Actual State of Organic Agriculture

Actual State of Organic Agriculture

ACTUAL STATE OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE  

         IN INDIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES 

 

                                            Dr.Ashok K. Panigrahi and Mrs.Kusum Misra

 

 

            Organic agriculture is about more than just growing crops without using either chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, rather it a holistic approach to the very system of farming that restores, maintains and enhances economical sustainability and ecological balance generating non toxic, healthy and tasty food or medicine or dye with natural fragrance and colour.

             In today’s world most organic growers since believe in biodiversity, they avoid GM varieties, whether crops or seeds or plants or animals. They use no chemical either for soil fertility or for pest control, no chemical either for their growth or for their protection except the medicines that too only when the situation is very bad and beyond control.

 

AN OVERVIEW

 

            Organic agriculture is currently being practiced in more than 100 countries the world over. The ill effects of agrochemicals used for last several decades have changed the minds of consumers in different countries who are now buying or willing to bye organic food stuffs with high premium.

            Policy makers are now promoting organic agriculture for several different reasons such as soil health, sustaining rural economy and creating better environment. The global organic area is estimated at 26 million hectare with 61 standards and 364    

certification bodies.

 

           The world organic market is estimated at 26 billion US $.

 

          The certified organic area in India is estimated at 2.5 million hectare but non-certified area is much more.

 

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Organic agriculture is being practiced in India since the beginning of agriculture in this country and it continued as such till Green Revolution was introduced in this country in the mid sixties.

 

There is a brief mention of organic agriculture in ancient literatures like the Rigveda, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Kautilya Arthshastra etc.

 

Sir Albert Howard was the first industrial agriculturist who was brought in to India by the British to teach the Indian farmers the use of agrochemicals but he ended up in learning the organic agriculture from Indian farmers, developed the Indore process and went on to establish the symbiotic fungal bridge between the humus in the soil and the sap of the plants through the mycorrhizal associations. He wrote in his, An Agricultural Testament, “Since industrial revolution, agriculture has become unbalance, the land is in revolt, diseases of all kinds are on the increase, the nature is removing the worn out soil by erosion.”

 

 

AGRICULTURE IN ANCIENT INDIA

 

1. Oldest practice              10,000 years ago dating back to Neolithic age by ancient
                                          civilization like Mesopotamia, Hwang Ho basin etc.

2. Ramayana                     All dead things returned to earth that in nourish soil and life  3. Mahabharata                5500 B.C., Kamadhenu – the sacred cow, had role in not            

                                         only in human life but also in soil fertility

4. Kautilya Arthshastra    300 B.C., use of several manures made of the excreta of

                                        domesticated animals and oil cake

5. Brihad Sanhita              Methods of choosing manures for crops and manuring

6. Rigveda                        2,500-1,500 B.C., green manure, use of dung of goat, sheep,
                                         cow etc.

 

LARGE SCALE USE OF CHEMICALS IN AGRICULTURE IN INDIA

 

US Noble laureate Norman Borlaug, the creator of the famous dwarf wheat variety in Mexico, visited India in 1957. In a press conference he said, “Were I been a member of the Indian Parliament I would leapt from my seat every fifteen minutes and yell at the top of my voice, fertilizers, give farmers more fertilizers.” The fact is that, between the fifties and sixties, in the independent India, there was a gap between the demand and production of food. To meet this, the Indian planners under the influence of the US institutions like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the US food specialist Norman Borlaug, conceived the idea of paradigm shift in agriculture, from natural to chemical, from natives to high brids and high yields, the seeds of which gained popularity under the global brand name of “miracle seeds,” having the ability to soak up agrochemicals developed at that point of time. This was a global phenomenon and it helped in the global increases in food out puts instantly. To day the world food grain production is estimated at 2100 million tones and it is mostly based on use of agrochemicals, artificial chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. However, the impacts of these agro chemicals, the artificial chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides are well observable. No data have been published by any the Indian agency like the US Environment Protection Agency (USEPA). The USEPA revealed in 1991 that the projected estimate of methane emission from the Indian paddy fields amounted to 37.8 metric tones per year, thus accusing Indian paddy cultivators in adding to the global green house gas accumulation as methane is also considered as a green house gas. Consequently in India more emphasis was attached to shift to non conventional agriculture and keep paddy cultivation limited to 47% of total arable land (National Agriculture Policy, 2000). Use of artificial chemical fertilizers especially N- fertilizers always invite the agricultural pests leading to applications of pesticides, especially synthetic pesticides and both of these pollute the environment substantially.

