Importance of Organic Farming in India
Organic farming in India can prove to be very economical for farmers since there is no usage of expensive chemicals. The money spent on fertilizers, pesticides, and HYV seeds can be avoided. Instead, the farmers see a better return on Investment by using natural, local and cheaper inputs. These locally made organic products are also earning us more income through export.
From the consumers’ perspective, organically grown produce is tastier, healthier, and more consumable because they are chemical and pesticide-free. Chemical pesticides have shown to be nondegradable causing long-term hazardous effects in the human body when consumed. A lot of consumers are now shifting to organic produce for healthy lifestyles and consequently, there is more demand for organic farming in India right now.
The most important aspect of organic farming is its environmental friendliness. Because of sustainable farming methods, the ecological balance is maintained. For example, the soil and water are less polluted from synthetic and chemical fertilizers and retain their natural properties due to organic farming. India needs to shift to organic farming methods to save our already depleting natural resources and have an eco-friendly future for our generations to come.
Organic Farming Methods in India
Some of the most important practices of organic farming are
1. Weed Management
Weeds are the unwanted plants growing around the planted crops. Weeds take up the nutrients that are meant to be used by the crops of interest. Therefore organic farmers need to remove the weeds so the nutrients of the soil are intact. There are two organic solutions to weed management.
- Cutting or moving – remove weeds by pulling out or cutting. Very labor-intensive.
- Mulching – farmers use a mulch film on the soil’s surface surrounding the crops to block weed growth.
2. Pesticide and chemical Management
Agricultural farms need to be saved from harmful organisms that affect the crops while making sure that the useful and symbiotic organisms that help in the crop growth survive. In the process of eliminating pests, chemical pesticides have been used for a long time. These chemical substances kill the harmful organisms but at the same time also kill the symbiotic organisms that are needed for the farm soils and result in an ecological imbalance of the agricultural lands. The chemicals used are non-biodegradable and stay in the environment long after their use is over. They leave residues on the crops such as the fruit and vegetable produce causing bio-hazardous carcinogens when consumed. In the organic farming process, natural degradable chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides are used to protect the soil and crops. Natural predator birds or other biological pest control organisms are used in some farming techniques to feed on the pests and leave the lands pest free and chemical-free.
3. Soil Management
Soil management is the most important technique in organic farming to keep the soil fertile for a long time. After crop cultivation, soil loses its natural nutrients, and its natural fertilizer gets depleted. A lot of external substances like urea, nutrient supplements, etc. are used to enrich the soil constituency. In Organic soil management, the soil is recharged using natural ways such as soil bacteria and animal waste to increase the depleted nutrients and improve the fertility of the soil.
4. Crop Diversity
Choosing a diverse range of crops is a natural technique to improve the supply for the demand of crops yearlong. Understanding crop needs is important for this technique. Different crops that need different climates can be cultivated one after the other without any downtime. Some crops like legumes are cultivated as intermediate crops to enrich the nitrogen content of soils for the next seasonal crop. By increasing crop diversity organic farmers in India can easily cater to the growing demand for organic products.
Government Schemes to Promote Organic Farming in India:
The Indian government has been focussing a lot on increasing organic farming hectares and assists in various schemes for the promotion and participation of Indian citizens in organic farming. India stands in 9th position in terms of certified agricultural land with 1.94 million hectares, as per statistical data of 2020 from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).
Below are some government of India initiatives for organic farming in India:
1. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
Under this scheme assistance of Rs. 50,000 per ha /3 years is provided along with support for Cluster formation, training, certification, and marketing are guaranteed to promote cluster-based organic farming in India.
2. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER)
MOVCDNER promotes third-party certified Niche crops of the Northeast region with a focus on exports. The assistance of Rs 25,000/ha/3 years of organic inputs including organic manure and bio-fertilizers is provided along with support for the formation of FPOs, capacity building, post-harvest infrastructure up to Rs 2 crores through the scheme.
3. Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) under Soil Health Management Scheme
Capital investment subsidy for setting up compost production units of mechanized fruit and vegetable market waste or agro-waste of up to Rs190 lakh per unit with100 percent assistance is provided to state governments, government agencies. For individuals and private agencies ‘ assistance, up to 33 percent of the cost limit to Rs 63 lakh per unit as capital investment is provided.
4. National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP)
Financial assistance equal to 50 percent subsidy to the tune of Rs. 300 per hectare is being provided under this scheme for different components including bio-fertilizers, the supply of Rhizobium culture, Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria (PSB), Zinc Solubilising Bacteria (ZSB), Azotobacter, Mycorrhiza, and vermicompost.
5. National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
NFSM promotes bio-fertilizer (Rhizobium/PSB) by providing financial assistance at 50 percent of the cost limited to Rs 300 per hectare.
With assistance from The government of India initiatives, organic farming is becoming very rewarding for individuals or agencies. For other organic agricultural textiles contact Ideal Agro Textiles, the leaders in the agrotech sector over many decades. We are suppliers of many agrotech products including mulch films and nets that are used to protect your organic farms. Please visit our website at idealagrotextiles.com for more information or call us on 040-27753333 / 27951759 to clarify any doubts.