Lecture 1: Organic Farming: Introduction and Status


Good morning. I welcome you all to NPTEL online
course Organic Farming for Sustainable Agricultural Production. So, regarding agricultural productions,
so, the issues of origins last few decades looking at the adverse effect of conventional
farming. The conventional farming has posed a serious threat on food quality, environments
and water quality too. In this view, organic farming is gaining momentum
throughout the world to provide a better environments, better food quality to the consumers.
So, uh in these figures see ah the history of organic farming. As you see the agricultural
has started 10000 years ago, where, the crop cultivation started with the the arable crops
like wheat, barley followed by some pulse rice crops also. During that periods, there
are no chemical fertilizers, only farming system that existed along with crops and animal
husbandry. So, this was a integrated concepts where the
crop has grown through organic use of the cow dung. Slowly, ah the cultivation was only
of ah organic and that was a subsistence farming, but with the increasing population growth
if there is a rapid demand of increasing food productions, so that it encourage the use
of high yielding varieties of the hybrid cultivars for increasing production to meet the growing
demand of the population. So, to exploit the yield potential from the
high yielding cultivars there was need for the use of chemical fertilizer. So, after
organic so, we converted to inorganic to meet the demand of the growing populations with
the increasing food and production. So, the that happened during the late 60’s.
So, time reached when the production became plateau with the use of the inorganic fertilizer;
at the same time it it it created many adverse effect like the deterioration of soil quality
and the environmental quality; ultimately the food quality.
In 90’s then there was a need of good air for breathing good quality of water drink
on early 2000; so, there was need of the good quality food for better human health. Hence,
so to have a better environment, better food quality and better drinking water quality
we are now again converting to organic farming , but issues comes how the population is growing
and we need to meet the demand of the growing populations through the increasing food and
productions, whether the organic way of managing crop productions can meet the the demand of
the food and production that is one issue. So, in this course we will be delivering the
management practices in organic farming. So, to challenge this is the increasing demand
of food and productions by doing the scientific managements in organic farming, how we can
meet the food demand of the growing population. So, ah if you come to organic farming what
is organic forming? See, organic farming this is an ecological production management system
that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. So, why
use a biodiversity; means, we need to include many crafts at a time, so that it can minimize
the insect, pest and this is pressure. Biological cycle means you have to grow different crops
in rotation. So, by doing so, this also, this can enhance your soil fertility, at the same
time it can reduce the dresser of the insect pest and disease.
And soil biological activity; soil biological activity we mean to say soil is a living body,
this has many microbial populations. So, this is so the microbial population they do live
they do help in nutrient release part in the soil and nutrient availability for the crop
plants. So, by doing organic farming we maintain the
microbial populations make the soil such a living body as active and with or the management
practices like your crop rotations and the crop diversification and it is based on minimal
use of off farm inputs and on management practices that restore maintain and enhance ecological
harmony. So, as you say inorganic farming, so, we try to minimize use of the off farm
inputs try to use the on farm inputs to the maximum extent.
Organic farming, is a other you say is a system which avoids or largely excludes the use of
synthetic inputs; such as fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones and the feed additives and
to the maximum extent feasible rely on crop rotation as you are discussing, crop residue,
in corporations, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral rock phosphates rock
minerals and biological system of nutrient mobilizations and plant protections. So, through
biological nutrient fixations or green manuring so, that can help in organic farming.
Ah I want to ah ah so, some lights throw some lights on the pesticide use in India and world.
So, the quality of the food deuteration is due to the indiscriminate and unscented use
of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides in power productions. If you see compare the
insecticide, the pesticide use in India and worldwide, see the max India uses the maximum
protrusions of the insecticides, it is more than 60 percents followed by fungicides and
herbicides. Whereas, if you see the world level as maximum use of herbicides followed
by insecticides and fungicides. As India being a tropical and sub tropical continents and
that weather condition is highly favorable for the growth and multiplication of the insects,
probably, this is the reasons why use more of the insecticides and if see the effect
of the the insecticides on or pesticides on human health.
So, ah this pesticides that has effect on the air that we breathe, so that also the
that ah contaminate the air quality, the soil, the soil gets contaminated to pesticides.