 

The global fertilizer use (in Kg/ha)

Korea                          -           357 kg             Japan               -           247 kg

Netherlands                  –           172 kg             Bangladesh       -          158 kg

Germany                      -           153 kg             India                 -             89 kg

 

 

The sinister logic of recommendation of the use of chemical fertilizers:

Plant requires 17 essential nutrients divided under two groups:

1. Macro nutrients- those required by plants in large amounts and                  

2. Micro nutrients-those required by plants in small amounts

Regardless of the sources, plants absorb all nutrients in inorganic forms only.           The 3 Macro or major primary nutrients are absorbed as under -

                        Nitrogen (N)       as      Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite                 

                        Phosphorus (P)   as     P2O5 (available phosphorus)                  
                        Potash  (K)          as     K2O   (available potash)

 The 3 macro secondary nutrients include such substances as Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Sulphur (S) which are naturally available in the soil and manures.

Micronutrients or minor plant nutrients are in fact trace elements as Iron(Fe), Manganese(Mn), Zinc(Zn), Copper(Cu), Boron(B), Molybdenum(Mo) and  Cobalt(Co) and like the secondary macro nutrients, are supposed to be available in the soil and manures. Although there is nothing organic in the nutrient absorption by plants but plant up take is surely influenced by the source of origin of the said nutrients, it is better if it is from the organic source, as the availability is modest and release is delayed but prolonged and the nutrients do not influence each other’s up take. In the chemical process, excessive applications of nitrogenous fertilizers prevent phosphorus and potash up take by plants.  

Average nutrient uptake by crops per tones of economic yield 

              

           Nutrient

 

 

                 Crops

 

Paddy (Kg)                     Wheat (Kg)

N

20

25

P2O5

11

9

K2O

30

33

S

3

4.7

Ca

7

5.3

Mg

3

4.7

B

0.015

0.048

Cu

0.018

0.024

Fe

0.153

0.624

Mn

0.675

0.700

Mo

0.002

0.002

Zn

0004

0.056

State of facts

Intensive farming, said to be required to meet the increasing food demand of the growing population, exhaust natural soil fertility and distort soil’s natural balance.

It is suggested, inorganics have to be selectively added to the soil to maintain the required plant nutrition. But their ills are never assessed nor taken care of.

In the green revolution era throughout the world, the crop plants were basically protected through the use of biocides, pesticides, fungicides etc.and its impacts were never assessed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Use of synthetic pesticide (in kg/ ha.) in USA, Japan, Korea, China and India are 1.5, 10.8, 6.6, 2.25 and 0.38 kg, respectively.

The uses of synthetic pesticides in the last few decades have become one of the essential inputs of modern farming, but consequences are evidently disastrous.

 

WHY   SHOULD WE EMBRACE ORGANIC FARMING?

Because food safety is as important as food security

DO WE KNOW HOW THE ARTIFICIAL CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS HARM US!

 They—-

v     Interfere and eliminate nutrition producing microbes (bacteria fungi and worms) from soil.

v     Impede and set in imbalance the entire mineral and micronutrient pattern in crop plants.

v     Excess of N- fertilizer in soil impair K uptake by crop plants and they lack K component in their tissues.

v     Excess of K applications decrease the amount of Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) and carotene (pre Vitamin A) in crop plants.

v     Super phosphate applications cause deficiency of Cu and Zn in crop plants.

v     Their applications reduce the natural resistance to disease and pest in crop plants

v     N-fertilizer applications though enhance crop yield, it is in terms of carbohydrates. There occurs a deficiency in protein content by 20-25% w/w and the amino acid balance is greatly impaired, thus lowering the protein quality.

v     N- fertilizers (NO3,NO2 and NH3+) act as toxins in soil, percolated into underground water tables,NO3 and NO2 cause Methaemoglobinaemia (Methaemoglobin occurring in excess of normal 0.8%) which at 20% cause headache and giddiness, at 60% loss of consciousness and around 80%, death in adult human beings. Affected new borne turn blue and die (blue baby syndrome).

v     N- Fertilizers (NOx) reduce O3 by 3.5% by reducing NO (NO+O3      NO2+O2). A one percent of O3 depletion cause increase 2% of U-V radiation, 10% decreases of O3 in stratosphere increase Melanoma (skin cancer) by 20-30% besides causing high occurrence of cataracts, destruction of immunity, vegetation and sea-life.

v     Concentration of NO2 at 6.0mg/kg in excess of 2mg/kg of air cause leaf damage, impaired photosynthetic activity in many plants. At a higher concentration, causes burning sensation of mucous membranes. NO3 at 800mg/ltr.of water caused cattle deaths in epidemic form in Rajasthan in 1976.

