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Organic farming :Current Scenario

S. K. Sharma, K. C. Laddha & R. K. Sharma

Dryland Forming Research Station (MPUAT), Arjia
Bhilwara (Rajasthan) Email :

Organic farming and demand for green agricultural products is gaining
momentum in India. During the last few years, the organic agriculture has developed
rapidly worldwide and is now practiced approximately in 110 countries of the world.
According to latest survey by the Foundation Ecology & Agriculture (SOEL, 2005),
more than 26 million hectares are currently managed organically by at least 558,449
farmers worldwide. The market for organic foods is also growing, not only in Europe
and North America but also in many other countries. Growing receptivity and
acceptance of organic food concept is reflected in both mushrooming of local markets
and government involvement, including policy support, in the India in recent years.
On 16th July, 2002, Department of Agricultural Cooperation, Ministry of
Agriculture, Govt. of India has issued the draft guidelines on organic agriculture.
Beginning with individual farmers today, agri-business models for organic agriculture
for different crops are in the pipeline (Anon; 2002). Increasing realization of the ill
effects of long sustained exclusive use of chemical fertilizers, and consistent growing
demands from the consumers for fruit quality, coupled with unsustainable
productivity of arid fruits, have fostered experimentation with some alternative
practices (Srivastava et al., 2002) Organic cultivation is claimed to be the most benign
Therefore, an effort has been made in this chapter to deliberate on status of
organic farming in India. In response, no assimilated research Information is available
on the organic cultivation but concerning on the possibilities for change, the options
available and the likely effects of a range of land use practices and strategies have
been discussed.
Recent status and scope of organic farming in India
Organic farming is in infantile stage in India. A Technical Team constituted
by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1993 reported that in principle, India should phase
out use of chemicals systematically and it should move out from policy and official
documents to farmers. At present, the per cent share of organic food to total food
production is negligible. However, interest in organic agriculture in India is picking
up. In the year 2000, the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) was
initiated and in 2001, the National Accreditation Programme was notified by the
Ministry of Commerce. APEDA has set up model farms for rice, sugarcane and
pineapple. Organic cultivation and agri-business in organic products is expected to
receive major boost in the country.
Under the Tenth Five Year Plan, the Government of India has included
organic agriculture as a thrust area for research and development (Anon., 2001) and
based on Task Force recommendations, a National Project on Organic Farming was
formulated for implementation during Tenth Five Year Plan (Anon., 2003). Various
state governments, SAUs and NGOs have also initiated programmes on different
aspects of organic agriculture with emphasis to augment production of organic food
and subsequently to make the significant contribution in the global market. The
Spices Board of the country has shown interest in raising organic spices for
augmenting export potential of spices. Several organic villages have been in limelight
in recent past for their impressive performance in organic farming related activities,
Ashtha village in Maharashtra and Village 3 HH (Sri Ganganagar district) in
Rajasthan have been declared as first and second organic villages of country,
respectively (Sharma, 2002b). In India, due to lack of health consciousness, domestic
population is not ready to pay a premium for food raised without the use of chemicals.
However, organic farming has a better prospect in India since, agriculture in India in
line with organic farming principles. Hence, it is very easy for Indian farmers to
practice organic farming in its true sense and produce organic food. Indian Council of
Agricultural Research (ICAR) plans to replace All India Coordinated Project on
"Organic Manures" with; organic farming at Indian Institute of Soil Science (IISS),
Bhopal. The Project Directorate for propping Systems Research (PDCSR),
Modipuram would initiate a coordinate scheme to standardize a package of practice
on organic farming (Anon., 2003). A National Institute for|0rganic Farming has been
announced to be set up at Ghaziabad (U.P However, keeping in view the long term
benefits of organic agriculture, the Government of India has considered it as a priority
area for research and development. It is hoped that adoption of organically sound
agricultural practices will lead to a comprehensive socio-economic and environmental
transformation in the country by 2020 AD (Dahama et al., 2002).

National Accreditation Policy and Programmes will be administered by the

Accreditation Agency which will define the overall policy objectives for the
Accreditation Programmes and Operations.

Government of India

Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Commerce (MoA)

National Standards for National Accreditation

Organic Products Policy and Programme

Steering Committee for National

Programme for Organic
Production (SCNPOP)
(Member appointed by the MoC)

Technical Committee Committee
(On standards, accreditation,
inspection and certification)
Tea Board

Accreditation Agencies
(AA) Coffee Board
Other agencies
constituted by
Spices Board Government of
Evaluation Agency (EA) India

Inspection and
Certification Agencies

Farmers Operators Processors

Fig. 1 : Operational Structure of National Programme for Organic Production ,India

The regulations also make a provision for export, import and local trade of
organic products. Currently, however, only the export of organic products comes
under the government regulation, while imports and local trade do not. Thus, an
agricultural product can, at present, be exported as an organic product only if a
certification body duly accredited by APEDA, as one of the accreditation agencies
certifies it.
APEDA recognises the following laboratories for export testing in northern India :
1. Shri Ram Institute for Industrial Research, 19, University Road, New Delhi
2. Food Research and Analysis Centre, Federation House, Tansen Marg, New
Delhi -" 110001

Certification Bodies
There are 12 accredited certifying agencies in the country and the list is
presented in Table 20. Tentative tariff structure (8) for certification is as below:
• Travel and Inspection: Rs.12000 - Rs.19000 per day (depending on small
farmers, cooperative, estate manufacturers, large and medium sized
• Report preparation: Rs.5000/-
• Certification: Rs.5000/-
Acts for Regulatory Mechanism of Organic Foods
For organic food regulation, several statutory provisions are available in India
and these may be incorporated in regulatory mechanism as and when required. Some
of these acts are mentioned below:
• Preservation of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
• Essential Commodity Act, 1955.
• Standards on Weight and Measures (Packed Commodities Rule), 1977.
• Export (Quality Control & Inspection) Act, 1963.
• BIS Act, 1986.
• Agricultural Produce (Grading & Marketing) Act, 1937.
• Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
• Regulation of Export of Fresh Grapes through Control of Pesticide Residue
(Trade Notice No. QME/GEN/049/2003, dated 22.12.2003.
• Fertilizer (Control) Order (FCO), 1957.
• Insecticide Act, 1968.

