[Starts Sept 15] Join Flagship TS Batch 2 for IAS Prelims 2018

To join click here | Want a demo test? Click here | Have Q? Call us at 8823831311

The market for organic food in this country is likely to treble in the next four years, according to a report from business chamber Assocham and TechSci Research, a non-government body.


  • What is organic farming?
  • Need for organic farming in India
  • Key characteristics of organic farming
  • Steps taken by the Government to promote organic farming in India
  • Key features of PKVY
  • Status of Organic farming in India
  • Why demand for organic products are increasing in recent years?
  • Challenges and constraints faced by Organic farming in India

What is organic farming?

Organic farming system in India is not new and is being followed from ancient time.

It is a method of farming system which primarily aimed at cultivating the land and raising crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by use of organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes (biofertilizers) to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco friendly pollution free environment.

Need for organic farming in India

With the increase in population our compulsion would be not only to stabilize agricultural production but to increase it further in sustainable manner.

The scientists have realized that the ‘Green Revolution’ with high input use has reached a plateau and is now sustained with diminishing return of falling dividends.

Thus, a natural balance needs to be maintained at all cost for existence of life and property. The obvious choice for that would be more relevant in the present era, when these agrochemicals which are produced from fossil fuel and are not renewable and are diminishing in availability. It may also cost heavily on our foreign exchange in future.

The key characteristics of organic farming include

  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by maintaining organic matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, and careful mechanical intervention
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil micro-organisms
  • Nitrogen self-sufficiency through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation, as well as effective recycling of organic materials including crop residues and livestock manures
  • Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, natural predators, diversity, organic manuring, resistant varieties and limited (preferably minimal) thermal, biological and chemical intervention
  • The extensive management of livestock, paying full regard to their evolutionary adaptations, behavioral needs and animal welfare issues with respect to nutrition, housing, health, breeding and rearing
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the wider environment and the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats

Steps taken by the Government to promote organic farming in India

Government is promoting Organic farming through various schèmes

  1. National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF)
  2. National Horticulture Mission (NHM)
  3. Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalyan States (HMNEH)
  4. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)
  5. Network Project on Organic Farming of Indian Council Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  6. In addition to this, Government is implementing  a Cluster based programme   to encourage the farmer for promoting organic farming called Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

Key features of PKVY

  • Groups of farmers would be motivated to take up organic farming under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY). Fifty or more farmers will form a cluster having 50 acre land to take up the organic farming under the scheme.
  • In this way during three years 10,000 clusters will be formed covering 5.0 lakh acre area under organic farming. There will be no liability on the farmers for expenditure on certification.
  • Every farmer will be provided Rs. 20,000 per acre in three years for seed to harvesting of crops and to transport produce to the market.
  • Organic farming will be promoted by using traditional resources and the organic products will be linked with the market.
  • It will increase domestic production and certification of organic produce by involving farmers

Status of Organic farming in India


  • The current market (pulses and foodgrain the bulk) of organic food is at $500 million (about Rs 3,350 crore). It was $360 million (Rs 2,400 crore) in 2014.
  • Although nascent, the Indian organic food market has begun growing rapidly in last few years. A report by Yes Bank in 2014 said that the organic food sector is growing at about 20% in India, with more than 100 retail organic outlets in Mumbai and about 60 in Bangalore.
  • Total area under organic certification in India in 2013-14 is estimated to be 4.72 million ha with 15 per cent are certified and the rest under forest area. India has the highest number of organic producers in the world (5,97,873), mainly due to small holdings.
  • During 2013-14, India exported 135 products, realisation from which was to the tune of $403, million including $183 million contributed by exports of organic textile. Major destinations for organic products from India are the US, EU, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asian countries, West Asia, South Africa, etc.
  • Soyabean (70 per cent) lead among the products exported followed by cereals and millets other than basmati (six per cent), processed food products (five per cent), basmati rice (four per cent), sugar (three per cent), tea (two per cent), pulses and lentils (one per cent), dry fruits (one per cent), spices (one per cent).