THIS IS HOW THE SYNTHETIC PESTICIDES HARM US -

v     These are generally bionondegradables, introduced into the ecosystem, they play havoc, either as hazardous or toxicants or both.

v     Aimed at eliminating the pests, they end up in increasing their pesticide-resistance as most of the pests have as many as 10-30 life cycles in a year.

v     The table given below shows changes in cotton insecticide use(in mln.pounds),from USDA chemical use survey( It is to note that Bt cotton was introduced in US in 1996)

 

1964

1966

1971

1976

1982

1992

1998

2000

Organochlorines

54.6

45.4

33

18.6

1.2

1.2

0.3

0.5

Organophosphates

15.6

14.3

28.6

31.4

12.9

13.4

11.3

36.1

Carbamates

6.2

4.5

10.3

12.2

3.5

4

2.7

3.5

Synthetic pyrethroids

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0.8

 

0.9

 

0.4

 

0.3

Others

1.6

0.7

1.5

2

1

0.3

0.1

0.1

Total pounds applied

78

64.9

73.4

64.2

19.4

19.8

14.8

40.5

 

v     Percolated into the underground water tables, cause pesticide pollution, the recent Coca cola- Pepsi and bottled water episodes are the glaring examples. Once consumed, they have one way traffic in the human (animal) vital tissues.

v     According to Pearson (1985) pesticide related deaths in developing countries are estimated at 10,000/yr. nearly 1.5-2 million persons in these countries suffer from acute poisoning related to pesticide use and consumption, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Pesticide residue reported to be present in agricultural produce (from HAU)

Commodities

 

 

 

                    2001

 

Sample (No.)   Contamination

                    2002

 

Sample (No.) Contamination

Vegetables

(17 crops)

712

61

12% above MRL

529

63

8.5% above MRL

Fruits

(12 crops)

378

53

less than MRL

329

47

approaches MRL

 

Pesticide residue in animal feed, fodder, product and irrigation water in year 2001-2002.

 

Commodities

Sample No.

Contamination (%)

Major residue recorded

Feed and fodder

125

81

HCH, DDT, Chloropyriphos, indosulphan

Milk

537

52

94% HCH, 9% indosulphan and DDT residue

Butter

184

67.4

- do -

Irrigation Water

Surface water

 

258

 

60

 

HCH, DDT

Canal water

251

73

Indosulphan, Chloropyriphos

4 above MRL

Pond water

10

11

All

All

- do -

                                   

Maximum residue limit (MRL) of pesticide on food commodities (prevention of food adulteration acts- 1954)

Name of pesticide Food

 

MRL (Mg/kg)

Aldrine

Food grains, milk, vegetables

0.01, 0.15, 0.10

Captan

Food and vegetables

15.0

Carbendazim

Food grains, vegetable and milk

0.5, 0.5, 0.1

Carbofuran

Food grains, fruit/vegetables, milk

0.10, 0.10, 0.05

Chloropyriphos

Food grains, fruits, Cauliflowers

0.05, 0.50, 0.01

DDT

Milk/milk product, fruits/vegetables

1.25, 3.5

Indosulphan

Fruits/vegetables

2.00

Heptachlor

Food grains, vegetables

0.01, 0.055

 

Do the plants actually require mineral fertilizers?

Facts regarding evolution

1. Creation of earth                               -           5 billion years ago

2. First life started                                 -           2 billion years ago

3. Initiation of plants                              -           500 million years ago

4. Appearance of man                          -           2 million years ago

5. Pre-historic man started cultivation -  10000 years ago

6 Concept of fertilizers use        -        J B Boussingault (French chemist) and                                                                        Justus Von Liebig (German chemist) in 1840.

 

7. First global fertilizer industry- Roth Amsted Experimental station, London, 1842.

                                                      (Single Super Phosphate or SSP)

8. First fertilizer industry in India-SSP (Parry), Ranipet, Tamil Nadu, India, in1906.

9. History of fertilizer                      -     100 to 160 years only

10. Principal source of Global Fertilizer supply – American II war surplus materials,

                                                                           Nitrogenous and Phosphatic fertilizers.

