Kurukshetra MAY 2019: a Journal on Rural Development (Part-2) (Download PDF)

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Natural Resource Management & Bio-Diversity Conservation: High input production system is unsustainable says M. S Swaminathan advocating towards the need for an ecologically, Socially & economically sustainable production system, he named it as ‘evergreen revolution’.

  • Opportunities in organic farming:

  • Conservation perspectives: -

  • Soil Fertility Stability: - Organics farm practices help to restore long-term soil quality.

  • Once acre of living topsoil contains ~900 pound of earthworms, ~2,400 pounds of protozoa & ~890 Pounds of arthropod & algae (Pimentel et al. , 2005).

  • Organics supplementals & are easily colonized by microorganisms that help to stabilized soil fertility via improving decomposition, nitrogen fixation & reducing losses of nutrients.

  • Green manure help in mobilizing nutrients, enhancing growth promoting substance, suppress soil-borne pathogens & support crops to out- compete weed & prevent soil erosion.

  • Biodiversity Conservation: - Organics farm practices are largely intrinsic & enhance food resource, habitat heterogeneity Prey- predation relationships & reduce toxic influences (prohibited use of chemical pesticides/inorganic fertilizers)

  • These are expected to support species vulnerable to otherwise conventional farm practices.

  • Although a number of caveats apply for making a generalization, promotion of biodiversity conservation is well accepted as imp. benefit of organic mgmt.

  • Organic farming plays significant role in preserving & conserving biodiversity resource.

  • There is clear evidence of elevated bacterial & fungal abundance & activity under organic system.

  • Higher earthworm abundance is reported in organic than in conventional fields. Higher abundance & species richness of carabids & epigeal spider are reported on organic farm.

  • Studies conducted in other countries show that small mammals such as wood mouse (Apodenus sylvaticus) Common shrew (Sorex araneus) & bank appear greater in number than conventional fields.

  • Benefits of organic farming to biodiversity vary, extension of organic farm can contribute to restoration of biodiversity resources in agriculture landscape.

  • Carbon sequestration : -

  • Knowledge of C- storage relative to flux in agroecosystems is essential for predictive geosphere- biosphere modeling & for reducing excess of atmospheric CO2 levels thru C-sequestration.

  • Soil carbon sequestration is cost effective & may contribute to ~89 % of total C-mitigation.

  • An increase of 1 ton of soil C pool of degraded cropland may increase crop yield by about 10 to 20 kg/ha of maize, 20 to 40 kg/ha of wheat, & 0.5 to 1 kg/ha of cowpeas indicating a strong link b/w C- sequestration & crop production.

  • Reduced energy dependence : -

  • Synthetic fertilizers, used in conventional systems, are produced employing fossil fuel energy whereas cattle manure, legumes, etc. . w/very low energy needs, are used in organic practices.

  • Reduced energy use in organic farms reduce economic load & share to solve environmental problems such as climate change.

  • Economic sustainability : - In a sustainability perspective of organic farming the following issues need concern:

  • Export orientation

  • Market risk

  • Employment

  • Cost –benefit analysis

  • A study, based on 120 farmers of shimoga & Bhadravati talukas of Karnataka, conducted the cost-benefit analysis of organic rice production

  • Another study by the central institute that organic cultivation was about 21 % lower than that those under conventional farming.

  • Constraints in organic Farming: -

  • Environmental constrains: -

  • Water quality :

  • Wastewater is increasingly being used for irrigation in urban & peri-urban areas of developing countries due to easy availability & scarcity of unpolluted water.

  • Irrigation of crops w/wastewater may cause heavy metal accumulation & degrade soil quality (pandey et al. , 2012)

  • Atmospheric deposition:

  • High atmospheric deposition & accumulation of heavy metals in crop & vegetables have also been reported in India (Pandey & Pandey, 2009b).

  • Atmospheric deposition of heavy metals has been shown to lead multifold accumulation in eggplant, tomato, spinach, carrot, amaranthus & redish &

  • Cause damage to microbial activity in organically amended soil (Pandy & Pandey, 2009b).

  • Thus atmospheric deposition organic farming w/respect to its ability to stabilize soil fertility & provide toxin – free produce.

  • Resource need:

  • Livestock resource play important role in strengthening agricultural practices for large masses in India.

  • Improved pasture & rangelands are essential for supporting livestock & restoring C-pool, nutrient cycling & soil quality.

  • About 1500 - 2000 kg of cattle manure is used for domestic fuel annually.

  • To remove this ’ Competitive ’ constraint, useful option & appropriate farm-scale mgmt. strategies are required.

  • There must be some appropriate microbe- based technology for optimization use of natural resource to sustain agricultural production in India.

  • Certification:

  • Certification is essential to authenticate organic produce & to validate price margin in market.

  • Director general of foreign trade (India) permits export of organic produce if these are processed & processed under a valid certification.

  • Social acceptance

Status, Potential and New Technologies in Organic Farming

  • Crop production systems has become completely dependent on external support systems, at same time input-output ratio is going low w/time.

  • Organic agriculture has a significant role in addressing two of the world’s biggest & most urgent issues- (i) climate change & (ii) hygienic food security.

  • Why Organic Farming?

  • Organic farming is defined as a production system which largely excludes of avoid use of fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, etc. & relies mainly on organic source to maintain Soil health, supply plant nutrients & minimize insects, weeds & other pests.

  • Present Status Of Organic Farming: -

  • India holds a unique position among 172 countries practicing organic agriculture: It has 6,50,000 organic procedure, 699 processors, 669 exports & 7,20,000 ha under cultivation,

  • India produced around 1.35 million MT (2015 - 16) of certified organic products which include all varieties of food products.

