Saturday, August 06, 2011: 07:31:32 AM

Food Processing Trend

Organic villages in India: latest trend in farming

With modern and chemical agriculture proving to be a failure in the long run, organic farming is gradually proving to the latest and finest farming process in the country

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India being home to several millions of people has always faced the problem of meeting the agricultural demands of its people. Though there have been several methods employed through the years to enhance productivity, the Green Revolution being the best example of that, the results so far have been far from satisfactory. These modern and chemical agricultural processes brought about several unwanted consequences like causing ecological imbalances and having severely harsh effects on the environment. Therefore, the only way out of such a predicament was in developing organic processes in farming which by far proved to be the best substitute to such hazardous chemical agriculture.

With the country already having suffered from modern processes, there was a desperate need to go back to traditional farming systems which were practised in the past before Green Revolution took effect. Therefore, more and more farmers are now opting for conventional and organic farming processes all over the country and with that there has been an emergence of organic villages in pockets.
ASSOCHAM’s plans
Meanwhile, industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) is all set to promote organic farming systems with the inauguration of organic villages in several parts of the country. In these specialised villages, fruits, vegetables and crops will be grown using organic farming methods. Speaking to the press, DS Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM, said that five villages across five districts of Andhra Pradesh (AP) are scheduled to commence organic farming in the next couple of months and transform them into organic villages. Farmers undertaking organic farming are expected to witness a 250% increase in their profits within a span of 3 years. However, a major help from the Planning Commission and the AP government is an absolutely must for the plan to fall into place.  
In a recent report submitted by the industry body, it was ascertained that India is precariously positioned low down the agricultural export ladder, producing a mere 1.6% of the entire exports worldwide. Notably, in India, agricultural activities account for 55% of the total population of the country and agricultural products estimate up to 10% of the overall exports.
The future ahead
According to Divya Sanglikar, corporate nutritionist at Healthji, an established health portal, organic farming will have a sustainable future in India. “It is a compulsory thing for farmers in the coming days. I am quite confident that the government will do its bit to support such a unique effort,” says Ms Sanglikar.
Simultaneously, there are a few significant flaws of organic faming and one such example of it being lack of co-ordination among the cultivators and the traders. The government, too, has not yet extended considerable financial support to the farmers practicing organic farming so far. The only major success so far in this field has been with the implementation of National Standards for Organic Production (NSOP) way back in 2000 and the inauguration of National Institute of Organic Farming. Today, there is a desperate need of framing an apposite national agricultural policy wherein concerns of organic farming can be addressed along with following a tangible ground action plan practised worldwide.
Sayak Banerjee  

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