The water, so that influence the aquatic bodies and ultimately the human health as through
your conjunction of the foods or breathing airs are getting exposure to the spray of
the insecticides or pesticides. These pesticides that pose a serious threat
in human health and see they pose a endocrine disruptor; that means, there is a hormonal
imbalance takes place in human body, especially the ah the research report we are found that
DDT is a chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides and this is found many of the ah omens and
the lactating omens. So, that goes the the the babies through milk
to the DDT that also enters to the the infants and this is a ah endocrine disruptors that
say hormonal imbalances that causes many disease including cancer and the neuro ah disorder.
Then respiratory tract in irritations, Parkinson’s disease that is also because of the in the
nervous systems ah disorders due to the ah insecticides or the pesticides. Asthma, ah
then the depression and anxiety, cancer that is say including leukemia or the lymphoma
that is say blood cancer the attention deficity and hyperactivity disorders those have the
diseases that happens due to exposure to insecticides or the pesticides.
If I say the ah pesticides the ah the as a DDT dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, for examples
the average daily intake of organochlorine pesticide DDT in India. So, this is a research
reports from the ah pesticide use and applications on Indian scenario published in journal of
hazardous materials elsewhere publication. If you see the location Punjab, I have taken
into account and the microgram DDT per person in Delhi food.
In 2001, the vegetarian diet it was 2.2 microgram per person per day and if you interestingly
if you see 2002, this increased to 8.17 from 2.2 to 8.17 and you see the 2001, non vegetarian
diet, around 13.6 microgram per person per day DDT and 2002, this increased to 27.2 microgram
per person per day. So, this figure shows is highly alarming and
if you see ah because of this see intensive use of the chemical fertilizers and pesticides
in Punjab and over exploitation of groundwater also the groundwater is also contaminated
with pesticides. So, the cancer patient populations is growing in Punjab and you might have known
that when the cancer train moves Delhi from Punjab to Rajasthan. So, this is a serious
consequence of the indiscriminate use of fertilizers, pesticides and over exploitation of groundwater
and Punjab is facing serious threats of the water availability for agricultural productions.
So, ah in view of these if you compare the conventional farming versus organic farming,
so different components if you see parameters. So, in many of the parameters the organic
farming has superiority over conventional farming excepting few. The parameters you
have taken suppose the yield, nutritional quality minimize pesticide residue, reduce
worker exposure to pesticides, then ah an employment of workers, ah ecosystem service,
total cost, profitability, minimize water pollution, biodiversity, minimize energy use
soil quality. If you see here ah as you point out the factors
you can see if you see the green yield, in case of yield, in case organic and the conventional,
yield of conventional farming is higher as compared to or organic farming.
If you see the nutritional quality, in case of nutritional quality, the organic shows
the better nutritional quality as compared to chemical farming. The the pesticide residue,
minimizing pesticide residue in this case the organic farming has a significant role
as compared to chemical or the conventional farming and reduced worker exposure to pesticides
in that case the organic farming is superiors over the chemical farming.
An organic farming also gives more employment of workers over the chemical farming. Ecosystem
service organic farming seems to be better than the chemical farming. If you come to
total costs of the productions, so, there is no much difference between organic and
the conventional farming. So, they appears to have the same level of the cost of production.
However, see the profitability, organic farming gives the higher profitable as compared to
chemical farming. You see the water pollutions say reducing the water pollutions organic
farming has the better role as compared to chemical farming. Biodiversity organic permit
has the edge over chemical farming and in terms of energy use organic farming minimize
the energy use as compared to chemical farming because chemical farming you are using the
fertilizers urea single super phosphate. So, that causes the huge amount energy used,
but it is a less in case of the organic farming. And thus you see the soil quality as we discussed
earlier the soil quality is better in terms of the soil productivity microbial populations
in k organic farming as compared to chemical forming because see soil is the that provides
the exista[nce] the existence to the plants that provides nutrients to the crops for its
growth and development. So, it is very very essential to maintain the soil quality in
long term and that is only possible through organic farming, so that we can we can make
the soil life and we can may ah utilize the nutrient you can have the better neutralizing
pattern from the soil for the better growth and development of the crop.
