Low yields and high costs prevent India from adopting organic farming

Almost 25 years ago, an event held at the American Center Auditorium in Chennai on the theme of the Green Revolution has witnessed a lively debate on the merits and disadvantages of organic farming and “conventional farming”, a euphemism for the chemical-based farming practices that have become fashionable in the country in the mid-1960s.

Despite the passage of time and the gradual entrenchment of the concept of organic farming in the country, the fundamental characteristics of the debate do not seem to have changed. Farmers are constantly discussing the relevance of the idea from the point of view of economic dividends.

“It is utopian to think that organic farming could completely replace chemical farming. This is just one of the many technologies available to the farming community…. You can’t do agriculture without chemical fertilizers,” says C. Ramasamy, who was vice-chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Agronomic University (TNAU) from 2002 to 2008 ….

Madhu Ramakrishnan, a 50-acre farmer in Narikkalpathy village, [says] the government [should] supporting farmers for at least the first three years following their migration to organic farming…. because a low return is expected during this period…. the organic certification process ….. involves registration, inspection, examination, evaluation and issuance of the certificate. “Every process involves a fair amount of labor and dedicated work,” says [K.K. Krishanmurthi, president, Indian Society for Certification of Organic Products.]

Read the full and original article: Why organic farming has yet to pay off

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