Organic farming acreage to go up 65% this fiscal

Written by fe Bureaus | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 29 2009, 03:26am hrs
Despite drought-like situation in the country, area under certified organic farming is expected to rise by more than 65% in the current season as such crops require less water than usual varities, head of a leading lobby group of organic agriculture said.

At present, 12 lakh hectare is under organic farming and we expect it to reach to 20 lakh hectare by 2012, International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) executive director Manoj Menon said.

According to National Centre for Organic Farming director AK Yadav, area under certified organic farming has seen a constant rise. In the financial year 2008-09, 12 lakh hectare was covered under organic farming up from 8.65 lakh hectare in the financial year 2007-08.

When asked about the impact of drought-like situation in the country, ICCOA president Mukesh Gupta said drought will have a positive impact on organic farming as it requires 20-30% less water for cultivation when compared to conventional farming.

Almost 5 lakh farmers have switched to organic farming with variety of produces.

Input cost for organic farming is 40% less as compared to traditional farming and yield also goes up over a period of time, he added.

On export ban on agricultural products, he said it will affect the organic market. From last 10 years, organic farming was mainly export oriented. Now we are tapping domestic market to create demand for organic produce.

As part of this, BioFach India international organic trade fair together with India organic will be conducted from November 18-20 in Mumbai.