Organic farming is native to India. In traditional times, Indian farmers used organic techniques to practice agriculture. It was a sustainable agricultural method that produced enough to meet local needs. But in the 1970s there was a scarcity of food due to the rising population and several natural calamities. To meet the food demand, the Green Revolution was introduced with which came the high yielding varieties of rice, wheat, and pulses. Green Revolution was one of the most important programs of the Government in the 1970s.
With Green Revolution came the introduction of chemical fertilizer, pesticide as well. The achievement of increased production of the crop came at the expense of the environment and to the detriment of the well-being of the people. Lack of training and excessive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and lack of crop rotation led to infertile soil, polluted waterways, and loss of groundwater. But it was felt that the modern system of farming was becoming unsustainable and damaged the environment. A need for an alternative and sustainable method of farming that can increase crop productivity and function in an eco-friendly way was realized. Organic farming became the best-known alternative to the conventional agriculture system.
Organic farming, as the name implies involves the cultivation of crops in natural ways. Instead of using synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides, it uses biological materials derived largely from plant and animal waste. Compared with conventional agriculture organic farming uses natural pesticides, reduces soil infertility, and since there’s no chemical used, groundwater remains safe.
In the past few years the term ‘natural’, and ‘organic farming’ have become increasingly popular. There are several reasons why people adopted organic farming. It is healthy as well as an ethical choice. Let us discuss some of the Reasons Why Organic Farming Are More in Demand.
Reasons for the increased demand for Organic Farming
- Increased awareness- People are aware of the use of chemicals in farming, and the diseases linked to it- cancer and cardiovascular-related problems. So they are making a healthy choice and seeking out organic food.
- Increased availability- Due to the rise in demand, organic food products became easily available in shopping malls and stores. Experts suggest this demand will keep on increasing.
- Absence of chemicals- The chemical fertilizers and pesticides used in the conventional method of farming stay on the vegetables and fruits for several days. Even after washing them well, we consume a little bit of the chemicals that stay. An organic diet excludes toxic materials.
- Safe for the environment- The methods used to cultivate organic food have no harmful effects on the environment, rather they have several proven benefits.
- Healthy choice- Organic farm products are high on minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants levels than food produced in the conventional method. So they are safer and fresher to consume.
- Government support- The Indian Government is supporting organic farming by introducing several schemes to support farmers. These schemes are Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). Indian Government also implemented the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). This includes an accreditation program for certification bodies, standards for organic production, development of organic farming, etc.
- Increase in export- The demand for organic food has not only seen a steady rise in India but in other countries as well. Due to India’s favourable climatic conditions, demand for Indian organic food is on the constant rise worldwide. As of June 2020, India exported a total of 125,807 tonnes of organic food to the European Union.
Environmental benefits of Organic farming
- Organic farming reduces pollution. The absence of harmful pesticides and fertilizers results in a cleaner atmosphere. These pesticides also contaminate the soil, water, and air. With organic products, you know your food is safe to consume.
- The methods used in organic farming produce healthy soil. Chemicals damage the soil reducing its fertility. Organic farming builds up organic soil matter.
- Not only does organic farming build healthy soil, but also combats serious issue like soil erosion. A study was conducted on two adjacent organic and chemically treated wheat fields. The organic field showed eight more inches of topsoil than the chemically treated field.
With rising health consciousness among people, lifestyle changes, and increased availability of organic food products, organic farming is here to stay. It is a sustainable method and is the future of farming.
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