- Organic farming is a combination of tradition, innovation and science.
- It is a production system that relies on the use of natural inputs that are suitable to local environment, rather than using synthetic chemicals with adverse effects.
- In the transition from conventional to organic farming, synthetic chemical fertilizers are replaced with natural inputs and bio-materials like organic manures, neem cake, cow dung, and chemical pesticides are replaced with neem oil and bio- pesticides.
Types of Orgnaic Manures:
- Farm yard manure - Crop Residues
- Green manure - Bio-fertilisers
Benefits of Organic Farming:
- Inputs for organic farming are cheaper and yields fetch premium price on crops leading to higher returns to the farmer.
- Improvement in soil health and fertility.
- Promotes efficient use of water resources and decreases water pollution.
- Beneficial to the environment: Decrease in GHGs like nitrous oxide as there is no use of chemical fertilizers.
- Organic food is free of toxic materials that otherwise make way to the food chain.
Constrains of Organic Farming:
- Lack of technical support: Organic farming needs dedicated guidance for implementation.
- Decrease in income (initially): For farmers the activity is less profitable initially due to decrease in yields during conversion period.
- Lack about market information: Organic farmers are dependent on urban markets & export markets and accessing such markets requires contracts with large companies. The small organic farmer are unable to reach those who are paying more for organic products.
- Questions on the safety of organic food: The organics industry is young and not well-regulated in India. The farmers lack knowledge about the products that are not to be used in farms. For example farmers often use farmyard manure which may contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. This can compromise the quality of food and may have an adverse impact on the health of consumers.
- Encouragement for organic farming should be supported by financial incentives during the first three years and assurance of a better market for the produce.
- Collective farming: There is a need to organize farmers in a way that they can enter into contracts and demand a fair price from global companies.
- Providing ease in obtaining organic certification.
- Instead of going “full organic” in one go ,farmers can be educated about eco-friendly food that will allow the use of limited agrochemicals within safe levels.