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Organic and natural farming in India

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Agriculture and related issues

 

Source: DTE

 Context: According to a CSE report, market access is critical for the success of India’s momentum towards organic and natural farming, which are good for the farmer, nature and human health.

 

About the CSE report: The report highlights how various stakeholders procure, process and sell organic and natural produce while trying to ensure remunerative prices to farmers.

 

Challenges faced by farmers:

  • Lack of market access → unable to sell their produce at a remunerative price.
  • Lack of certification → detrimental to demands (domestic and exports) → becoming a barrier in India’s journey towards non-chemical farming practices.
  • Organic farmers don’t get all the benefits conventional farmers get in terms of subsidies.

 

Way ahead:

  • Working with consumers for behavioural change towards organic produce (as in the case of millet).
  • Coherence in the different certification systems like Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and third-party National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) certification.
  • Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) need government support for working capital, dedicated infrastructure and support for capacity building.
  • Expand value addition and move towards shorter supply chains for better price realisation by farmers.

 

Some best practices from Himachal Pradesh:

  • Prakritak Kheti Khushhal Kisan Yojana: To increase agricultural income by adopting ZBNF. The system will not only improve soil fertility but also discourage the use of fertilisers and pesticides and reduce environmental pollution.
  • Subsidy: To promote organic farming in the state, the state government is providing a 50% subsidy to farmers for setting up vermicompost units.

 

Conclusion: Unless farmers get assured access to the market to sell their produce at a remunerative price, the challenge of transition will remain difficult to overcome.

 

Insta Links:

Natural farming

 

Prelims Links: UPSC 2018

With reference to organic farming in India, consider the following statements:

  1. The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) is operated under the guidelines and directions of the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  2. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), functions as the Secretariat for the implementation of NPOP.
  3. Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic State.

 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

 

Ans: 2