India in the top 3 countries adopting organic agriculture in 2020
Based on the most recent information, India is now one of the top three countries in the world in terms of expanding organic agriculture areas in 2020.
IFOAM-Organics International says that organic farming will grow by 3 million hectares (mh) worldwide by 2020. Argentina will grow by 7.81 million hectares, which is a 21% increase. Uruguay will grow by 5.89 million hectares, which is a 28% increase, and India will grow by 3.59 million hectares, which is a 16% increase.
Australia has 35.7 mh of the world’s total 74.9 mh under organic farming, whereas India has 2.8 mh. In comparison, India has 16 lakh certified organic farmers out of the world’s total of 34 lakh organic growers.
Experts say that the growth of organic agriculture may not be important unless and until the government does something about it. Certification and its costs are critical to growth, and there is no single department or organization in charge of them. According to analysts, the work is fragmented and spread across various organizations and ministries.
Aid for the farming community
As reported by Businessline in December 2022, the Agriculture Ministry’s ₹2,481-crore plan to create the National Mission on Natural Farming (NMNF) has yet to be approved by the Cabinet. The project is set to run from the current fiscal year until 2025-26, with a goal of bringing 7.5 lakh farmers on board to practice non-chemical natural farming over 7.5 lakh hectares. Farmers will get a maximum of ₹15,000/hectare (until 2025-26) under the scheme, depending on any income loss from transitioning to natural farming.
Officials say that it will take at least four years to reach the goal of registering 7.5 lakh farmers because building farmers’ skills through cluster formation, accreditation, and organization as FPOs is a very slow process. Since certification will also be provided for these farms, experts wonder how these items would become exported unless they were designated as ‘organic’.
Related Agri News | Govt aims to convert 6.5 lakh hectares of land to organic farming through PKVY
According to an expert, the government should decide whether to brand the crops as organic, natural, or some other label for export purposes so that no one is confused and the products earn better market prices.