How can the community based organic farming contribute towards Atmanirbhar Bharat?
Once again we are enthralling with the fascinating phrase ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Amplifying the dream of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister of India announce the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’. So it’s time to choose some realistic models to fulfill the dream.
Accordingly, government has given priority on some potential sectors including organic farming.
What is your opinion? Is it as simple as that farming of India will get an abrupt change in a short time? Can we produce cost effective organic products so that we can take care of a large sunk of population. Can organic products provide a good contribution to the economy of the country?
No, it is absolutely impossible with the present scenario. Why? You know, India has highest number of recognized organic farmers. But the land used for organic farming is merely 3% of the total area of cultivation. So, you can calculate now where we are.
Community based organic farming
I think you are little bit familiar with the Krishans (farmers) of Indian villages. More than average holds a very little land for cultivation, practicing both crops and livestock. Normally, a large portion uses for production of their staple food. Only the rest 20-30% of the land performs their economic activities as well as daily home requirements. So, you can rightly point out the effect of Green Revolution on these farmers. Also you can presume what this mean for them. Obviously arise in mind, are they ready for organic?
So a new and practical model for organic farming is the need of the hour. Definitely, the model should guarantee the economic well-being of the farmers. Is there any proved and reliable model?
The answer could be community based organic farming. The model is successfully installed in countries like Philippines, Mexico and little bit in Bangladesh also. In this model each and every farmer of a community or a village cooperatively engages in organic farming. Each of them requires to practice one or two types of crop or livestock assign to him in the group meeting of the farmers. Of course, there should be rotation of crops after a fixed time frame. After the arrangement of farmer-crop distribution, farmers are individually taking care of their assigned crops. Farmers produce different types of crops or rearing livestock. Thus, they become inter dependent to each other for their livelihood and nutritional requirements. As the products belonging to locality, therefore, the chance of adulteration of the products is extremely minimum. To ensure their health each will monitor each.
Selling excess products outside the home market is more beneficial for the farmers. Therefore, a small and effective managing committee should be formed initially. So that the issue of marketing is going smoothly. The committee is responsible for all the activities such as collecting the information of demand of various products, market prices of different products, communication with the whole-sellers, transportation for retail selling etc. They also ensure the required certification for the products. Certification is necessary for creating a brand name because it brings more revenue.
Steps at a glance:
- Selection of a village or locality.
- Survey of suitable crops and livestock.
- A general meeting of all the farmers of the village or locality.
- Creation of a managing committee.
- Finalizing the crops or livestock for farming against each individual farmer.
- Process of certification by the managing committee.
- Arrangement for marketing outside the home market.
Caution: Farmers should not leave production of their staple food grains at-least for initial 2 or 3 years to cope with any unfortunate natural crisis.
Although in the initial stage some random problem may arise occasionally, the following basic advantages can be enlisted.
- Cooperative works of the farmers ensure motivations for work.
- Helps in creating a self-sustainable society.
- It will help in stopping the migration of workers. Because some allied businesses such as transportation, compost preparation, farming equipment, tiller etc will grow along with the farming.
- Because of the lack of alternative community will consume organic only.
- As the farmers use a large portion of his available land for organic production, thus total output of organic produce will definitely increase.
- Surety in farmer’s income brings positive impact on economy.
- Contribute towards self-reliance (Atmanirbhar) in organic food products.