Organic Farming and Food Security
By: Sunaina Lal*
India is one of the most important sectors of its economy. It
provides livelihood to almost 2/3rd of the work force in
the country and accounts for 18% of India’s GDP. Agriculture plays a
vital role in the overall socio-ecomic development of India. Large
scale use of inputs, both organic and inorganic has been a common
sight in many of the farming situation in the past several decades.
In recent times, the concept of organic farming is being forcefully
projected, as the only method for sustaining agricultural production
in the country.
Organic farming is
a form of agriculture which avoids or largely excludes the use of
synthetic fertilizer and pesticides, plant growth regulators and
livestock feed additives. Organic farming relies on crop rotation,
crop residues animal manures, biofertilizer and mechanical
cultivation to maintain soil productivity and tilth to supply plant
nutrients to control weeds, insect and other pests.
At present, there
is a gap of nearly 10 million tonnes between annual addition and
removal of nutrients by crops which are met by mining materials from
soil. A negative balance of about 8 m.t. of NPK is foreseen in 2020,
even if we continue to use chemical fertilizer, maintaining present
growth rates of the production and consumption. It is seen that only
about 20-30% nutrient needs of Indian agriculture can be met by
utilizing organic sources.
situation is at a precarious level, as food production has not kept
pace with the population growth in the recent years. A recent UNESCO
report states that 305 million children die every year in India due
to malnutrition. In this disturbing scenario, the need of the hour
is to increase our agricultural productivity. Given the constraints
of shrinking land area, drinking water resources, the only way is to
increase the agricultural production i.e. crop yield per hectare
through modern farming techniques and scientific inputs. With a
growing population and precarious food situation, undue emphasis on
“Organic farming” would put our national food security at a greater
also declines under organic farming and the extent of decline
depends on the crop type, farming system /practices. The cultivated
area required to maintain the present level of food grain production
in India, without using fertilizer will be more than Geographical
area of the country.
In order to raise
organic crops, massive quantities of farmyard manure or green manure
would be required and for this we need to raise a large cattle
population which need manure quantities of feed. All these will
necessitate more area being brought under farming, even converting
forest lands into farm lands.
like hybrid seeds, synthetic fertilizer and pesticides have helped
our first green revolution and the same will usher the country into
the second’ Green Revolution’. Integrated crop management with the
balanced use of organic and inorganic inputs and sustainable use of
natural resources will help us to move towards an "Ever green
revolution" for the benefit of present and future mankind.
Environmental Science, Jhunjhunwala P.G.College, Faizabad,