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Essay on Organic Farming Is it Really Feasible for All

Essay on Organic Farming Is it Really Feasible for All

Essay on Organic Farming Is it Really Feasible for All

Organic foods are the ones which are derived from organic farming. Organic farming is a method where the crops are raised on a piece of land with the use of organic wastes, namely; crop, animal and farm waste, compost, green manure and other biological materials along with bio-fertilizers (microbes which help in composting). 

They are used to maintain essential nutrients in the soil and help in sustainable production in an eco-friendly environment. Food and Agriculture Organisation defines organic farming as, "a unique production management system which promotes and enhances agroecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity". 

Organic farming can be carried out by various agronomical methods. These on-farm methods are distinct from conventional agriculture. Organic farming has a very high potential in hilly areas and can become a game changer in the North-Eastern region. 

At a time when Genetically Modified (GM) crops are making forays into the agriculture sector, it is imperative to weigh its (GM Crop) pros and cons against organic produce. Organic production systems are based on specific production standards that aim to achieve optimal agroecosystems that's which are socially, ecologically and economically sustainable. 

The Indian Government has taken several initiatives to boost organic farming in India continuing the Central Sector Scheme since the National Project on Organic Farming is a 10th Five Year Plan. Planning Commission approved the scheme as a pilot project for the remaining two and a half years of the 10th FFive-Year Plan. 

This scheme will continue till the end of 1the 2nd Five Year Plan. The government is promoting the production of organic crops, fruits and vegetables etc through various schemes viz National Horticulture Mission (NHM), Horticulture Mission for North-East and 312 Himalayan States (HMNEH), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility (NPMSHF). 

National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF), Network Project on Organic Farming under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and various schemes of the Gricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

The government is also promoting organic farming by providing incentives to cultivators of organic food products and providing organic farming certification to a group of farmers at a nominal cost. 

In this way, the government aims to cover 5 lakh acres in 3 years with 10000 clusters. The scheme will raise farmer's income and create a potential market for traders. It will also provide incentives to farmers for natural resource mobilisation.

Any river plain worldwide has a very high potential for generating organic inputs. India, because of its diverse climate and low input cost of materials is a fertile ground for organic farming. 

Preservation of soil health by employing farm waste, animal husbandry waste, domestic biodegradable waste etc is the thrust of the scheme. Many methods are employed for organic farming which include crop rotation, bio-composting, biological pest control, green manuring for soil management etc. 

Green Revolution discouraged multi-cropping and encouraged wheat monoculture which is the main cause behind diminishing returns. Therefore, crop rotation can ensure the restoration of essential nutrients. 

Bio-composting is another method of organic farming. Here, the farm waste is used along with other available wastes. They are decomposed with the help of microbes and are then applied as a natural fertilizer. 

Biological pest control is an additional method of organic farming where other organisms are used to control pests with a limited supply of chemicals. Similarly, green manuring is a method where the stubs of uprooted plants or hay are burnt in the field to make them act as a source of nutrients. 

Organic farming has a very high potential in hilly areas. As these areas are fragile, organic farming be encouraged in these areas. The use of excessive fertilizer leads to eutrophication in lakes which is detrimental to aquatic life and can also lead to the rise of invasive species. 

Organic farming may be the apt solution for hilly tracts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand and the North-East. Genetically modified crops are a strict no for organic farming. 

They are diametrically opposite. As one promotes diversity, the other (GM) is reliant on the uniformity of genes. Genetically modified crops are capable of disturbing, the natural balance of the environment. 

Organic farming, on the other hand, is deeply rooted in the processes of nature and will not disturb the balance of nature. Since organic farming strikes a balance between soil health, human health and environmental health, it appears to be one of the viable sustainable options. 

Based on the above advantages, the Government of India made an Organic Farming Policy in 2005 to promote the same. Major thrust areas of the policy are maintaining soil fertility; identifying crops suitable for organic farming; assuring organic inputs for farming; adopting biological methods of pest and weed control; harnessing traditional and indigenous knowledge; creating awareness about organic produce; developing domestic organic market; simplifying certification system etc.

Organic farming, on the one hand, has high advantages, but its viability will only be addressed when more cultivated areas come under it. Organic farming has many advantages but there are various factors which resist its widespread adoption. 

The inputs needed are expensive and are not available widely for extensive, commercial farming. The inputs make the crops expensive and beyond the reach of common people. 

The productivity of organic farmland is less than compared to conventional farmland. The food quality and safety standards of organic produce vary widely. 

It is not favourable for subsistence farming as fallow land once in a while is a prerequisite. Therefore, for the time being, organic farming needs government support to mainstream the practice. 

It can be said that organic farming and organic produce have a promising future because of their sustainability and environment-sensitive parameters and the present high costs of organic food should not become an impediment. We should rather see it in terms of the gains we are making by preserving the vital delicate balance of nature. 

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