FACTS FAVOURING ORGANIC FARMING

Organic proponents are against fertilizer inputs due to the following reasons.



Fertilizer use is only 100-160 years old.
Not willing to accept the claim that fertilizers enhanced global food production.
Lot of plants on road sides, hills and deserts are surviving with humus from biomass years after years, without any fertilizers being ever applied.
Fertilizer is from the brain of the industrial lobby only, and is neither for the advantage of the farmer-consumer nor the environment.
Crop produced with chemicals contains heavy metals and other contaminants, hence, not well for health.
Agrochemicals cause disease and death due to excess nitrate and pesticide residues.
The so called food produced through the use of agrochemicals is devoid of vital minerals and vitamins which, in turn, incapacitate the enzyme systems so vital for proper body functions necessitating their additions to food and medicines.
Fertilizers like Urea and DAP contain heavy metals like lead and cadmium.

Concentration of heavy metals (PPM) on dry weight basis.

 

Source

Arsenic

Cadmium

Lead

Nickel

Urea

DAP

9.9 – 16.2

4.6 – 35.5

2.1 – 3.7

7.4 – 22.2

MOP

 

Adverse effect of nitrogenous fertilizers on human health and environment

Effects

Causative agents

Human health

Excess NO3 and NO2 in water and food

Methemoglobinaemia

and Cancer

Nitrosamine illness from NO2 secondary amines peroxiacyl nitrate

Environment health

Eutrophication

Excess NO3 in food and water, eutrophication in water bodies owing to run off agricultural fertilizers

Materials and ecosystem damage

HNO3, leading to acid rain and Aerosols in rainfall

 

Compound growth rate in important crops in India is quite unsatisfactory

Crops

1980-1990

1991-2000

Rice

3.10

1.27

Wheat

3.10

2.11

Maize

2.09

1.69

Total cereals

2.90

1.56

Total pulses

1.61

0.96

Total food grains

2.74

1.52

Total oilseeds

2.53

1.25

Sugarcane

1.27

0.95

Cotton

4.10

Total non-food grains

2.31

1.04

All principal crops

2.56

1.31

 

Efficiency of Fertilizers is not more than 50% and the remaining is huge loss

Nutrient use efficiency in India

Nutrient

Efficiency (%)

Nitrogen

30-50

Phosphorus

15-20

Potassium

70-80

Zinc

2-5

Iron

1-2

Copper

1-2

 

 

 

Nutrient utilization by plants irrespective of sources is through mineralization by billions of micro organism which are available in the soil for this job.

 

                        Ammonifers              Nitrosomonas

Nitrogen (air) —————-à NH3—————–à NO3

                   Ammonification             Nitrobector          

 

                                        P-mineralizing

Phosphorus from rocks—————————à P2O5

                                    Organisms (as Bacillus &

                                    Pseudomonas)

Excess and indiscriminate use of inorganic fertilizer has deteriorated soil health badly leading to deficiency of both plant macro and micro nutrients.

 

Why organically grown food are preferred over Inorganically grown food:-

Organically grown food contains more vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace elements and even cancer fighting antioxidants than conventionally grown food, revealed a two years study made in Chicago, USA. It was also observed that the average level of minerals were much higher in the organically grown food than in the conventionally grown food. Besides, the organically grown food always tastes far better and has a longer keeping quality even without refrigeration.

 

Minerals

% higher (Chicago study)

Calcium

63% higher over convent grown food.

Iron

73%     ,,

Magnesium

118%   ,,

Molybdenum

178%   ,,

Phosphorus

91%    ,,

Potassium

125%   ,,

Zinc

60%    ,,

 

Studies reveal that the productivity of organic farming may be less in the initial year(s) but the same increases progressively equating and then surpassing the yields under inorganic farming by 3rd/4th  years, with enhanced B:C ratios.

 

Yield economics of organic farming vis–a–vis conventional farming.

