pumgam notchi, adathoda nerium, calotrophis castor, clerodendron, proposes, abutilon, ailanthus, lantana, cassia, custard apple, tulsi, basilicum alove, hibiscus, curcuma, acorus, allium, ginger, chilli, pepper, marigold, morinda, citrus, ipomea, wild snake root, papaya, cycas, tephrosia, jatropha, simaruba etc. Five leaf herbal extract is popular among organic farmers in which five different kinds of plant species locally available are selected based on bitterness non preference by the
cattle and goats, latex exudation property. Five kind of herbal leaves @ 500g in each are ground with cow urine (1:5) and allow for 15 days. Filtered and apply as foliar spray 5-10 per cent based on the type of pests and stages of the crop. Neem, a unique plant has been utilized as pest repellant, disease management and nematode control. Neem cake, neem oil and neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) are commonly used in organic pest management. NSKE is prepared by overnight soaking 5kg of neem seed kernel powder in 100 lit. of water.

Disease management in organic is achieved through bio-control agents like Trihoderma Vividi, Pseudomonas fluroscens and Bacillus subtilis. The Trihoderma vividi is used as for the management of root rot and root wilt diseases in crop plants. It is used as seed treatment (4g/kg), soil application (2.5kg/ha) and foliar spray (2g lit.). Pseudomonas fluroscens is used for the management of soil and air borne diseases, is available in talk and liquid based formulations, applied for seed treatment (7g/kg), soil application ha) and foliar spray (2ml/lit.). The bacterium Bacillus subtilis is recommended for the management of root wilt diseases in coconut, arecanut and fruit crops.

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