Organic Farming in India
According to a 2013 study conducted by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), there are about two million farmers across the globe who practice organic farming methods and roughly 80 percent of these farms are in India. It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that our country is at the centre of an organic revolution that is set to take the world by storm. Certified or not, the abundance of organic farms in India is certainly not surprising since it is only a continuation of the age-old farming practices followed by our ancestors.
Organic farming has become increasingly important in India given the rising number of concerns that use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are throwing up. GMO (genetically modified) crops may provide an excellent yield but their long-term effects are as yet untested and people are not quite ready to trust these foods. Apart from this, there has been a significant rise in the demand for organic food across the world. Promoting these organic-farming techniques only leaves India best poised to cash in on the immense export potential of these foods. Keeping these in focus, the government of India has decided to launch the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.
Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), an initiative to promote organic farming in the country, was launched by the NDA government in 2015. In his 2016 budget speech the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley came out strongly in support of implementation of the scheme. According to the scheme, farmers will be encouraged to form groups or clusters and take to organic farming methods over large areas in the country. To avail the scheme, each cluster or group must have 50 farmers willing to take up organic farming under the PKVY and possess a total area of at least 50 acres. Each farmer enrolling in the scheme will be provided INR 20,000 per acre by the government spread over three years time. This fund can be utilized for obtaining organic seed, harvesting of the crops, and transporting the produce to the local markets.
The aim is to form 10,000 clusters over the next three years and bring about five lakh acres of agricultural area under organic farming. The government also intends to cover the certification costs and promote organic farming through the use of traditional resources. Organic food, thus produced will be linked with modern marketing tools and local markets. The north eastern states of India shall be in special focus and the government shall step up efforts to connect the organic produce in these parts with both domestic and export markets. A sum of INR 412 crore has been allocated by the government to implement the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana in the financial year 2016-17.
Prior to the NDA’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, the UPA government had initiated a number of schemes and programmes aimed at developing agricultural activity in the country and improving the lot of the rural sector. Schemes such as National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), National Horticulture Mission (NHM), Mission for Integrated Development and Horticulture (MIDH), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Programme on Organic Production (NPOP), and National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) were in place but none of them was far in making organic farming their main focus. The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna attempts to attain two ends –
1. Make clusters or groups of farmers to maximize resource pooling and cooperation.
2. Disseminate benefits to the greatest number of farmers and maximize promotion of organic farming.
So despite accusations that the PKVY is merely a repackaging of previously existing schemes, it really is a more focused and targeted approach towards promotion of organic farming techniques and benefits.
Organic Farming Policy 2005
Despite a lack of specific focus in their schemes, the UPA government did, in a sense, set the stage for the development of organic farming in India on a large scale. Since the launch of the Organic Farming Policy of 2005, there has been an increase in the area under organic farming by about 70 percent, some news reports suggest. Sikkim is now a fully organic state.
A major thrust towards organic cultivation, however, will require a number of other initiatives and infrastructural support. Active involvement in studying crops and their diseases, development of organic manure, natural pesticides, training of farmers, and provision of storage and connectivity are all important areas to look into. Now that the foundation is laid with the PKVY, we can only hope that the government steps up and takes its support of organic farming to the next level.
More Programmes Launched by Modi :
National LED Programme
Soil Health Card Schemes for Indian Farmers
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana
PM Modi’s Agricultural Reforms Agenda
Atal Pension Yojana
MUDRA Bank Yojana
Start-up India, Stand-up India
Sukanya Samriddhi Account
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY)
Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
One Rank One Pension Scheme
Seventh Pay Commission
Garib Kalyan Yojana
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme
Jan Dhan Yojana
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Making India Clean & More