 

Year

Status

Yield (Q/ha)

Gross income (Rs)

Premium (20%)

Total (Rs)

Net income (Rs)

Surplus/ deficit over conventional

Conventional

 

10

20000

0

20000

9000

0

1st year

Year of conversion

5

10000

0

10000

750

- 6250

2nd year

- do -

5.75

11250

0

11250

3750

- 5250

3rd year

Organic

6.25

12500

2500

15000

7000

- 1500

4th year

- do -

7.5

15000

3000

18000

10500

1500

5th year

- do -

8.75

17500

3500

21000

13500

4500

6th year

- do -

10.0

20000

4000

24000

16500

7500

 

Regular addition of organic manure improves the soil quality. The loss of nutrients in organic manure is very less due to its slow and delayed release.

 

 

Mean value of aggregated soil data from 16 pairs of farms each with organic (bio) and conventional (Con) farming practices

Soil property

All bio farm

All Con. Farm

Bulk density (Mg m-3)

1.07

1.15

Penetration resistance 0-20 cm (Mpa)

2.84

3.18

Carbon (%)

4.84

4.27

Respiration (µ/O2 h-1 g-1)

73.7

55.4

Mineralizable N (mg/Kg)

140

105.9

Ratio of mineralizable N to C (mg/g)

2.99

2.59

Cation Exchange Capacity (C mol/kg)

21.5

19.6

Definition and objectives of organic agriculture

The concept of organic agriculture is often misconceived and misrepresented

 

The organic agriculture in real sense is the one that envisages a comprehensive management approach to sustainably improve the soil fertility and control the pests so as to improve the B: C ratio.

 

Organic agriculture is a production system which avoids or excludes the use of all synthetic compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and live stock feed additives.

 

It relies on crop rotations, legumes, green manures, crop residues, animal manures, off farm organic wastes, vermi technology and methods of botanical and biological pest control.

 

Organic farming is the concept of farm as an organism, in which all the components – soil minerals, organic matters, micro organisms, insects, plants, animals and humans – interact to create a coherent self regulating and stable whole (Lampkin, 1999).

 

Sustainable agriculture prohibits reliance on all purchased inputs, whether chemical or organic and thus improves the B: C ratio. 

     

Organic farming is propagated to make agriculture sustainable, hence, is a holistic production system with enhanced B: C ratio.

 

   International federation of organic agriculture movement (IFOAM) stresses and supports the development of self supporting system on local and regional basis.

Principles of organic agriculture

The main principles are as follows:



To maintain long term soil fertility with ecological balance.
To avoid all forms of pollution resulting from agricultural operations.
To produce toxin free food stuff of high nutritional quality in sufficient quantity and better taste.
To reduce the use of fossil energy in agriculture practice to a minimum.
To give the live stocks condition of life akin to their physiological needs.
To enable farmers to earn a living through their work and improve their economic standards so as to make agriculture sustainable and farmers, the world over, dignified human beings.

The four pillars of organic agriculture



Organic standard
Certification/regulatory mechanism
Technology packages
Market network

Standard and certification

The most important component of organic farming in modern era is certification programme which consist of



Standard (rules)
Inspection (checking whether rules implemented)
Certification (judgement)

Only by these three norms, organic farming can be distinguished from other methods of sustainable agriculture.

These standards defined what can be leveled “certified organic” and sold commercially as such.

In fact, certification in organic agriculture generally refers to third party certification. Third party implies that it is not done by either producer (1st party) or the buyer (2nd party).

The system includes farm inspectors and audit trails (checking of records).

Certificate is valid only if it is done by accredited certifying agency.

Certification programme varies from country to country because of the differences in environmental, climatic, social and cultural factors.

Standard

Globally, there are more than 60 standards. International Federation for Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM) (Headquarter – Germany), first established                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   accreditation programme in 1992 to accredit certifying bodies and to setup Intl. Organic Accr. Services (IOAS). FAO, WHO and Inter governmental bodies, 1962 laid out a set of guidelines for organic productions mostly in the EU states. In 1991 Demeter international a world wide network and Japan Agriculture Standard (JAS) were set up..

 The statutory norms of product labeling depends on the destination to which the same is to be exported or the destined market of sale such as the US, EU, or Japan.



In the EU states, it must confer to EEC regulation no. 2092/91.
In the US, it must confer to the UASDA standards for organic foods.
In Japan, it must confer to Japanese Agriculture Standards (JAS) for organic products.

Highly accepted Certifications

           It includes those from agencies and associations such as CODEX and IFOAM (International Federation for Organic Agricultural Movement) etc.They are accepted in the US, EU states and Japan, the most important organic markets.

