Research Maps Out Best Organic Farming Regions in India
Nagpur: The government is planning an organic revolution for the country, and by identifying areas holding high potential for the same, the ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) has come to its aid.
The bureau along with ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal, and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has prepared a geo-spatial digital map showing organic carbon stock in the soils of all states, after completing scientific research that started in 2011.
The study reveals that, almost the entire North-Eastern India, including Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur are perfectly fit for organic farming, apart from Sikkim, which became India's first fully organic state last year.
Two lakh soil samples from all over the country were collected and analyzed for determining the content of organic carbon, during the research.
Surendra Kumar Singh, director of ICAR-NBSS&LUP said, "Organic farming will give best results in areas having high quantity of organic carbon, which is a rich source of nutrients. In conventional farming, urea, nitrogen, phosphorous, insecticides and pesticides are used. But in organic farming, only natural manure is used and thus soils with adequate nutrients as evidenced by high organic carbon content are likely to produce high yield."
The map shows that parts of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, also falling under the Western Ghats, possess rich organic carbon and are ideal for organic farming. In northern India, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand and parts of Jammu and Kashmir are the best zones to support organic farming. On the other hand, states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have low potential for organic farming due to "intensive cultivation".
The research also aims at developing strategies for sustainable agriculture to combat climate change. Now ICAR-NBSS&LUP plans to publish the data and share it with the Prime Minister's Office, Planning Commission, and other concerned departments.