The burden of fertilizer subsidy, weakening of the Indian rupee and the impact of global warming, which is resulting in water scarcity, poor rainfall will now force the Union government and the state governments to mandate organic farming practices over chemical farming, said Ardhendu Sen, director, The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), a not-for-profit, policy research organisation working in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable.
The Teri director, who was the former chief secretary to the government of West Bengal, gave a presentation on Vision 2020: Government of India’s Perspective for Organic Agriculture at the 4th BioFach India 2012 in Bengaluru, in which he said that although the production of organic farming was low in the initial stages compared to chemical farm practices, there was a steady increase in its output over the years.
“While there are challenges in organic farming covering an initial fall in yield, the premium prices outweighed the negative issues. There is also the lack of focus on the marketing front, certification processes and the issue of weak market linkages. Despite the problems, the practice of organic farming is viewed as an ideal alternative to the conventional methods of cultivation, to offset the ill-effects of chemical agriculture,” Sen said.
“The somewhat high success of organic farming in some countries is only because of the high awareness of the health problems caused by the consumption of contaminated food products and environment degradation,” Sen said during a session titled 'Organic Movement 2020', a part of the seminar titled 'Organic Movement – Driving Sustainability Forward'.
“The progress of organic agriculture in India is very slow. The country has the potential to become a major organic producing region given the international demand for our farm products, different agro-climatic regions for the cultivation of a number of crops,” he said.