           The Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, in 2000 launched the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) to ensure focused and well directed development of organic agriculture in India. A national steering committee (NSC) was formed comprising of APEDA(Agricultural and Processed food Export Development Authority), Spices Board, Coffee Board and various government and private organizations associated with the organic movement to formulate the national standards for organic agriculture with the following guide lines;



No harmful chemicals have been applied to the land for at least 3 years
The farmer and processor have annual certification inspections
They have maintained detailed records of their practices
They use eco-friendly methods and substances for soil fertility and pest control.

On the recommendations of the National steering committee, the government has constituted the accreditation agencies for the NPOP. The works of these agencies are:



Drawing up procedures for evaluation and accreditation of certification programmes
Formulating procedures for evaluation of the agencies implementing the programmes.

The following agencies have been approved as accreditation agencies by the Government of India;



APEDA, 2. Spices Board, 3. Coffee Board, 4. Tea Board, 5. Coconut Development Board and 6. The Directorate of Cashew and Cocoa Development.

As per report, today there are 364 certification bodies across the world.

Certification bodies and their approval per region (IFOAM, 2004)

                           

Region 

Total       

IFOAM

Japan 

ISO65  

EU

USA

Africa

        7

 

 

1

 

 

Asia

83

4

65

1

1

2

Europe

130

10

9

45

100

28

Latin America/ Caribbean

33

4

-

10

5

8

North America

101

4

1

14

-

64

Oceania

10

4

6

3

6

4

Total

364

26

81

74

112

106

 

Technology packages

Conventional practices can’t be followed for growing crops organically. It includes following

a)       Land preparation

b)       Selection of variety

c)       Organic fertilization

d)       Biological control of pests – diseases – weed

e)       Harvest storage etc.

Some countries have developed package of practices for some selected crops but there is an ample scope to refine this package with scientific methods and practices.

Market network

It is expected that organic produce should fetch a greater market premium as compared to the traditional one and there should be definite market to buy the produce at a higher price.

The basic focus of organic agriculture should be



To produce  farm products for the home i.e., internal consumption and
For the markets, basically for export, since this will fetch more revenue.

Global scenario of organic agriculture

About 100 countries of the world are in organic agriculture and area under organic. is increasing. As per a study made in2004, by the Foundation of Ecology and Agriculture (FOUL), the total global area under organic is about 24 million hectare.

Land area of major countries under organic management

 

Name of country

Area under organic (M.ha)

% of total agriculture area

No. of organic farm

Australia

100000

2.20

1380

Argentina

20600

1.70

1779

U.S.A.

0.95

0.23

6949

U.K.

0.7245

4.22

4057

Germany

0.6969

4.10

15628

South Africa

0.0045

0.05

250

China

0.3012

0.06

2910

Japan

0.0005

0.10

-

India

0.0370

0.03

5147

Pakistan

0.0002

0.08

405

Sri Lanka

0.0015

0.65

3301

All world

240700

1.60

462475

Source: IFOAM, 2004

Among the organic food growing countries, Australia is the top (42%) followed by Argentina and Latin America and Europe. The total area in Asia is 880000 hectare (0.07% of total area).

MARKET



The current world organic market has been estimated at over US 26 billion $ from cultivated total area of around 24 million hectare world wide.
It almost reached 31 billion US$ by 2005.
Premium on most organic products range between 35-100%.

4.   95% of the organic product is consumed in developed countries.

5.  The major producers and importers of organic products are EU, USA and   

     Japan

The principal organic products include



 
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Cereals (wheat, rice, maize), coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, herbs, oilseeds, pulses, milk products, honey, meat, edible nuts and semi-processed food etc.

Organic market share = 1% of total food share

Global market in 2005  =  31 billion US $

Value of organic food sales

 

USA

8000 million US$

Germany

2100 million US$

UK

1000 million US$

Italy

1000 million US$

France

  850 million US$

Switzerland

  450 million US$

India (Export)

More than 17 million US$

 

ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN INDIA

In year 2000, the National Agriculture Policy was framed and following that,

 



Planning Commission constituted a steering group on agriculture who, in turn, identified that organic farming should be taken up as a major thrust area under the 10th Plan. The region included NE rainfed area and in the areas where the consumption of agro-chemical is low or negligible like Uttranchal.
The traditional knowledge of agriculture relating to organic farming was re-assessed and its scientific up gradation was done.
DAC constituted a Task Force on organic farming which recommended the motion of organic farming.
Ministry of Commerce launched a national organic programme in April, 2000 and APEDA (Ag. Pro. Food products Exports Dev. Authority) was to implement the national programme for organic production. APEDA then set the followings-

1. National standard   2.  Accreditation criteria

3. Inspection and certification agency,  4.  Accreditation procedure

5. Inspection and certification procedure as have been approved by   

    the National Screening Committee

India’s advantages in organic agriculture

India is endowed with diverse forms of nutrients in different soil types as available in different parts of the country which help in organic cultivation.

