India is an agriculture based nation with more than 50% of the population depending on agriculture as a source of livelihood. Over the years, India practiced only organic farming without any chemical fertilizers and pesticides. However, the increasing demand of making the nation food secure and increasing the productivity to cater to the needs of the increasing population in 1960s led to collaboration of the Indian government and USA for reforming agriculture practice in India. There was increase in production and productivity in chemical or conventional farming and India was able to satisfy partly the food security. After 30-40 years, production and productivity reduced drastically with abnormal input costs and the farming sector turned to be unfavorable occupation to all concerned. Soil degradation, more diseases, uncontrollable weeds, high water consumption, unfavorable price and with several natural and manmade issues, conventional farming turned to be unworthy for farmers.
The existing farming practice is called conventional farming CF (chemical farming) using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides, mechanical implements for various processes and modern agricultural science and holds 98% of share in farming. Prior to 1965, India followed 100% natural farming or organic farming (OF) practice without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The farmers were guided to increase their productivity through use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides during the green revolution. Adding to this globalization and privatization effects led to agriculture being a loss making sector requiring huge amount of subsidies from the government. The present status of CF in our nation is alarming with several issues of manmade disasters such as threatening food security, contaminated food, mal-nutrition, health injury of all living beings, decreasing production of important crops, decreasing productivity, polluted water, shortage of water cultivation, more failures of crops, increased input costs, more weeds, more diseases, severe shortage of farm labour and natural calamity like draught, flood etc. Recent National Sample survey found that 40% of farmers wanted to quit agriculture because it was proving to be an unviable occupation. In reality, none of the farmers are willing to develop their wards to prolong his occupation. Most of the youngsters prefer occupations other than farming.
Since the profit is meager, farmer is not able pay enough to farm labours to meet for their basic needs as well as not able to provide employment throughout year for farm labours. Surveys reveal that a farm labour gets employment for less than 200 days per year. Food habit of farm labour have changed and they are unable to do manual work in the hot sun due to undernourishment hence end up migrating to other sectors for employment. Therefore, there is need to promote organic farming to improve the soil health and productivity in the long run to help generate sustainable revenue and improve the standard of living of the farmers.
Since, organic farming is found to be a better method of farming for long term sustainability. It is viewed above the conventional method of using harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic farming involves increased human labour employment and is more knowledge intensive than the conventional method which is more capital intensive requiring more energy and manufacturing inputs. The other benefits of organic farming are lower cost of cultivation, higher profits, better input use efficiency and reduced risk leading to increased income, enhanced self reliance and livelihood security of the farmers.
With an increased dependency over monsoon, seasonal income from agriculture, low productivity, and increased cost of inputs is putting enormous pressure on the farmers. In the long run as soil quality decreases further more it will be difficult to sustain from agriculture increasing threat to food security. The repeated use of fertilizer and pesticide pushed farmers into a debt trap from which they were unable to come out of due to the clutches of money lenders.
Seeing the unpredictability of the situation organic farming seems like a viable option givem the state of Indian agriculture which remained sustainable only because of low external input factor and that it turned bad only after the advent of foreign companies which sold “poisons” by marketing them as medicines. The positive impact of organic farming on soil, human health and water conservation are significant enough for the farmers to be motivated to take up organic farming.
Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. believes that encouraging farmers to take up organic farming will ensure they don’t produce poisonous food and they don’t sell poisonous food. As awareness about organic farming has increased over the past few years, they can also charge extra premium for providing chemical free food to the people. Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. understands that through CSR Campaigns and CSR livelihood projects the corporates in India has the chance to ensure India become a food secure country in the long run. Promotion of Organic farming throughout the country will ensure we export huge amount of organic food to the west where organic food is priced at higher rates. Sustainable practices in agriculture will definitely boost India’s primary sector and help reduce poverty especially in rural areas.
Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd.