Organic farming is often referred to as ecological farming or biological farming. Organic farming is agriculture that is based on nature and is considered the future of agriculture. Since the dawn of history, this practice has been known and practised throughout India. If you read Vrikshayurveda, the Indian science of plant life, you will find mention of nature-based agricultural approaches. It thoroughly explains how to practice sustainable agriculture that does not affect the environment or humans. Until the 18th century, most people relied on natural agriculture techniques.
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Present Scenario In India
Organic farming is the way of the future. Because it holds the answers to many of our development and climate change-related problems. Organic farming refers to agricultural production practices that aim to preserve and improve the health of ecosystems and soil biodiversity. The NITI Aayog prefers the phrase “natural farming”, while some specialists prefer “chemical-free agriculture”, and NGOs in the area are enthusiastic about the term “zero-budget farming.” Our country was organic by default. Then modernization and the Green Revolution pushed us into industrial agriculture. The change did help us achieve food security, but it came at a high cost.
The impact of India’s transformational transition towards organic farming is palpable. Organic farming is being promoted as a viable alternative to traditional methods as more people become aware of the dangers of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. It supports sustainable farming practices, reduces carbon footprints, ensures food security, and ushers in India’s new era of farming. Organic farming uses natural inputs such as compost, manure, and crop rotation to control pests and diseases and maintain soil fertility. It is more time-consuming and labour-intensive than traditional farming, but the potential benefits are enormous. Investing in organic agriculture is an investment in a prosperous future.
The organic food market proliferates, indicating a shift in customer preferences toward organic products. According to the 2019 India Organic Food Industry Forecast and Opportunities research, the organic food industry is supposed to develop at a CAGR of more than 25% from 2019 to 2024. This is a good omen for the organic agricultural business, as demand for organic food is predicted to climb gradually. The report attributed the organic food market’s growth to factors such as rising health consciousness, rising disposable incomes, and an increase in the number of organic food retail chains in India. The sector is substantially shifting as more consumers turn to organic food items. India’s organic food market is expanding rapidly, indicating the potential for sustainable agriculture and its growing consumer popularity.
What Are The Benefits Of Organic Farming?
It is a soil-friendly farming approach that is environmentally friendly. It can prevent soil degradation, acidity, infertility, and ‘criminalization.’
It improves soil fertility as well as biological variety and protects the land and the environment from pollutants. Drought is further exacerbated by a lack of organic matter in the soil. Traditional farming must consider the long-term impact on soil quality, causing challenges for future generations.
It is a more natural approach to using resources when they are recycled. Organic farming tries to enhance the soil through crop rotation, using animal dung, compost, and natural by-products, rather than importing chemical fertilizers by buying.
It is an integrated farming system where livestock and waste can be used as manure. Animals in conventional farming are frequently kept in close quarters and are routinely given antibiotics. It provides nutritious food and maintains the health of the food chain.
Though it may appear to be expensive at first, it is tremendously beneficial in the long run for human and environmental health and has indirect economic benefits. It reduces farmers’ external costs, such as insecticides, fertilizers, and manure.
Organic farming is a vital component of India’s sustainable agriculture. It entails farming practices that encourage biodiversity while maintaining soil health and reducing the usage of synthetic inputs. Despite the potential benefits of organic farming, Indian farmers face formidable challenges, such as a lack of knowledge and awareness of organic farming techniques and benefits. It’s not just any old job; it’s a chore that demands patience, care, and attention to detail. However, the rewards are well worth it if you are ready to put in the time and work. Organic farming ensures higher yields and better soil health. Consider it like parenting a child: you must pay special attention and invest a lot of love, effort, and resources to develop a healthy, happy child. Similarly, organic farming necessitates a comparable amount of commitment.
Future of Agriculture and Organic Farming
According to WHO, the worldwide organic food sector is worth roughly $37 billion. Herbal plants and medications account for $14 billion of this $14 billion market, which is anticipated to grow to $5 trillion by 2050. India has around 15,000 certified organic farms, according to the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD). Organic farms are often more profitable and environmentally benign because they utilize fewer chemicals and produce less chemical-intensive residue. Organic food provides several environmental benefits in addition to providing nutritional nourishment.
According to various research, practising organic systems over a lengthy period can outperform conventional approaches. It should be applied by all organizations involved in the organic food industry; they must raise knowledge about the benefits of organic products. Cultivation is a natural state. Meghalaya, another northeast Indian state, plans to convert 200,000 hectares of land to organic farming by 2030. More than 100,000 farmers in Kerala are converting to organic farming practices.
There needs to be more understanding among producers about the differences between conventional and organic farming. Consumers need clarification about the differences between natural and organic products and are unaware of the health benefits of organic food items. Furthermore, consumers must choose between imported and domestic brands, product quality, the integrity of promises, and certifications. Organic food firms need to raise customer knowledge of the benefits of organic food in non-metropolitan areas. Organic food should gradually become available to individuals of all income levels. This can be gained through various techniques, including establishing community-supported agricultural farms and “grow your own food” projects. Smaller-sized packs can assist in encouraging trials in areas where penetration is low.
Organic farming may also hold the key to solving one of India’s most pressing socioeconomic issues: unemployment. This is because organic farming requires more labour than industrialized agriculture. Converting degraded land into organic farms using permaculture could provide a good source of green jobs in the future. Organic farms on a small scale will demand more labour than huge industrialized agricultural zones. Government agencies must move subsidies away from environmentally damaging chemical-heavy agriculture and towards truly sustainable agriculture, such as organic farming.
Organic farming has the potential to transform agriculture in India by providing a viable alternative to conventional farming methods that employ synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. It supports soil health, biodiversity, and environmental sustainability and provides a sustainable food source for India’s rising population. To make organic farming a viable agricultural practice in India, the Indian government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders must make the necessary efforts to ensure that organic farming is wholly accepted and continues to be successful in the coming years.
Tanushree is a passionate Environmentalist with a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences. She is also a Gold medalist in Master of Science (M.Sc), Environmental Sciences. She has 6 years of experience as a guest faculty in Environmental Sciences. With her combination of technical knowledge and research expertise, she can create clear, accurate, and engaging content that helps users get the maximum information regarding environmental topics.