  • India ranked 11th in organic product export in 2015.

  • Emerging challenges in organic Farming: -

  • There are limitation like availability of practical guidelines, communication gap w/small & marginal farmers & lack of comprehensive approach for integration of technological know-how, better marketing options etc.

  • Which led to lesser farmer participation in large scale demonstration.

  • Source of organic movement in India depends upon growth of own domestic market. w/sizable acreage under naturally organic/default organic cultivation, India has tremendous potential to grow crop organically & emerge as a major supplier of organic products in the world’s organic market.

  • W/this growing demand more & more technology innovation like IRF technology & their implementation at farmers field will ensure economically viable organic agriculture & help in its adoption by the common farmer even w/o any subsidy scheme or guaranteed premium price.

  • New Technologies/Package of Practices in Organic Farming in India: -

  • Biodynamic Faming & inhana rational farming technology are prominent.

  • Different organics input are used to make different organic package of practice for different crop.

  • These combinations can be broadly divided in 4 to 5 category of POP’s:

  • Vermi compost (soil mgmt. ) + diff. herbal concoctions; (plant mgmt. )

  • Indigenous compost/manure (viz. FYM etc. ) diff. herbal concoctions;

  • Vermi/indigenous compost + Bio-fertilizers (soil mgmt. ) + diff. herbal concoctions;

  • Vermi/indigenous compost + Biofertilizers (soil mgmt. ) + diff. herbal concoctions/Bio – pesticides &

  • Vermi/indigenous compost + diff. herbal concoctions/Bio-pesticides.

  • Inhana Organic Farming (IRF) Technology –

  • A Farming technology was development by an India scientist Dr. P. Das Biswas.

  • He termed it as inhana Rational Farming (IFR) Technology which provide a nature receptive pathway for crop production talking into account interrelated & integrated relationship of all components of the ecosystems.

  • Agriculture sector, technology is tired out in diff. crops like paddy, baby corn, green - gram, cabbage, okra, tomato, potato, brinjal etc. & had turned out to be quite satisfactory.

Marketing And Branding of Organic Farming

  • MP is largest producer followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, UP & Rajasthan.

  • National programme for organic production (NPOP) was implemented which involves the accreditation programme for certification bodies, standards for organic production, promotion of organic farming, etc.

  • NPOP Standard for production & accreditation system are recognized by European commission & USDA & India organic products duly certified by accredited certification bodies of India are accepted by the importing countries

  • Global Organic Food Market :

  • Organic farmland increased substantially to 69.8 million ha. Followed by Argentina w/3.4 million ha. & china w/3 million ha.

  • US is largest market for organic produce followed by Germany & France, together contributing 67 % of organic market globally.

  • Domestics Organic Food Market: -

  • Organic Products Market in India is growing at a CAGR of 25 % & it is expected to touch Rs. 10,000 - 12,000 Cr. By 2020 from current market size of Rs. 4,000 Cr.

  • Key Drivers of Marketing Organic Farming: -

  • Objective is to reduce the production cost & prices of produce.

  • Use of organic input like vermicompost, organic/bio-fertilizers, city compost waste decomposer, phosphaterich organic manure (PROM) has been promoted w/aim to reduce the cost of production on organic farming. Bio-Village initiative have been taken by many sates like Bihar & MP.

  • Technology Development: - Red otter farms a Uttarakhand based start –up has chosen aquaponics as a medium to grow organic vegetable including greens.

  • Aquaponics is a methods of production that combines raising fish w/soil less plant production by creating a symbiotic ecosystems. Better market linkage, farm has started subscription based selling & targeted households of south Delhi & Gurugram.

  • ecoZen solution, Pune based start-up is working on solar irrigation & solar powered cold storage for fresh produce which can be utilized in remote villages where irregular power is a problem.

  • Key Challenges while Promoting Organic Farming

  • Low Crop yield during conversion

  • Inadequate Quality Standards

  • Policy Support

  • Inadequate agriculture marketing infra- structure

  • Inadequate Market Research

  • Limited availability of Organic Food Products

  • Direct Marketing

  • Use of Technology

  • Promotion of High Value crop

  • Crop planning & Diversity

  • Contract Farming

  • Collectivization of Farmers

  • Promotion of input Based Enterprises

  • Agri- preneurs to provide market

  • Linking farmers to processors & Exporters

  • Widespread Extension: - State wise intensive campaign on organic farming like “Bio-Village” has to be adopted by all states. Agriculture extension institutions of state has to prepare customized training programmes in consultation w/national institute of agriculture marketing (NIAM).

  • National Institute of agriculture extension mgmt. to cater to specific needs of organic farming in terms of promotion& sensitization.

  • Branding strategies to promote Organic Framing: -

  • Agro Tourisum

  • Branding thru professionals

  • Organic Certification: Organic Certification permits a farm to sell, label & Symbolize their products as organic & thereby build trust among users.

  • It helps in retailing of produce & enabling consumers to identify organic produce easily & protect them against frauds.

  • In India, 29 Organic certificate accreditation bodies are authorized by APEDA to certify organic farms/produce.

  • Retailing, Packaging & Labeling.

  • Participation in fairs & Exhibitions : - Fairs & exhibitions such as kisan mela, Agri expo, Agri trade show, etc. open to a large number of people usually from diverse background & Provides an opportunity to promote the products to a large set of audience.

  • Conclusion: - For promotion of organic farming, decisions of crop selection & potential area play a crucial role.

  • Use of bio- inputs, use of technology & widespread extension also plays a significant role in the promotion of organic farming.

- Published/Last Modified on: June 1, 2019

Kurukshetra

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