India organic: A Profile (2005-6)

1 Area under certified = 2.5 million ha
2 Total certified product = 115.238 metric tonne
3 Total project certified = 332
4 Number of processing units = 158
5 Accredited inspection and certifying agencies = 11
6 Number of products exported = 35
7 States involved in organic export
i. Kerala = 1232 metric tonne
i. West = 937 metric tonne
i. Karnataka = 476 metric tonne
i. Tamil = 471 metric tonne
i. Punjab = 541 metric tonne
i. Himachal = 521 metric tonne
i. Maharashtr = 375 metric tonne
1 All India total organic export = 6472 metric tonne
1 Premium collected against organic export = Rs. 80-90 crore
6 (tentative)
Sources : APEDA (2006)

• Main export market :

USA, EU, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Saudi Arab

• Import : Nil

• Main potential organic products in demand :

Tea, spices, rice, wheat, coffee, fruit & veg.

• General potential crops & hopes in recent time :

Oilseed, pulses, cashew, wheat

• Potential markets for different organic produce

• Domestic organic market in India
• 86 % export
• Unorganised & undeveloped
• Potential consumer : 20 Cr.
• Value of organic mkt. : 200 Cr
• Needs of domestic mkt.
• Packages
• Domestic standards
• Marketing facilities & quality aspects (Testing)

Task Force on Balanced Use of Fertiliser

The Development of Agriculture and cooperation under Ministry of
Agriculture has constituted (2004) one Task Force on Balanced use of fertililser under
the chairmanship of Sh. A. K. Singh, Additional Secretary. One of the terms of this
task force is to suggest appropriate mechanism for encouraging use of organic
manures and biofertililser for balanced use of fertilisers.

Organic Farming Approach by NAAS

The National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS)has issued a Policy
Paper on Organic Farming, which concludes that while synthetic pesticides can be
avoided, complete exclusion of fertilisers may not be advisable under all situations.
NAAS recommends that a "holistic approach involving Integrated Nutrient
Management (INM), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), enhanced input use
efficiency and adoption of region- specific promising cropping systems would be the
best organic farming strategy for India." To begin with, the practice of organic
farming should be for low volume, high value crops like spices, medicinal plants,
fruits and vegetables. NAAS has also emphasized the need for intensive research on
soil fertility and plant health management and on issues relating to microbial
contamination of food arising from the use of farm yard manures. (Organic Farming:
Approaches and Possibilities in the context of Indian Agriculture, Policy Paper 30,
NAAS, February 2005).

Rajasthan – on the path of Organic farming

A Profile

I category state by MOA assessment

• Schemes by NABARD
Planning commission : Rainfed area priority
• Demonstration of vermicompost
NGO’s in Rajasthan
• CompostM.G.Murarka
unit (Rs. 20Rural Research
lakh/unit Foundation
or 25 %)
Vermicompost module, 500000 t/ye
• Vermiculture hatcheriex
1.5 lakh or 25 %)
Contract farming
• Fruit & vegetable waste compost unit (rs. 40 lakh or 25 %)
Ajit grewal
• Society for organic agriculture movement (SOAM)
Rajasthan Gau seva schemes
• Govt. farming
Contract Promotional schemes
regulation (2005)
• 3 HH (Ganganagar)
Amendment of Rajasthan Agriculture Act, 1961
I organic village of Rajasthan
• RajasthanWheat
organic certification agency (2005)
• Setting up of private mandies (June 12, 2004)
• Permit contract farming in the state
• 2 organic shops in each mandi of Rajasthan
• Krishi Aapke Dwar : 1st distance education certificate course on OF by
RAV in India (Hindi) (2005)
• Diploma in organic agriculture
• Research projects by Raj. Govt.
The organic farming is catching up fast with the Indian farmers and
entrepreneurs due to realization of premium on the organic foods. Organic food is
perceived by consumers as safer and tastier. In India, there is potential scope for
production of organic foods due to varied climate and wider pockets close to organic
fanning. However, a number of issues related to the nutrient and pest management,
nutritive and sensory value of organically produced foods and price benefits of
organic production need to be properly addressed. To make the organic food, a
thriving industry, the government should provide the prerequisite patronage and
institutional support in development of strong R&D backup, regulatory mechanism
and marketing infrastructure for the emerging new field.

2. Bhattacharyya, P. Organic Food Production in Inda- Status, Strategy and
Scope. Agribios (India), Jodhpur, 01 - 182 (2004)
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SWOAT analysis and Government Initiatives. Paper presented in National
Seminar on National Policy on Organic Farming, 10-11 March,2005 (2005)
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Rattan and N. N. Goswami ed.), 61-64 (2004)
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(Helga Willer and Minou Yussefi eds), 1 - 167 (2005)
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