Man has been searching for ways to grow and develop in every way of life with minimal effort. This not only extends to food habits but also the methods of food production. The use of chemical-laden agricultural practises lead to the reduced traditional organic practises.
Though man evolved along with other species, he managed to outrank others and make room for himself. He used bullocks, cattle, chickens and other animals to develop various farming practices.
Farmer Ganapati K N learned the benefits of traditional farming practices and imbibed the methods into his occupation. Ganapati hails from a small village called Sampekatte in Hosanagar Taluk in Shivamogga.
He has adopted organic farming practices in his 2 acres of land. Saying goodbye to chemical fertilizers, Ganapati prepares natural fertilizers using cow dung and manure at his farm. At times when he needs more cow dung, he buys them off the neighbours and feeds the land with organic fertilizers.
Practicing organic farming for the past 7-8 years, Ganapati has managed to grow rice, areca nut, maize, vegetables and sugarcane at his farm.
In today’s era, most farmers are moving towards the use of chemical fertilizers for instant yield as compared to organic farming.
Unlike the usage of chemical fertilizers, organic farming is a slow and gradual process that will lead to better yield and the land fertility is enhanced over the period of time.
As a means to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and encourage people to adopt organic farming methods, Shodha Samstha was formed. They aim to educate people about the benefits of organic farming and providing farming equipment to farmers at reasonable prices.
The organisation also examines the produce grown by farmers and even buys the produce at a higher rate than what is offered in the market.
There are various challenges while adopting a fully organic system in agriculture. Below are a few challenges faced:
Insect pest management: Due to the regulations of organic farming, few options remain for organic farmers to manage pests and diseases in their crops compared to conventional farming
The high price of organic produce: The final prices of organic produce are always higher than conventional products and the customers always opt for cheaper products. It hugely impacts the organic produce market in India.
Inadequate supporting infrastructure: Despite the adoption of the NPOP during 2000, the state governments are yet to formulate policies and a credible mechanism to implement them. There are only four agencies for accreditation and their expertise is limited to fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee and spices. The certifying agencies are inadequate.
Confused Certification Framework: Any agricultural product is consumer-centric and consumer’s trust is the key to organic produce. To develop trust among customers there should be a proper regulatory framework, compliance with the requirements and the same should be communicated to customers. To solve this FSSAI has come up with the Jaivik Bharat framework, a globally recognised third-party certification process which is controlled by APEDA.