Organic Farming Could Tackle Food Insecurity in India
Rome: While announcing a target contribution of USD 3.5 billion in loans and grants by IFAD for developing countries, Gilbert F Houngbo, the president of the International Fund for Agricultural development (IFAD) said that, alternative methods of farming, such as organic farming, introduced by the Indian government in several states is the right strategy to tackle food insecurity, improving nutrition and alleviating poverty in the country.
On the sidelines of the forty-first session of the IFAD Governing Council, Houngbo told, “In December 2017, when I was in India I saw the plans laid out by the Indian ministry of agriculture for various agricultural schemes PM Narendra Modi has launched. I do believe organic farming is one of the right strategies that can be used to fight food insecurity, improve nutrition and alleviate poverty in India. In fact, the right approach to farming and non-farming activities could be the answer to economic migration."
The Centre has been laying thrust on organic farming as one of the ways of doubling farmers' income by 2022. Recently, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh at the North-East Regional Agriculture Fair 2018 said that farmers can increase their income by adopting technologies like crop rotation, integrated farming and organic farming instead of relying on traditional farming.
A recent study of the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) released in November 2017 shows that since the programme was launched in 2015, 6,211 organic clusters have come up in 25 states. There is a push on other states to also go fully organic, since Sikkim became India's first fully organic state in 2016. The Centre sanctioned Rs 1,500 crore to promote organic farming in Uttarakhand in last month.
A country must keep in mind the changing pattern of consumption while introducing alternative methods of farming and efforts to eliminate hunger and poverty have to be redoubled in the face of difficulties posed by climate change, said the IFAD president.