Organic farming and its potential
Organic Farming aims at production of quality and safe agricultural products which contain no chemical residues. It follows eco-friendly production methods and farming systems that restore and maintain soil fertility. Organic Farming is gaining momentum all over the world as it offers a means to address food self reliance, rural development and nature conservation.
World over 43.7 million hectares of land (1% of total agricultural land) is being managed organically by 2 million producers across 172 countries. The area under organic cultivation and the global organic food market is increasing at 10% and 12%, respectively, over the last 14 years and global market is estimated to reach USD 80 billion by 2018.
As on March 2016, India has brought 57.09 lakh ha area under organic certification. India exported 2.64 lakh tons of various commodities worth about Rs. 1,900 crore, which account for 0.3% of total global organic trade.
Karnataka stands 5th in the country in terms of total cultivated area under organic certification at 93,963 ha as on March 2016 and 3rd in terms of total certified production at 2,82,633 tons. This is an indication of the immense opportunities available to the state in view of its inherent advantage of climate and diversified production. Important crop commodities exported from the state are cane sugar, mango pulp, cashew nuts, pineapple juice, etc. Other crops that have high export potential and can be given enhanced thrust and focus for organic farming and export are coffee, coconut, spices, pulses, medicinal and aromatic crops. Fruits and fruit products also have a huge future potential.
Karnataka – Pioneer in Organic Agriculture
- 1st State to formulate Organic Farming Policy way back in 2004
- Several promotional programmes resulting in nearly one lakh hectares under organic cultivation.
- Research stations in all state agricultural universities studying package of practices
- 14 Regional Federations of Organic Farmers Associations to facilitate value addition, processing and marketing
- Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency to cater to the needs of certification
- Organic Farming Directory of all stakeholders developed
- Strong customer base for organic products
- Bengaluru – the organic hub of India with over 160 exclusive organic outlets, more than 400 corporate retail outlets and 8-9 exclusive organic restaurants
Important Crops under Organic Cultivation
- Cereals and millets (Non basmati paddy, Maize, Bajra and Ragi) and fruits (Mango, Pineapple, Banana)
- Spices and condiments (Arecanut, Black Pepper, Chilli, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Turmeric, Nutmeg, Parsley and Bay leaves)
- Sugar cane
- Plantation crops (Coffee, Coconut)
- Pulses (Black gram, Green gram, Bengal gram, Horse gram and Pigeon pea)
- Oilseeds (Sesame, Ground nut and Soyabean)
- Medicinal and aromatic plants (Amla, Aswagandha, Brahmi, Tulsi, Citronella, Chia, Gymnema, Lemon grass, Moringa, Palmarosa)