We give the example of global growth of organic farming, you can see from this figure the
Oceania that the highest growth of organic farming that started from the very beginning
which is 1999 to 2010 followed by Europe, Latin America, Asia, North America and Africa.
If you see the growth, the land wise ah in ah see the there is a growth is ah ah rapid
in case of the ah Australia or New Zealand, Oceania regions and Europe there is a constant
rising the ah area under organic farming, Latin America there is a some ah type of the
ah decreasing in between and also again its picking up after
ah 2006. Asia the ah growth seems to be a constant after 2005, there is a ah constant
growth of our ah organic farming and land area under organic and a North America at
who and Africa there is also a rise in the land area under organic farming.
If you see the distribution of the lands under organic farming, if you see the ah distribution
of the land area under organic farming in different continents, see Oceania its 12.1
million hectare that is a maximum followed by Europe 10 million hectare this is for the
agricultural land and they are the other areas of the beekeeping aquaculture forest followed
by ah Latin America that is 8.4 million hectare, North America and the Asia that is be 2.8
and 2.7 million hectares. So, the growth of the ah land area under organic
farming is maximum in Oceania region followed by the Europe, then Latin America, North America,
Asia and Africa being the lowest, where we have the 1.1 million hectares in the agricultural
land, but they have the ah other lands like your the ah aquaculture, forest area, dredged
non agricultural lands in organic farming. If you see the global share of organic farming,
Oceania 45 percent, Europe 25 percent, South America 13 percent, [assi/asia] Asia 8 percent,
North America 6 percent, Africa 3 percent. So, ah if you bring the Indian scenario, so,
we are making a progress in organic farming. As you see the world scenario and number of
organic farmers in India, say growing and the market of organic food market also has
a a growing over the last few years. So, if you see the history and the distribution
of the ah organic agriculture, it appears that because ah the demand is there to have
a better food, better ah air and the the good quality of water to drink. So, there is a
need to bring more and more area under organic farming.
So, ah in this aspects as you see as as we discussed that issue is how to maintain the
productions. So, that is a more important because we do not want to sacrifice the production
level, in view of the better quality the view of the better quality. We want a good production
at the same time the better quality because this ah if you go to ah specially Indian farming
scenario, now the farmers are using huge amount of insecticide pesticide in fruits and vegetables
and there is no [regulati/regulation] regulation on the dose and the frequency of application
of the pesticides and also those the materials they are plucked on the early morning or the
previous to evening and sent to the market for the human consumption.
So, this regulation, so, we need the Indian market we need to regulates in the farmer
sites because you have interaction with the farmers right. So, this is that the the ah
the crops they are growing for their own productions is this is you can say close to organics we
may not be fully organic, but they to apply any [insectest/insecticides] insecticides
or pesticides for the crops where which crops they will be consuming , but the the vegetables
or the fruits they are sending to market in for those there is they are applying huge
amount of insecticides and pesticides. But now to stop this, so, there needs a increasing
awareness among the farming community, among the consumers too and initiative from the
governments also requires how to minimize the use of insecticide and pesticides in the
farmlands. So, ah as you see the status the organic farming
is growing this is a [posib/positive] positive directions because we go for the organics
because ah you can see many of our health issues that comes from food if a better quality
of food you can remain healthy. So, to have a better food we need have a the healthy production
systems, green production systems, organic production systems where we can maintain our
ecosystems. If you have you have a good food organic systems we can have a ah better quality
of the ah water to drink because you see the underground is getting polluted due to intensive
use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides they do list and it contaminate the underground
waters which we are you are using for the drinking purpose too.
So, making agricultures as a holistic organic systems, we can have a good productions and
we can have a better quality of the foods or you can happen say a good quality of water
drink and the good quality air to breath. So, we are progressing in the positive directions,
but we need to ah progress furthers increasing rate, so, that the we can maintain the productions
with a better quality of the foods with this I conclude the ah first ah first lecture ah
then ah we will move the second lecture looking at the the status of the organic foods in
India and the world. Thank you.

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