Status and Scope of Organic Farming

Authors: Y C Sale, B T Kamble and K R Waykar Integrated Farming Systems Research Project, Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri - 413 722, Maharashtra, India

With more than half of its land being degraded, India has very bleak prospects of sustaining even the existing crop yield rates in the coming decades, if necessary measures to arrest this trend and restore the degraded lands are not taken up on a sufficiently large scale. Future increase in productivity should be based on a better controlled application of water and agro-chemicals, as well as on more extensive use of organic manures, non-chemical means of pest control and renewable sources of energy. As such, organic farming holds key role for agricultural development. Organic farming is an agriculture production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and growth regulators. The traditional organic farming system relies upon crop rotation with leguminous crops, addition of crop residues, animal manures and green manuring. Practicing exclusively organic farming will have the limitation of being a low input-low output system but when integrated with bio-inputs like bio-fertilizer, bio-pesticides and effective micro-organism the higher yield level could be obtained. Present paper examines status and scope of organic farming covering the aspects viz demand and supply of organic foods, yield enhancing potential of bio-inputs like bio-fertilizers, effective microorganism (EM) and bio-pesticides as well as scope of organic farming in the process of agricultural development.

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