According to United States Department of Agriculture, Organic Farming is a system to avoid synthetic inputs like fertilizers, pesticides etc, and to maximise the use of crop rotation, animal manures, off-farm organic wastes, and biological system of nutrient mobilization and plant protection. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is also exhorting the use of organic wastes and manures as the input for crop production all over the world in order to enhance the nutrient level in the food chain and side by side, targeting the sustainable development of crop production ensuring the fertility of lands without rendering the environment pollution.
India is the land of farmers and peasants where more than 60 percent population indulged in agriculture activities. India has large number of small and marginal farmers who are engaged in farming activities just to sustain their lives. But, these farmers rely on the seasonal rainfall and the traditional ways of crop production which is unable to yield profit for them, or sometimes not even to meet their investment done for crop production which lead them in debt or sometimes, exhort them to do suicide. Green Revolution in 1960’s was introduced to make India self-sufficient in food security and the introduction of new practice of farming with high yield crop seeds, fertilisers and pesticides. This revolution brought new ways of farming and helped farmers to increase crop production with high earning. But, this revolution has been criticised to be regional specific and only increased profit of big land farmers, whereas the eastern regions farmers and landless farmers did not profit from this revolution. On other hand, this revolution is now becoming detrimental to land and environment due to excess of irrigation and fertilisers in the north-west regions of India. The need of hour is to introduce new way of farming with sustainable growth without affecting the environment and degradation of land. Fertility of land and nutrient in crops are becoming vital to attain food stability and sustainable development in the world. In this regard, India is rapidly moving towards organic farming which not only excludes the use of synthetic inputs like fertilisers, pesticides, over-irrigation etc, but also helps in nutrient mobilisation and land protection.
Organic farming is the way of excluding fertilisers, chemical inputs during crop production and encouragement of crop rotation, farming and animal waste manure, sustainable use of land and other natural resources. With more awareness regarding nutrient intake and sustainable development with environment protection, organic farming ways are becoming popular practise in agriculture activities. Organic farming has been proved beneficial in yielding out profit and upliftment of farmers’ socio-economic condition. Since, Green revolution has reached a plateau and now yielding diminishing dividends to both country and farmers. Thus, a natural balance is needed to counter the ill-effects of conventional farming practices. The agrochemical which are produced from fossil fuels, has been degrading the fertility of land and environment. This also increases pressure on the availability of countries food supply needs.
Though it requires initial investment and knowledge of practicing this farming, yet it is one of the best way to elevate socio-economic condition of farmers especially small and marginal farmers of the country as well as alleviate the adverse effects on nature and surroundings. It maintains the soil fertility by maintaining organic matter level and encouraging biological activity, maintains nitrogen fixation through the use of legumes, enhance crop nutrients, and give nutrient fodder to livestock of the farmers with proper conservation of wildlife and environment. Organic farming can be done with organic manures and counter the ill-effects of synthetic fertilisers on land and crop which not only reduce the cost of chemical fertilisers and stress on land, but also increase the crop production more than former techniques and nutrient level in food chain.
Organic ways of producing crop have been widely getting popular and great awareness among farmers and scientists. New techniques and organic waste management is being done to make organic farming cheaper and easier to practise. It yields out more gain than conventional way of farming with more satisfactory level among customers eating high nutrient level of food. It has got pace for last 20 years and the latest report of Yes bank in India has reported that organic farming in India is increasing with more than 20 percent per annum. More and more farmers are getting adapted to these techniques. India has the largest livestock in the world, which can help in meeting the demand of organic manures, and will also counter the problems of waste management of increasing population. It will not only be beneficial to farmers in their higher returns but also reduce import stress to the country importing 50 percent of the requirement of chemical fertilisers. It will reduce the pressure on current account deficit and balance of payment of India. It will also aid India in its food security requirement for the poor and with increased nutrient level in crops balance the nutrient level requirement in children.
Union and State government are also focusing in this regard by implementing various schemes to encourage farmers to get adapted to the ways of organic practise in their crop production. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas yojana is aimed to promote organic farming among small and marginal farmers and reduce chemical inputs. Soil health card is launched to help farmers to know the fertility of their lands and what type of crops can be sown in that year. But, the most important step taken by the Union government in 10th five-year plan with formulation of National Policy on Organic Farming (NPOF) to encourage and provide various resources to farmers so that organic farming can be carried out. Its objectives are to bring and make aware about new research and technology, act as a nodal quality control laboratory for analysis of biofertilisers and organic fertilisers, provide training to famers, certification to organic products, provides financial assistance through Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) for agro-waste compost development unit, biofertilisers production unit, human development etc. Sikkim has already moved to 100 percent of organic farming and other seven north eastern states have tremendous potential to maximise their development through the adoption of organic farming techniques in their agriculture practices. Private sector and NGOs are also stepping forward to help farmers to adopt organic farming techniques. Private companies are investing as it has become the lucrative way to maximise profit in the market where consumers are willing to pay more for organic fruits and vegetables which ultimately helping both consumers and farmers. In India, there are more than 100 retailers who are selling certified organic fruits and vegetables in metropolitan cities.
Hence, it becomes essential to promote organic farming technique which can be in favour of farmers, consumers and country. It needs more encouragement and aid from both union and state government as most of the farmers are insolvent or unable to bear initial investment for the organic farming. Though this practice is old and again becoming need of hour, yet more awareness is required among farmers to adopt this. Other way can be to form cooperative societies and help centres at district levels with less bureaucracy and red-tapism, where together they can learn various modern techniques and get adapted to it. This will indeed bring a new green revolution in India and help in the upliftment of farmers socio-economic conditions with reflecting the effects in other sectors.