A number of RTI applications have been filed with different NARS (National Agricultural Research System) institutes and departments of agriculture to understand the state of affairs with regard to Organic Farming. ASHA would like to put the replies in the public domain for readers to judge for themselves what is the progress or lack of the same, what are the different approaches being adopted (institutional and otherwise), what are the findings from the ground showing in some cases and so on, as these replies might indicate.
1. Results of the ICAR’s All India Network Project on Organic Farming: We found that in 21 of the 28 crops tested for, yield increases are reported in organic farming across all the test centres (13 in number). Yield increases range from around 5% to 20% or more. View Results
2. Results of a study on organic farming in University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad: findings here show that organic farming has potential to increase productivity of crops in rainfed areas in addition to overcoming risks in these areas. View Results
3. Organic Farming in Kerala: the disappointing progress in the spread of Organic Farming in Kerala, despite having announced an ambitious policy is reflected in this RTI reply from Kerala. Read More
4. Organic Farming in Sikkim: the focus of this small state in reviving soil fertility without the use of chemical fertilisers is apparent in this reply. Read More
5. Organic Farming in Andhra Pradesh: both the agriculture department and the horticulture department are making very slow progress in promoting organic farming in this state. The targets are unambitious and so are the achievements. Read RTI query submitted to Agri & Horti. Read RTI response from Agri & Horti
6. Organic Farming in Gujarat: The only notable intervention that the Gujarat government chose to respond on, about its “Sanjivani” scheme is unambitious in its area targets (5000 hectares); like in other interventions in this state, outsourcing to private agencies is the approach in OF too! Read More
7. Organic Farming in Bihar: Bihar government talks about a ‘rainbow agriculture’ in the state, but the fertiliser consumption targets belie the intent around organic farming. Nevertheless, Bihar seems to have the largest targets for bio-inputs as well as certified area supported by the state’s funds/schemes. Read More
The data above is as per agriculture departments, whereas sustainable agriculture is also being promoted by other departments like rural development, panchayati raj, women’s development etc., in some states.