Thursday, 29 March 2012

Organic Farming & Sustainable Future

I recently read a very interesting article on “Organic Farming in India: Relevance, Problems and Constraints”. This is fairly dated and old about 7 years old yet most of the points mentioned in this paper are still valid and pertinent.

The document is about 95 pages long, but every bit of it is eminently readable.

Most of the “Certified” organic produce from India is exported at a very attractive price for the farmer. But a sad reflection of our Farming industry in India is that due to high input cost of Conventional farming (with Chemical fertilizer / pesticide), majority of our farmers are “By-default Organic”. However, for the only reason that they are not able to afford the certification fees, they are missing out on the bonanza they may get on the price front.  

There are various solutions to this problem and one of the solutions is a community based certification. However, since there is a big price advantage, very soon compulsions of politics, bribery and favouritism can kill the credibility of the initiative. Therefore this may be at best a limited time solution and the long term solution would be a less painful and more robust certification mechanism that is affordable / reachable by all farmers.

On a positive note, we are awakening to the fact that India was the pioneer in Sustainable farming practices. It is just a matter of time before India gets back her past pride.