(The Gist of Kurukshetra) STATUS, POTENTIAL AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN ORGANIC FARMING [MAY-2019]
(The Gist of Kurukshetra) STATUS,
POTENTIAL AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN ORGANIC FARMING
STATUS, POTENTIAL AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN ORGANIC FARMING
Food scarcity in the sixties had led to the need and initiation of
green revolution. However, to augment crop production usage of chemical
fertilizers in incremental dose over the years led to thedeterioration of
soil character, made the plants fertilizer sensitive and disturbed the pest-
predator relationships, which automatically generated the necessity for
application of pesticides.
To further add to the dilemma crop productivity has been going
downhill from the fertilizers following the 'Law of Diminishing Return',
Crop production system has become completely dependent on the external
support system, at the same time input-output ratio is going low with time,
Thus just after few decades of its incorporation, chemical farming has
broken the equilibrium of millennia.
Why Organic Farming?
Hence, enhancement and maintenance of system productivity and
resource quality is essential for sustainable agriculture. It is believed
that organic farming can solve many of these problems as this system is
believed to maintain soil productivity and effectively control pest by
enhancing natural processes and cycles in harmony with environment.
Organic farming is defined as a production system which largely
excludes or avoids the use of fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators,
etc. and relies mainly on organic sources to maintain soil health, supply
plant nutrients and minimize insects, weeds and other pests. It was felt
that organic farming may solve all these problems and has been considered as
one of the best options for protecting/sustaining soil health, and is
gaining lot of importance in present day agriculture.
Present Status of Organic Farming
India holds a unique position among 172 countries practicing
organic agriculture: it has 6,50,000 organic producers, 699 processors, 669
exporters and 7,20,000 hectares under cultivation. But, with merely 0.4 per
cent of total agricultural land under organic cultivation, the industry has
a long journey ahead.
India produced around 1.35 million MT (2015-16) of certified
organic products which includes all varieties of food products. The
production is not limited to the edible sector but also produces organic
cotton fiber, functional food products etc. As per the latest available
cross-country statistics, in the year 2015, India ranked first in terms of
the number of organic producers among over 170 countries and ninth in terms
of the area under organic agriculture. India ranked 11th in organic product
exports in 2015.
India is home to 30 per cent of the total organic producers in the
world, but accounts for just 2.59 per cent (1.5 million hectares) of the
total organic cultivation area of 57.8 million hectares. However, it has
been observed that when it comes to the area under certified organic
cultivation, India contributes only 2.59%, i.e., 1.5 million hectares of the
total organic cultivation area of 57.8 million hectares. Thus, amongst the
regions with the largest areas of organically managed agricultural land,
India ranks 9th.
Emerging Challenges in Organic Farmingthe same time farmer's
participation In problem identification and solving is inadequate,
consequently the technology and innovation uptake were also compromised.
Besides this, majority of agro-research does not prioritize/ focus
on dissemination of research outcome at farmers' level. There are
limitations like availability of practical guidelines, communication gap
with small and marginal farmers and lack of comprehensive approach for
integration of technological know-how, better marketing options etc. which
led to lesser farmers' participation in large scale demonstration. But above
all the single most criteria which was responsible for limited progress of
sustainable farming practice is lack of comprehensive and economically
viable packages which can offer easy adoptability for the farming community.
Organic farming is the pre-requisite for enabling wider
adoptability, secured livelihoods and ensuring affordability at the
consumer's end. India has a long history of organic farming. At the same
as well as development of plant resilience; but the highlight remains its
cost effectiveness and time bound results.