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Recommendations

Focus group discussions with different stakeholders like farmers, traders of green agricultural inputs, government officials involved in promotion of organic agriculture, agricultural scientists, extension officers and NGO’s have revealed that multi-pronged initiatives (Fig: 12) at different levels would contribute towards enhancing greening of Indian agriculture2.

From Policy perspective:

Experience elsewhere shows (Box: 1) that government has to play a key role in developing organic agricultural production and enhancing marketing opportunities (Scialabba Nadia, 2000). Towards this there is a need to have policy framework to address greening agriculture in India. Policy change in favour of organic agriculture can make positive difference for changing the market condition in terms of encouraging production of bio-inputs, which in turn can propel changes in cropping pattern in favour of organic practices. Currently the attention given both in terms of policy framework and institutional dynamics towards organic agriculture is only marginal. Though Ministry of Commerce registers farmers wishing to convert to organic operations but farmers are asked to seek technical assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture that is unavailable (Scialabba Nadia, 2000). Involvement of government not just in standardization and accreditation procedures but also through proactive “support to inspection and certification and market-oriented services are necessary to provide equal opportunities. Otherwise, the export of certified organic products risks becoming that only large farmers, or highly organized groups of small holders, can afford” (Scialabba Nadia, 2000).

From Farmers Perspective:

From NGO’s perspective:

Non-Government Organizations have being playing crucial role in promoting organic agricultural practices in the country. Change of agricultural practices is equivalent to changing the culture and mindset of farmers, which can only be achieved by a long drawn interface. NGOs have demonstrated capabilities to this effect. An illustrative example of public private partnership is the successful story of Spice Board’s involvement of NGOs to enhance organic production of spices in Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and North Eastern states (Shenoy, 2003)

From Traders Perspective:

From Green Input Producers Perspective:

From Institutional Perspective:

There is urgent need for giving strategic attention to organic farming efforts. This requires inter ministerial coordination among various ministries at the Centre. Towards this forming a Steering Committee consisting of various Ministries at Central Government level would be a move in the right direction. Such as..

Such committee would helps on increasing effectiveness of policies & programmes evolved towards promotion of organic agriculture.

At the state level some of the important institutions that require coordinated action plan include: Agriculture universities, State agriculture department, Private business organizations and NGOs

Each of these institutions can enhance their contribution towards greening agriculture by developing a detailed program of action. In the following an attempt has been made to briefly dwell action programs for some of these institutions. For instance:

Agriculture Universities can have action programs by reorienting their current 1) Educational activities 2) Research Agenda and 3) Extension services Programmes as given in the matrix below:

Education

Research

Agriculture Extension

From:

  • Traditional subjects and practices which are mainly focused on high productivity

From:

  • Research that is focused on increasing productivity through high use of chemical fertilizer & pesticides.
  • Research focused on development of chemical based methods for controlling plant diseases and pests.

From:

  • Information dissemination that is focused on conventional land use and cropping practices.

To:

  • Incorporation of new subjects and syllabus with focus on sustainable and organic agriculture.
  • Introduction to environmental impact of agriculture practices.

To:

Research that give adequate attention to alternative patterns of agriculture with emphasis on environmental benign and sustainable agriculture.

To:

  • Global and local market opportunities for organic agriculture produces and price premium they carry.
  • Organic agronomic practices, organic control of diseases and pests.
  • Encourage use of Bio-fertilizers and Bio-pesticides.

To build green agricultural input market in India it is not sufficient to incentivize production but there is a need to focus efforts in generating market demand. Collaborative and concerted efforts between input producers, farmers, agriculture scientific community, government officials and traders at different level i.e. central government, state government, district and village level could give the required strategic attention to organic agriculture. There are examples from elsewhere which showcase these types of collaboration for organic products market development (See Box: 2). Such collaboration would be create avenues for marketing organic produce internally and expedite the necessary linkages for enhancing our presence in the international organic products market.

2 These discussions where held by researchers with different stakeholders at Ludhiana & Chandigarh, Punjab; New Delhi; Hanumangarh, Rajasthan; Sirsa, Haryana; and Hyderabad & Mahboobnagar, Andhra Pradesh.

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