Going organic is the trend these days. People are becoming careful as to what goes in [and around] their body. The process of organic farming is being promoted by the Government, not just for economic advantages, but environmental and health factors as well.

The allocation of Rs. 412 crore for organic farming in 2016 and announcing the plans to bring 5 lakh acres under organic farming in next 3 years shows the Government’s keen-ness to bring about a change in the agriculture industry. Also, the plans to develop organic value chain in the North-East India were announced in Budget 2016.

“Considering that the yield per acre is very low in organic farming, we want the Government to give minimum support price for organic produce”, says Jayapal Reddy, secretary, Confederation of Kisan organization. “For the success of organic farming, we need to increase the carbon content in the soil. For increasing the carbon content in soil, we had requested finance minister to give free seeds of green manure to the farmers”, he adds.

Looking at the success of Sikkim in becoming a fully organic state, many states have started earmarking exclusive farming zones, with Maharashtra having 932 exclusive clusters, Madhya Pradesh [880], Rajasthan [755], Uttar Pradesh [575], Uttarakhand [550] and Karnataka [545].

Since the organic produce has a high export potential and even the domestic demand is showing upward trends, the Centre seeks to capitalize on it by developing 10000 clusters of 20 hectares each, across the country, in order to increase the cultivated area under organic farming from nearly 8 lakh hectares at present to 10 lakh hectares by 2017-18.

The ‘ParamparagatKrishiVikasYojna’ has been announced, according to which, 50 or more farmers can form a cluster and each farmer will be provided Rs. 20000 per acre in three years for seed, harvesting of crops and transportation of produce to the market.

“The method is expected to increase domestic production and certification of organic produce. Since organic products are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides with an environmentally and socially responsible manner, it is important to adopt this approach by involving farmers at grass-root level”, said a Government official.

The growth of organic farming sector was on the economic agenda of now- Assam CM SarbanandaSonowal. According to the agenda, the CM says “We have fertile soil and enough water resources. What we have been lacking was an investment and new technology in agriculture. If an investor wants to bring in new technology in agriculture and allied sectors, we welcome it. We will create a conducive policy environment for industry to explore areas such as agriculture, pisciculture, horticulture and tourism. But we will not compromise on the environment. So we will encourage industry to invest mostly in organic farming. Our Prime Minister has already made it public how Assam and the Northeast will be made into an organic hub. This will help us boost our exports and generate income for farmers. This will also create entrepreneurship and employment”.

In Gujarat, the state Government has decided to setup country’s first university focusing on organic farming. “The University will exclusively focus on organic farming and research. Gujarat is most suited for organic farming as a significant portion of agricultural land in the state is rain-fed”, said state agricultural minister BabubhaiBokhiria.

A prominent farm activist has urged Maharashtra CM DevendraFadnavis top ban the use of chemicals in 14 suicide-prone districts of the state and declare them as organic farming zones in order to protect the soil fertility.

The Rajasthan government has disallowed Genetically Modified crops and taken measures to promote organic farming since “farmers are more inclined towards it”, according to CM VasundhraRaje.

With the awareness among consumers and producers rising, thanks in part to apps such as Pinterest and Instagram, organic farming in India is looking towards a bright future.

Organic Farming in India