The importance of organic farming has increased manifolds while keeping in view the immediate menace of climate change. 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 schemes/ programmes viz

  1. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)/ Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana(PKVY) ,
  2. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY),
  3. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH),
  4. National Mission on Oilseeds & Oil Palm (NMOOP)
  5. Network Project on Organic Farming of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and
  6. National Programme on Organic Production (NPOP) of Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)

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 . . .

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

Establishment of National Organic Farming Research Institute in Sikkim

  1. The Institute will provide research and technological backstopping to Organic Production System in country
  2. It will undertake basic, strategic and adaptive research on efficient, economically viable and environmentally sustainable organic farming systems
  3. For improving productivity, resource use efficiencies and quality of produce
  4. It will impart vocational and advanced training to stakeholders for promotion of organic farming in the country

‘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.

Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Releases Horticultural Statistics

In order to provide detailed information on horticulture crops, “Horticultural Statistics at a Glance – 2015” brought out by Department of Agriculture.

  1. This covering diverse aspects such as area, production, productivity, growth trends, percentage share, value of output and so on for major horticultural crops.
  2. They launched a Programme in September, 2014 called Coordinated Programme on Horticulture Assessment and MAnagement using geoiNformatics (CHAMAN).
  3. Under which scientific methodologies of Remote Sensing and Sample Survey is being used for assessment of area and production of major horticulture crops.
  4. Launched a Programme called Horticulture Area and Production Information System (HAPIS) in February, 2015.
  5. This is a web portal for online submission of district level data pertaining to area and production of horticulture crops.

Let’s know about Organic block panchayat?

  1. The project is being implemented with the help of Hill Area Development Authority, Integrated Watershed Development Programme and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  2. The Agriculture Department will coordinate the farming activities with the help of local bodies.
  3. Efforts are already on to ensure the active involvement of the masses in the project.
  4. Under this scheme, loans with subsidies will be made available to interested farmers, besides supply of seeds and organic fertilizers.

Alathur to become first organic block panchayat

Alathur is all set to become the first block panchayat in Kerala to achieve self-sufficiency in production and consumption of organically grown vegetables.

  1. The block panchayat has begun a novel initiative in this regard with the cooperation of 8 grama panchayats under it.
  2. By the end of the next economic year, the block will produce all fruits and vegetables for its residents based on the requirement.
  3. A farmers’ market without the involvement of middlemen will also be set up at Vadakkanchery in the block.
  4. After achieving self-sufficiency, retail outlets will be started in other parts of the State to sell the excess quantity of fruits and vegetables.

Participatory Guarantee System for Organic Farming

  1. Participatory Guarantee System is a process of certifying organic products.
  2. Ensures agriculture production process in accordance with the standards laid down for organic products and that desired quality has been maintained.
  3. Will enable small and marginal farmer to have easy access to organic certification.
  4. Note that it would be a decentralised organic farming certification system – implemented by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.

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

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