Why is the demand for organic products increasing in recent years


Challenges and constraints faced by Organic farming in India

  • The most important issue facing organic farming is its failure to raise the productivity to keep pace with the growing population. Studies, according to a latest report in The Wall Street Journal, have shown that organic yields are far less than yields of conventional farming. As per the 2011 survey data of National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the US organic farming would require 14.5 million acres more to equal conventional farming’s production of 14 staple (human-focused food crops).
  • There is a wide gap in scientific validation and research compared to the progress in the same for general agriculture. Also, there is a need to aid farmers with advisory services (technical and managerial support to form cluster and adopt best management practices).
  • Due to lack of government support, the courage needed to convert inorganic land into organic land is missing also there is  absence of globally recognized consultancy for timely guidance to farmers. Thus, huge support from states and the Centre is required.
  • Key problems faced by organic farmers during the transition phase are non-realisation of premium.


Any doubts?

  1. Profile photo of tsherin wanchu tsherin wanchu

    No info about Sikkim..First organic state of India!

  2. Profile photo of neha mittal neha mittal

    What does ‘non realization of premium’ means?

    1. Profile photo of Srishty Arun Srishty Arun

      Hi Neha, you could consider non realisation of premium as the farmers’ inability to pay for the upkeep of organic farms in transition. For example, consider the insurance premiums we pay to ensure we have a valid insurance policy. On non payment or non realisation of the premium, the insurance could be terminated. Similarly, to ensure adequate yield/return, certain premium is required until the transition is complete.
      Hope this helps.

  3. Profile photo of Chirag Jogani Chirag Jogani

    Hi CD !
    Very well explained all the tit-bits at a single place…

  4. Profile photo of Root Root

    Updated with CD Explains

  5. Profile photo of Adithi Nishu Adithi Nishu

    cant move with out commenting great effort….im d begginer… slapping myself for taking long to find such…

    1. Profile photo of Root Root

      Enjoy the ride Adithi. Follow news daily on the android app and come to the web for better engagements 🙂

  6. Profile photo of Nilofer Dayma Nilofer Dayma

    Hi CD,
    I couldnt find first CD offline magazine anywhere in Ahmedabad. There is no such agency like Mehul and Nidhi agency didnt have such magazine.
    Can you plz provide proper adress and contac no of the distributrers in Ahmedabad.
    Excited to get magazine…plz rply soon 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Root Root


      I think you won’t be able to contact the agency directly as such. We should have given the bookstore list but we did not have them back then.

      why don’t you try and order directly from the publisher’s website?


      1. Profile photo of Nilofer Dayma Nilofer Dayma

        ok…bt still it wud b bttr if u will mk it avlbl at regional stores.

        1. Profile photo of Root Root

          Yes ofcourse, we will try to have it available via flipkart, amazon etc as well. Takes a bit of time to set everything up!

          Bear with us for a while!

          1. Profile photo of Nilofer Dayma Nilofer Dayma

            Its fine…you guys are already awesome!
            Wish you the best!

  7. Profile photo of Sampath Goud Sampath Goud

    What is CoP-21 meeting?

    1. Profile photo of शुभम पान्डे शुभम पान्डे

      cop- conference of parties. . . in paris summit . . .

