Organic farming in India is future of farming in present environmental conditions. It is a production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, genetically modified organisms and livestock food additives. Or we can say it is a production system which largely includes the nature friendly food growing techniques.
What is organic farming – in India?
Organic farming in India is a way of farming, which excludes the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, etc. It is primarily based on the principles of use of natural organic inputs and biological plant protection measures. The purpose of organic farming is not to go back to primitive form of indigenous knowledge and skills using the vast potential of various kinds of residues and water.
India has comparative advantage over many other countries because of the vast cultivated area, which has remained free of contamination from chemicals. For example, large areas in north-east region, northern hills and rain fed regions with low or almost nil use of agricultural chemicals. So that areas can be instantly used for organic farming.
To promote organic farming, the government of India has launched a new programme, called National Project on Organic Farming. The programme is being implemented in the areas where use of agricultural chemicals is very low, those which fall in Agro-export zones, and in urban hinterland area.
First organic state of India !
The Sikkim region of India has won a coveted United Nation award for achieving the world’s first 100 percent organic agricultural state. First fully organic state in world too. The state convinced all of its 66,000 farmers, to abandon chemical fertilizers and pesticides and go fully organic. The state government also banned the sale of chemical pesticides and other unnatural practices that could harm the environment.
Sikkim state is a region of North-Eastern India. The region first started on its drive to obtain organic certification in 2003 and achieved its goal in 2015. It was, however, awarded the Future Policy Award, which is known as the “Oscar for best policy.” This award was organized by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization as well as the World Future Council. Sikkim was not the only contender for this year’s green policy award. There were 51 nominations from 21 countries, but Sikkim emerged the overall winner.
Sikkim organic state…
Sikkim is a state in northeastern region of India. It shares border with Tibet in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the all 29 Indian states. Sikkim joined the India as its 22nd state. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates. Sikkim’s capital is Gangtok, and it is largest city in Sikkim. Almost 35% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park.
Modern Sikkim is a multi-ethnic and multilingual Indian state. The official languages of the state are English, Nepali, Sikkimese and Lepcha. Additional official languages include Gurung, Limbu, Magar, Mukhia, Newari, Rai, Sherpa and Tamang. These languages are encouraged for the purpose of preservation of tribal culture and tradition in the state.
The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Sikkim’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, and as of 2014 the state had the third-smallest GDP among Indian states, although now it is also among the fastest-growing state in the sense of GDP.
Sikkim accounts for the largest share of cardamom production in India, and is the world’s second largest producer of the spice after Guatemala. Sikkim achieved its ambition to convert its agriculture to fully organic over the interval 2003 to 2016. And now the first state in India to achieve this distinction. It is also among India’s most environmentally conscious states, having banned plastic water bottles “in any government functions and meetings” and polystyrene products (throughout the state) in India.
Organic farming in Sikkim
Organic farming has been a traditional way of farming in Sikkim adopted by farmers since ages. Sikkim is rich in biodiversity with abundant plant species because of which the soil is rich in organic matter content and makes the conversion easier. The total geographical area of the State is 7, 29,900 hectares out of which farming is done in about 74,303 hectares. The main crops are maize, rice, buckwheat among cereals, black gram & rice bean among pulses, soybean and mustard among oil-seeds. The main horticultural crops are orange & pears among fruits, ginger, cardamom, turmeric and cherry pepper among spice crops, Cole crops, peas & bean, tomato, potato among vegetable crops. Besides, production of potato & pea seeds at high altitude and off season vegetables cultivation is done extensively. Of late, cultivation of flowers like cymbidium (boat orchid), rose, gerbera, and anthurium is generating good income to farmers and a large number of farmers have adopted floriculture as a commercial venture.
Government of Sikkim has initiated various measures like Internal Control System (ICS)
development through Service Providers, certification through APEDA accredited
certification agencies, incentives for adoption of Organic Farming, on farm production of Inputs, off farm certified inputs, large scale awareness and training programmes, market linkage development and branding with logo.
Lets talk on Issues…
There are number of issues related to organic farming which confront its adoption like low
yield compared to traditional methods, incidence of pest and disease infestation, certification and profitability, etc. However, the situation in Sikkim is different as compared to other States in the plains with regard to prevalent cultivation practices prior to launching of the programme. It has certain inherent advantages like average fertilizer consumption is just 7 kg/hectare and negligible pesticide consumption, soil is rich in organic matter content which ranges from 2-7 % organic carbon, more than 15,000 hectare area is under cardamom with forest cover where fertilizer and pesticides have never been applied, agricultural operations are carried out only in 10.20 % of the total geographical area and 89.80% of the area has not been touched and affected by chemicals.
Organic farming companies in India
Leading Organic farming companies in India are…
- Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd
- Baramati Agro Ltd
- Bunge India Pvt Ltd
- DuPont India Pvt Ltd
- Goodricke Group Ltd
- Gujarat Tea Processors & Packers Ltd
- Keventer Agro Ltd
- Mcleod Russel India Ltd
- Rallis India Ltd (TATA)
- Tata Coffee Ltd
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