Organic Farming

 With the increasing use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, organic farming stands as an eco-friendly farming process. Organic Farming is the process of farming without using any synthetic or chemical fertilizers. In simple words, it means farming without the use of any inorganic substances. 

Benefits of organic farming

Chemical fertilizers are not only highly expensive but also have some serious environmental consequences. Some chemicals contain toxic materials which can harm the skin and respiratory organs. It can deteriorate the natural fertility of the soil by killing the bacteria and other microorganisms present in it. It takes years to regain the natural fertility of soil. 

Organic farming can ensure maintenance of the soil quality and also prevents soil erosion. It can also prevent the harmful effect of nitrates leaching into the groundwater. The chemical fertilizers have a tendency to escape from the soil to the nearby water bodies and pollute them. Therefore it is extremely important to minimise the use of chemicals and switch to better alternatives. 

Organic farming in India

India stands in the 100th position in the World Hunger Index of 2020. This indicates towards the growing food requirement in the country. Ensuring an adequate amount of food for the huge population of the country is an enormous challenge that needs to be tackled. But it is also important to ensure the quantity as well as safety of the food. In India, organic farming is largely seen as a procedure of using organic manure instead of chemicals. But it also includes several methods to increase the microbial population of the soil. 

 The chemical fertilizers yield results quickly. As the process of organic farming takes a lot of time and due lack of awareness and facilities, it is not widely practiced. Between 2011 to 2014, there was a decrease in organic farming in India. 

Sikkim was declared as the first 100% organic state in the whole world, by UN Food and Agriculture. All of its  farmlands are organically certified. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not available in the state. In 2003, all imports of chemical fertilizers in the state were banned. This transition to a completely organic farming practice has helped around 66,000 farming families in the state. This organic image has also uplifted the tourism sector in Sikkim. It helped to promote the idea of organic farming in the country. 

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana is a government scheme under the Soil Health Management and the National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture which aims to promote certified organic farming in India. The objectives of the scheme includes providing resources and motivating the farmers to take up organic farming. 

The idea of organic farming and the question of food safety and eco-friendly farming measures have received some attention lately. With proper education and access to facilities, organic farming can be further promoted in the country.