Experts are of the view that organic farming is not a choice but a necessity as agriculture has become totally dependent on pesticides and synthetic manure.
Experts have gathered for a three-day convention on 'mainstream organic farming' starting from Saturday.
Kavita Kurunganti, convener, Bengaluru-based NGO, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), working to promote organic farming, addressing a press conference, said that as per a survey, the everyday earning from agriculture is less than the earning of an unskilled worker, and the kind of ills to which the current practice of agriculture is leading the human population, organic farming is the only way out.
Speaking about the challenges and hurdles in adopting organic farming as the mainstream model, she said the market of organic products was missing and supply chain is dispersed. "There is no one to educate the farmers that organic farming is the way out," she added, suggesting largescale policy-level investment.
Kuruganti said there was a tremendous response to the convention as it was open to 1,200 farmers and the NGOs involved in organic farming, but 2,500 farmers had registered themselves to take part.
Umendra Dutt of Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM) said the government department dealing with agriculture and agricultural universities that had been guiding the green revolution needed re-orientation and to re-prioritisation. "There is hesitation at the level of policymakers to adopt organic farming," Dutt said, adding that Punjab lacked proper governance as far as usage of groundwater was concerned and that free power to the farm sector was the biggest ill.
Claud Alvares from Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI) said a turnaround was taking place as top leaders, including PM Narendra Modi, had started mentioning organic farming, which a few years ago was unthinkable. "Also, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Haryana CM ML Khattar accepting the invitation to attend the convention is a sign of acceptance of organic farming," he added.
Khattar will attend the opening ceremony and Badal the valedictory event. Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi, Punjab and Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki and Inderjit Kaur of All India Pingalwara Society will attend the convention.