Farmers in most parts still depend on the animals and biodiversity for agriculture

Use of chemicals in agriculture in most parts is much below the prescribed doses; in the north-east states, agrochemicals have been selectively barred since long.

Availability of organic nutritional inputs in India as estimated by NCOF, Ghaziabad is as follows:

 



Crop residue (3.865 billion tones) 2.  Animal dung (3.854 million tones)

3.  Green manure (0.223 million tones) 4. Bio-fertilizer (0.3670 million tones)

5.  Besides it has enough scope for both ancient and modern method of organic agriculture using Nadep compost, Vermi compost and other such practices.

i)    Soil fertility

     a.)   Sanjeevan System, derived from the Indian traditional knowledge system,    

essentially promotes the growth of soil microbes to a super active form through  the spray of alcoholic extracts, called “amruta” of 2 Ficus plants on composts of all kinds. The matter has been proved at Sanjeevani Sugar Factory, Kopergaon, Maharashtra, where microbial count increased to 1012  in 15 days.

b.)  Panchagabya, recommended by the Indian knowledge system, is used mostly in south India as a foliar spray for plant growth (Stock solution = 5 kg fresh cow dung  + 3 liter cow urine + 2 liter cow milk + 1 liter cow ghee + 2 liter cow milk curd + 3 liter sugar cane juice + 3 liter tender coconut water + 12 ripe bananas, kept in an earthen pot, stirred vigorously once in the morning for 15 days, 3% aqueous solution is sprayed on all crops to revive the dieing crop and envigorous the healthy crop).

c.)  Agnihotra, is an ancient Vedic method, revived recently by plant scientists and is adopted widely around the world for all crops and even for waste land reclamations.(Ingredients include a pyramidal copper vessel, few dry cow dung cakes, little cow ghee, few rice grains, a copper spoon. The dung cakes are ignited at the field every day at Sun rise and Sun set with the recitation of 2 Sanskrit mantras in praise of the Sun and fire and ash so gathered, called the “miracle powder” acts as both growth promoter and insecticide when sprayed on the field.

d)   Vermi compost or more precisely worm-cast applications. Culture and collection of worm casts of select varieties of earthworms, both native and nativised, are rich in plant nutrients and plant food generating microbes. Its applications in the farm soil help crop plants grow, flower and fruit properly.

      Raw animal dungs and decaying biodiversity make up the food of the earthworms that grow in shady moist places.

     Contribution of Earthworms to Soil fertility in form of Worm casts (in kg./ ha.)

                                                           Nitrogen (N)     Phosphorus (P)     Potash (K)  

     General soil sample       —-                   340.2                 40.8                    380.7


     Worm cast of Metaphire posthuma—   610.2                 46.7                    781.0

     (Giant tropical earth worms of Orissa)


     Initial soil sample         ——                 269.7                52.2                    561.25

    Worm casts of mixed species worms –  573.88              70.65                   825.8

          -do-        Perionyx excavatus           558.2                 61.9                    611.52

          -do-        Eisenia foetida                  698.92               90.36                  861

 

    Contributions of Biodiversity to soil fertility under 20%soil incorporations (kg. /ha)

    Soil nutrients  Initial state   Moringa   Eichornea   Cassia   Pongamia   Sesbania


  (kg./ ha.)         (kg./ ha.)        leaf             leaf           leaf       leaf            leaf


Nitrogen (N)       269.7          310.46      299.48      294.48   303.36        265.97

Phosphorus (P)    52.2             62.5          62              62.7       63              31.37

Potash (K)         561.25         598.1        608.83       596.73   594.04       540.03

 

      Major Nutrient Removal by different crops :( Unit- kg. per quintal of product)

       Crop               Crop part              Nitrogen          Phosphorus        Potash

      Paddy             grain/straw               1.34/0.61         0.54/0.37           0.27/3.70

