agroecology-and-natural-farming

Context: Recently, International experts in a convention organized on 29 May by NITI Aayog endorsed efforts to significantly boost agroecological and natural farming approaches in India.

More on news:

  • The Minister of Agriculture stated, “Natural farming is our indigenous system based on cow dung and urine, biomass, mulch and soil aeration”.
  • The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana launched in 2015 to promote organic farming among small and marginal farmers has in the last four years covered 7 lakh hectares and 8 lakh farmers. 
  • Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, and Kerala have taken up natural farming on a large scale. 
  • He also highlighted that the need of the hour, in light of the covid-19 pandemic, was to have ‘food free from chemical fertilisers and pesticides’, while not ignoring the need to feed and nourish the country.
  • It would be a mistake to view natural farming as a step backwards to the farming techniques of our forefathers, but rather, as the high level panel of experts report on Agroecology to the Committee on Food Security of FAO so clearly demonstrated, it is based on cutting-edge science of the future that recognises the need for systemic approaches to dealing with complex adaptive systems that are the basis of a healthy natural world. 

Organic Farming:

  • Organic agriculture is a unique production management system which promotes and enhances agroecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity, and this is accomplished by using on-farm agronomic, biological and mechanical methods in exclusion of all synthetic off-farm inputs. - FAO 

Note-Sikkim is India’s first fully organic state and it implements organic practices on around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land. 

Agroecology

  • It is the study of ecological processes applied to agricultural production systems. 
  • Bringing ecological principles to bear can suggest new management approaches in agroecosystems. 
  • The term is often used imprecisely. Agroecologists study a variety of agroecosystems. The field of agroecology is not associated with any one particular method of farming, whether it be organic, integrated, or conventional, intensive or extensive, although some use the name specifically for alternative agriculture.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana

  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA). 
  • Under PKVY Organic farming is promoted through adoption of organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification. 
  • The Scheme envisages  Promotion of commercial organic production through certified organic farming.  
  • The produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improve the health of the consumer.  It will raise farmer's income and create a potential market for traders.  
  • It will motivate the farmers for natural resource mobilization for input production. 

Components of Paramparagat krishi vikas yojana: 

  • Adoption of Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification through cluster approach: 
    • Mobilization of farmers / local people to form clusters in 50 acre for PGS certification.
    • PGS Certification and Quality control 
  • Adoption of organic village for manure management and biological nitrogen harvesting through cluster approach 

1.  Action plan for Organic Farming for one cluster 

2.  Integrated Manure Management 

3.  Custom Hiring Centre (CHC) charges 

4.  Packing, Labeling and Branding of organic products of cluster 

Jaivik Kheti portal

  • e-marketing portal for Organic Products: Jaivikkheti portal is a one stop solution for facilitating organic farmers to sell their organic produce and promoting organic farming and its benefits. 
  • This portal caters various stakeholders like local groups, individual farmers, buyers and input suppliers

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1628285#:~:text=Agroecology and Natural Farming Could Accelerate Inclusive Economic Growth in India&text=He further noted that the,hectares and 8 lakh farmers.