Sustainable organic farming has recently made inroads into thecountry as the agricultural environment is gradually depleting the air, ground water levels and soil through excessive use of chemicals, fertilizers, genetically modified seeds and monoculture cropping practices to maintain a healthy bio-diversity.
The need for feeding an ever increasing population is largely met through chemical farming which aims at high yields through artificial means. This not only ecologically harmful but is the primary cause for a variety of illness of the human body. With the emphasis on global warming and the current agricultural practice being employed has been one of the contributing factors to degradation of the environment which has a direct effect on erratic weather patterns. Organic farming is in a nutshell making use of a basket of traditional agricultural knowledge in an organized manner through the process of certification / rigorous monitoring.
The farmers are taught methods to revitalize the soil through natural means by making their own green fertilizers and insect repellants from the flora in the viscinity of the growing area and also less dependant on large scale irrigation through techniques of water and soil conservation. Each step is monitored from planting to delivery to the consumer to ensure that traceability of the product is ensured for its purity.
Animals are poultry are reared in a natural manner and fed on organic produce from the farms. They too are treated with traditional medicines when ill. The animal and bird droppings are utilised for manure in the organic farms.
The farmer is taught to be reliant on chemicals, pesticides and genetically modified seeds and this in combination with organic agricultural practices taught to him, ensures his input costs are lowered.
Hence, by encouraging small farmers go organic, we at the Bhumi Vardaan ensure that the small and marginal farmer get a better realization for their produce, promote environment and social change and our consumer get to enjoy “the blessings of the earth”.
Organic Farming is still in its infancy and does not benefit from any real economies of scale. Everything from growing, lab testing, packaging, transporting and finally certifying the produce costs more per unit than mass produced food. These costs will certainly come down as the market matures. It also takes more labour and care to nurture a healthy bio-diverse system than it does to spray a mono-crop with chemicals. Conversely, conventionally produced food can appear cheaper than it really is. Firstly government subsidies are tailored to help the conventional farmer. Chemical fertilizers for instance are a fraction of the price than they would otherwise be.
Secondly the ‘costs’ to the environment and to the health of the farming communities are not considered in the costing of chemical based agriculture.