[op-ed snap] Hunger solutions from the soil

  1. Theme: The dependence of food security on agricultural soils.
  2. According to the IPCC, reduction in the quality of soil, compounded by climate change, will lead to a worldwide decline in agricultural production, thereby threatening food security and stability of food prices.
  3. The climate, soil and agricultural production continuum: Agricultural soils are among the largest reservoirs of carbon and hold the potential for extensive carbon sequestration but increased temperature can lead to the soils releasing carbon and enhance the carbon concentration in the atmosphere.
  4. Rising levels of atmospheric carbon can influence the growth and productivity of agricultural crops.
  5. Decreased soil quality, due to loss of soil organic matter, will affect essential soil properties, including nutrient availability, soil structure, water-holding capacity and erosion capacity.
  6. Role played by FAO: FAO encourages restoring of degraded soils, sustainable management of land and water resources and adoption of sustainable agricultural practices tailored to local contexts.
  7. FAO promotes agricultural systems and agro-ecological practices that nurture soil biodiversity e.g. organic farming, zero-tillage, crop rotations and conservation agriculture.
  8. Recent initiatives: The Soil Health Card scheme of the government has reached out to approximately 30 million farmers to improve agricultural productivity and soil health.
  9. FAO, in partnership with the GoI, has undertaken projects in seven drought-prone districts of Andhra Pradesh on groundwater conservation for improved crop production.
  10. FAO is also collaborating with the Union ministries for agriculture and environment on a green agriculture project, focusing on eco-restoration of one million hectares of degraded land; self-replication through sustainable business models and conserving keystone species in project states—Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
  11. The way ahead: Strategies on agricultural production should focus on sustainable production, enhanced natural resource management, reduced soil emissions, and mitigating the risks of climate change.

Push for disease-resistant organic fruits

  1. Context: To promote organic cultivation in India
  2. Focus: Developing disease resistant varieties that can be grown without pesticides
  3. ‘Fruit breeding in tropics and sub-tropics- an Indian perspective’ is a symposium jointly organized by Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR)
  4. Aim: To deliberate issues related to development of disease resistant varieties of fruits and plants
  5. It would also look at conservation of indigenous fruit varieties

‘Organic tag to boost Sikkim’s cardamom exports’

Organically-grown large cardamom may be priced higher than its fertiliser-fed counterpart but the former has burgeoning premium-class consumers abroad.


  1. The global demand for large cardamom grown in India is expected to rise with Sikkim, which produces a chunk of this highly-valued spice.
  2. The organically-raised large cardamom, initiative under Make in India mission, aims to make the country a global hub of indigenously-developed products.
  3. Sikkim, which grows large cardamom in 17,000 hectares of land, produces 4,000 metric tonnes (90 per cent of the country’s production) of the spice annually.
  4. Spices Board has a team of 50-odd employees working in Sikkim to not just sustain organic farming but empower the growers to earn more from their produce.
  5. The Spices Board is set to unveil an e-platform for its famed fortnightly auction in Sikkim’s traditional spice market of Singtam.

Let’s know about Organic Farming?

  1. Organic cultivation doesn’t involve the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and thus helps to maintain a harmonious balance among the various complex ecosystems.
  2. Also it has improved the quality of the soil which further improves the standards of the crops produced there.
  3. In the long term, organic farming leads in subsistence of agriculture, bio-diversity conservation and environmental protection.
  4. It will also help in building the soil health resulting in sustainable increased crop production.

Sikkim becomes the first fully organic state of India

  1. With a population of around 6 lakhs, the state also known as the Land of Flower, will now be known for its Organic initiative too.
  2. Over the years around 75000 hectares of land in the state has been converted into certified organic farms.
  3. Following the guidelines as prescribed by National Programme for Organic Production.
  4. Within 1.24 million tonnes of organic production in the country around 80000 million is supplied by Sikkim alone.
  5. With this, Sikkim now joins hands with the organic states of the foreign countries like California, Wisconsin among others.

PM inaugurates Sikkim Organic Festival 2016

He addressed the Plenary Session of the National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, at Gangtok in Sikkim.

  1. The Prime Minister recalled CoP-21 meeting in Paris, where the idea of “back to basics” had been raised forcefully.
  2. He said Sikkim has already achieved that feat of living in harmony with nature, and is therefore a model of development which also protects nature.
  3. The Prime Minister complimented Sikkim for Gangtok being rated as the 10th cleanest city in a survey conducted by the Government of India.
  4. The Prime Minister exhorted States to identify a district, or even a block, to convert to a 100 percent organic area.
  5. The Prime Minister suggested that a digital online platform of progressive farmers should be developed in each State.

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

Highest Rated App. Over 3 lakh users. Click to Download!!!