5 major challenges of Organic farmers in India

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14 May 2022, New Delhi: India’s organic food market is estimated to reach $10 billion by 2025 according to industry experts. As per Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Indian organic export rose to INR 5,000 crores in 2018 and is expected to reach INR 10,000 by the end of 2022. 

Largest acreage under organic farming

Madhya Pradesh has the largest land coverage under organic cultivation (11.61 lakh hectare), which is 27% of Indias total area under organic cultivation (Source: APEDA 2021). This acreage includes tribal / wild organic cultivation of about 2.68 lakh hectare. The total organic production was reported 9.8 lakh metric tonnes. Organic produce worth Rs 1.67 lakh crores have been exported from the state in 2019 as per a report from NABARD.

Some of the major organic clusters in Madhya Pradesh are Badwani, Jhabua, Allirajpur, Chhindwara, Mandla, Dindori, Balaghat, Sheopur, Guna, Narsingpur, Katni and Mandsour.

Major challenges of organic farming:

1. Lack of awareness: Lack of awareness among farmers about organic farming and its benefits. 

2. Marketing and Prices: Marketability of organic produce over conventional produce must be assured. Inability to obtain a premium price for the produce during initial stage leads to losses.

3. Shortage of biomass in soil: Shortage of essential nutrients soil leads to low productivity. Biomass rich soil is essential to improve nutrition for plants uptake.

4. Inadequate infrastructure: State governments are yet to formulate a credible mechanism and necessary policies for implementation. Presence of very few organic certification agencies in each state.

5. High Cost and unavailability of inputs: The cost of organic inputs are more than that of industrially produced agrochemicals used in the conventional farming system. Althought these inputs can be made at home by farmers but very few are aware about the complete science of making organic fertilizers and pesticides through natural process.

Also Read: Bayer celebrates 30 years of water use efficiency gains in Australian cotton

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