ORGANIC FARMING IN INDIA (RELEVANCE AND STATISTICS)

Organic Farming is nature to India Farming Community: 2 Severak forms of organic farming are being sucessfully pesticides in diverage climate particularly in reinfed tribal, mountaine and wellness of the society. Maehat forest produce of senomic and porture line herbs medicinal plants etc. by default come under the category.

Organic farming has received considerable attention in India and recently, Only 35% of India's total cultivable area is covered with fertilizers where irrigation facilities are available and in the remaining 65% of arable land, which is mainly rain-fed, negligible amount of fertilizers is being used. Farmers in these areas often use organic manure as a source of nutrients that are readily available either in their own farm or in their locality. The northeastern region of India provides considerable opportunity for organic farming due to least utilization of chemical inputs. It is estimated that 18 million hectare of such land is available in the North East, which can be exploited for organic production. With the sizable acreage under naturally organic/default organic cultivation, India has tremendous potential to grow crops organically and emerge as a major supplier of organic products in the world's organic market.

The Govt. of India constituted a Task Force on Organic Farming under the chairmanship of Kunwarji Bhai Yadav. In its report the committee emphasized on the need for consolidating information on organic farming and its benefits. One of the steering committees constituted by this Task Force under the Chairmanship of M.S.Swaminathan, Chairman, National Commission on Farmers, Govt. of India. has suggested taking up organic farming as a challenging task and as a thrust area of the 10th Five Year Plan. The steering committee advocated to give boost to organic farming in the rainfed areas and in the northeastern states, where there is limited use of agricultural chemicals.

Madhya Pradesh took early lead in this regard and Uttaranchal followed suit in declaring themselves as organic states. The National Academy of Agricultural Sciences organized a workshop on ongoing farming at New Delhi. Also, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai in collaboration with Ohio State University, USA had recently organized a Project Design Workshop on Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in India at New Delhi, with a full day session on organic farming. The major outcome of these two workshops was that organic farming was to be practised in niche areas on selected crops to be identified by the authorities and others having stakes in it.

India is bestowned with lot of potential to produce all varieties of organic products due to its various agro climate regions. In several parts of the country, the inherited tradition of organic farming is an added advantage. This holds promise for the organic producers to tap the market which is growing steadily in the domestic market related to the export market. Currently, India ranks 33rd in terms of total land under organic cultivation and 88th position for agriculture land under organic crops to total farming area. The cultivated land under certification is around 2.8 million ha (2007-08, 1.9% of the GCA). Thhis includes 1 million ha under cultivation and the rest is under forest area (wild collection) (APEDA, 2010). According to current statistics an organic farming the area under organic certification (including wild harvest) During 2013-14 is 47.20 Lakh ha. The State occupying top position with respect of area under organic certification are Madhta Pradesh (17.58 lakh ha.). Himachal Pradesh (16.68 lakh ha), Rajasthan (5.99 lakh ha) and Udher Pradesh 1.12 lakh ha., Kerala has 15,162 ha. under organic certification.

India can greatly benefit from the export of organic foods, but needs to seriously devote attention to market intelligence regarding which products to grow, where to sell, distribution channels, competition market access, etc. Pre-harvest prices should be announced, so that farmers do not suffler when the produce is ready. Contractual farming for select crops by commercial organizations could be another avenue.

Organic farming is a market demand - oriented, highly specialized small sector of Indian agriculture, which if well planned and executed can become and important foreign-exchange earner for the country and money-spinner for the farmers.

Courtesy :
*National Seminar on Organic Agriculture organized by Reserve Bank of India, College of Agricultural Banking in association with Ernakulam, Palakkad and Idukki Dist. Co-op. Bank (Paper presented by - Rajendra Prasad) 2006*
**Economic Review 2015, Kerala State Planning Board.