Sees its vital role not only in domestic markets but also global trade

“Organic farming can play a significant role not only in growing domestic markets but also in global food trade,” Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here on Wednesday.

Addressing members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry, Mr. Pawar said that in 2009-10 organic agriculture under certification had grown to 10.5-lakh hectares compared to 42,000 hectares during 2003-04. Of this, nearly 7.5-lakh hectares was fully certified while the remaining was under various stages of conversion.

Organic farming is not only an ideal option for rain-fed, marginal land and hilly areas but it also ensures increased availability of organic and biological nutrients for restoring soil health and conservation of resources.

Collective effort

The Minister attributed the “good success” of organic farming to the “combined effect of farmers' efforts, NGOs, government interventions and market forces.”

The Agriculture Ministry is promoting organic farming through the National Project on Organic Farming, National Horticulture Mission, Technology Mission for North East and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. An innovative certification system has been included in the National Project on Organic Farming from this year.

ICAR project

The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has initiated an all-India network project on organic farming to ensure the development and promotion of scientifically proven methodologies.

State governments have also started their own organic farming promotion programmes. Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram and Uttarakhand have already drafted policies for organic farming promotion. Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram and Uttarakhand have declared their intention to go 100 per cent organic in due course of time.

Among the Members of Parliament who participated in the meeting was noted agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan.

Keywords: organic farming