‘Soil awareness, market key to success of organic farming in MP’
While the Madhya Pradesh government has declared its intentions of promoting organic farming in a big way, experts say that creating awareness about soil nourishment without using chemicals, simplifying of certificate process and providing marketing platform will be the key for successful implementation.indore Updated: May 16, 2016 17:40 IST
While the Madhya Pradesh government has declared its intentions of promoting organic farming in a big way, experts say that creating awareness about soil nourishment without using chemicals, simplifying of certificate process and providing marketing platform will be the key for successful implementation.
Addressing a convention in Ujjain on Friday, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other dignitaries, including agriculture experts stressed on replacing the existing chemical-dependent farming methods with organic farming to make it more profitable.
The total production of raw organic commodities in Madhya Pradesh, however, has declined in the past five years due to steep fall in organic cotton production. Madhya Pradesh accounts for nearly 40% of India’s total organic cultivation area.
Experts say that vast potential remains untapped due to poor policy implementation and lack of awareness.
“The problem is that most officials do not understand the basic concept behind organic farming. It is not only about using vermi-compost, but all the procedure has to be followed, including cropping pattern, green manure and so on,” former director of state agriculture department Dr GS Kaushal said. He attributed the rapid decline in organic commodities production to the shift from organic cotton to BT cotton.
“The state government will have to create awareness among farmers on how to enrich the soil using natural methods. Then, farmers will need to get the products certified and also need a platform for marketing the produce,” said Deepak Suchde, a renowned expert in organic farming.
State agriculture department officials say that the government is taking a slew of initiatives to promote organic farming.
“The government is promoting organic farming in 16 districts where the utilisation of chemical fertilisers is way below the state and national average. We are addressing all the aspects of organic farming – from cultivation to packaging, branding and marketing of the products,” said Rajesh Rajora, state principal secretary (agriculture).
What is organic farming?
Organic products are grown under a system of agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in an environmentally friendly manner. In this method of farming, the focus is on preserving the reproductive and regenerative capacity of the soil. Studies show that excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides has adversely impacted soil fertility in Punjab and has led to an increase in cancer cases.