      Groundnut      Pod/calm                  3.02/0.4           0.74/0.14           0.52/0.7

      Potato             Tuber                      0.74                 0.28                   1.4

      Gram              Grain                        5.25                 1.65                   4                   

e.)  Other minor methods such as – Soil collected from the the Banyan tree surroundings and Animal Horn Manures etc.are also used in many parts.

ii)   Pest control     

Botanicals (plant derived materials), Biological pest control agents (predatory, parasitic and parasitoidic organisms) and bio pesticides (virus and bacteria) are used to control the agricultural pests. Among all plants, Azadirachta indica,

      which contains azadirachtin is the best because it is a mixture of more than 150     

      active principles, or terpenoids against which pests can not develop resistance.

      Area

i)    Around 76000 hectare area comes under certified organic farming

ii)   2.4 million hectare is certified forest area for collection of wild herbs.

iii)   Uttranchal and Sikkim have declared themselves organic states

iv)  In Maharashtra more than 50000 hectare of which 10000 hectare is certified

v)   Karnataka, more than 1513 hectare

vi)  Most of the dry zones practice organic farming

vii)  Other states are also promoting organic farming like Rajasthan, TN, Kerala, M.P., HP and Gujarat.

National Standards

Under NPOP, GoI has developed national standard for organic products. Ministry of Agriculture has accepted this standard.



Laid on policy for development and certification of organic product
Facilitate certification of organic products confirming to the standards of the national programme
Institute a logo and prescribe its award by accrediting bodies on products qualifying for bearing India organic level
A national steering committee comprising Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture, APEDA, National Organic Products Board, Spices Board, Coffee Board, Tea Board, and various other government and private organization associated with the organic movement is monitoring the overall organic activity under NPOP in India.
The NPOP standard has got equivalency with the standard of EU commission

      and is acceptable in EU countries. The same with USA, is under process.

CERTIFICATION BODIES.

There are 12 accredited certifying agencies in the country

Name of certifying agency

 

Address

 

Name of certifying agency

 

Address

 

Association for promotion of organic farming

 

Alumni association building, Belari road, Hebbal, Bangalore

 

Indian Society for Certification for organic products

 

Rasa Building, 162/163,  Ponnai arajapuram, Coimbatore, TN

 

Indian organic certification agency

 

Thottumughan, Post Aluva, 683015, Cochin, Kerala

 

Skal Inspection and Certification Agency

 

Mahalaxmi Layout, No.191, 1st main Road, Bangalore – 560086.

 

IMO control Pvt. Ltd.

 

26, 17th main HAL, 2nd ‘A’ Stage, Bangalore – 560008, Ph. 080-25285883

 

Ecocert International

 

54A, kanchan Nagar, Nakshetrawadi, Auragabad – 413002. Maharashtra

0240-2376336

 

 

Bioinspectra

 

 

C/o Indocert, Thottumugham P.O. Aluva – 683105, Cochin, Kerala State

Ph.0484-2630908

 

SGS India Pvt. Ltd.

 

250, udyog Vihar, Phase-IV, Gurgaon-122015.

Ph.0124-2399757

 

LACON

 

Mithradham, Chunangardi

 

International Resources for Fair Trade (IRFD)

 

Sona Udyog Unit No.7 Parsi Panchayat Road

Andheri (E)

Mumbai – 400069.

Ph.022-28235246

 

One Cert Asia

 

Agrasen Farm Vatika

Road off Ton Rd.

Jaipur, Rajashtan

 

National Organic Certification Association (NOCA)

 

Pune

 

* Travel and inspection: Rs.12000-Rs.19000 per day (depending on small farmers, cooperative, estate manufacturers, large and medium sized processors).

* Report preparation: Rs.5000/-  *  Certification cost: Rs.5000/-

MARKET

As regards market, India is at a very nascent stage when it comes to export of organic products. During 2004-2005, total organic export was 6472 m.t. at a value of Rs.80-90 crore, the maximum products coming from Kerala.

Indian organic: an Overview (2004-2005)



Area under certified                                          =          2.5 million ha
Total certified product                                       =          115,238 metric tones
Total project certified                                        =          332
Number of processing units                               =          158
Accredited inspection and certifying agencies  =            11
Number of products exported                           =          35
States involved in organic export

a)      Kerala                                      =   

Author is an avid natrure analyst,has worked on & written books,research papers and short & large articles on several aspects of the nature such as farming,forest,food and water etc.

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