Organic Farming and its Status in India, how it differs from Conventional Farming? Which one is better……?

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Organic Farming and its Status in India

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in India. As per 2018 survey, agriculture employed more than 50% of Indian work force and contributes 18-20% to the country’s GDP. India ranks first in the world with highest net cropped area followed by USA and China. India is not only one of the largest producers but it is also one of the largest exporters.

Indian farmer’s follow two major systems of Farming-

Let us look into both the systems and have a better understanding about them-

1. Conventional System-

Also known as Industrial Agriculture refers to arming which includes the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, heavy irrigation, intensive tiliage and use of GMOs.
Conventional farming is considered as high-resource demanding and energy intensive but its high productivity balances it really well.

Pros of Conventional System-
Produce large quantity of food on small piece of land with less manual labor.
Cons of Conventional System-
As we use synthetic pesticides, herbicide and fertilizers which result in Soil and Water pollution, Chemical Leaching, Erosion while intensive tiliage affects texture and health of soil. This method of farming converts highly fertile land to barren land within interval of 6-7 years as excess use of chemicals increase pH of soil.

Organic farming

2. Organic System-

In simple words Organic farming is cultivation of plants and rearing of animals in natural ways. It involves use of biological fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance.

In organic farming we use fertilizers of organic origin such as compost, green manure and put more emphasis on techniques like crop rotation, mixed cropping and pest control.

Status of organic farming in India-

In India, total net sown area is 140.1 million ha out of this only 2.78 million ha was covered under organic farming which is only 2% of whole. In year 2005 organic farming was first introduced in India.

India ranks 1st in No. of organic farmers (1.9 million farmers as of march 2020) and 9th in terms of area under organic farming. Area wise Madhya Pradesh is leading state covering 0.76 million ha (27% of India’s total organic cultivation area) while Sikkim is first to declare itself completely organic.

Pros of Organic System-

No use of GMOs, support healthy soil, environment friendly and no negative effect on health of product consumers.

Cons of Organic System-

Initially it requires high cost maintenance, significant knowledge and faces marketing challenges.

Now coming to our highly debated question out of these two methods which is better?

According to me both systems have certain pros and cons none of these is absolutely perfect. In order to gain maximum benefit we can mix both methods like limited use of synthetic insecticides followed by use of organic fertilizers and Crop rotation/Mixed cropping which will improve our field production as well as health of our soil.

According to you which method is better? Please share your views.

pesticides images

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