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Is Organic Farming the Future of Food In India?

Organic Farming be the Future of Food In India

Organic Farming be the Future of Food In India

At this moment, maybe not.

But since more and more people are becoming enamoured by the ‘Going Green’ trend and politicos are using global warming as their trump card to winning more votes, organic farming is most definitely here to stay.

But what is organic farming? Even the posh Greenpeace-loving folks whose fridges are stocked with organic produce from gourmet grocers, most often do not know what Organic farming is all about.

“Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure,compost, and biological pest control.” – Wikipedia

Basically any kind of farming that uses natural methods to produce fresh crop instead of artificial chemical methods, such as, the use of manure as opposed to commercial fertilizer, is referred to as organic farming. The organic movement is vehemently opposed to intensive farming and chemical-based agribusiness and aims to go back to basics when it comes to farming.

Modern day organic farming can trace its roots to the Indian Subcontinent. The pioneer of the movement was British botanist, Sir Albert Howard, who studied traditional farming methods applied in India in the 1900’s. Since India was still relying mostly on traditional methods, for lack of easy access to chemical methods, they could study the soil and draw an appropriate consensus on what methods could be employed to restore the quality of the soil and fight the ill effects of chemical farming.

However, India too got caught up in the highly environmentally unfriendly approach to the agriculture business.

But now, with more awareness being created on the positive effects of organic farming, both in terms of health and environment, India is once again warming up to the idea.

In the last three years, there has been a tremendous growth in the organic farming industry. According to the Economic Times, the number of organic farmers have increased by 5 times in this time span.

Sanjay Pawar and Sadubhau Shelake, of the  Kashyap who manage a group of about 350 organic growers has a loyal clientele, which includes celebrity customers. Celebrities like Kiran Rao have openly spoken in favour of the industry. Popular Malayalam film actor and director Sreenivasan also runs his own organic farm. Organic India, Down to Earth, Vedantika Herbals and a host of other brands associated with organic farming are becoming popular with mainstream retail chains too.

However, because of the lack of subsidies, and difficulty in marketing, it is still an uphill journey for the organic farmers in India. However, there is no denying the fact that the popularity tide is definitely in the favour of organic farming. It may very well become the most popular choice for farmers in the future.

Ramya Menon, is a food journalist, heading the editorial team at Cucumbertown. She has an extensive interest in healthy living and being environmentally aware.

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