Organic farming is emerging as a sustainable alternative in reviving Indian Agriculture especially in areas where the indiscriminate usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides had resulted in loss in soil fertility and productivity with adverse effects on water quality, soil, plant and human health.
Recognising the importance of organic farming in Indian Agriculture, Government of India has taken various initiatives to promote and support organic production. Setting up of National Centre of Organic Farming with Regional Centres at various places, launching of the National Programme on Organic Production encompassing National Standards and Accreditation Programme for Certification Agencies etc., are important steps in this direction. The importance of organic inputs in development of organic farming is adequately emphasized with the launching of the Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme for Commercial Production Units of Organic Inputs by Government of India.
NABARD, as an apex institution in the field of agriculture and rural development has identified Organic Farming as a thrust area and has taken various initiatives for its promotion. These initiatives include building capacities of bankers, NGOs, farmers through training programmes, exposure visits etc., technology development and its dissemination through various funds and suggesting policy measures for financing organic farming.
Package of practices for organic farming is being developed by many Universities and Research Institutions. These practices need to be developed into a bankable model for aiding financial institutions in extending credit for organic farming. Preparation of model bankable schemes based on package of practices developed by research institutions and those adopted by farmers is an attempt in this direction. I am certain that these model schemes may act as a catalyst in promoting organic farming amongst prospective entrepreneurs especially with the support of institutional credit.
02 January 2009