Organic farming: Today's land can be the Future gold Mine!Feb 18, 2019
In this fast growing country, population being a big concern, farmers are forced to produce more to meet the food demands. It would be easy if we had the Thanos’ snap to maintain the population growth. More produce in less time with limited resources has pushed the farmers to use the chemical fertilizers contaminating the soil – harming the microbes and other insects and animals.
There is light at the end of this dark tunnel to bring the olden days farming back. No one would have missed the buzz word Organic farming which can be done for Crops/produce, Dairy, Livestock, Fish, Retail/Wholesale, Herbs, Cosmetics, Cleaning products so on and so forth.
India being the largest producer and consumer of food, organic farming seems to be a convincing business of this century. A snippet on how we go about this.
With more people vouching for fresh and healthy eating, organic farm is definitely an upcoming business. As a fresher, one can get the expertise from the people who have already tried and tested the business in this field. Know your market and know your soil. Make a clear business plan.
Get your investors
The Government of India offers variety of loans to the budding farmers. Mudra is one which has three schemes Shishu, Kishore and Tarun - each having its own benefits. NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) has subsidy schemes specially to promote organic farming. The subsidy given is 25% of net project cost (max. limit is INR 40 lakhs per unit) for biological and pesticide units and 33% of fruit and vegetable compost units (max. limit is INR 60 lakhs per unit). The time given for organic farming project to materialize is 15 months (plus 3 months grace time). Apart from these, other banks such as SBI offers agriculture loans.
Knowing all about it
Experience is the best teacher but to have it, one must have the basic knowledge of farming. The Planning Commission of India initiated the National Project for Organic Farming (NPOF) that provides approved training for Organic farmers. They have done extensive research on bio and organic fertilizers that help improve the chemical-free yield. Also, financial support is offered through Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) for farm set up. One can also gain more insights by visiting the other farms to decide on the crops and the cycles.
Turnover and Profitability
Organic farmers can make more money than the conventional farmers, even with low harvests, as consumers are ready to pay more for organic foods. A study says that organic farming was 22-35% more profitable than conventional agriculture. When compared to the conventional foods, organic is sold at a premium of 29-33%.
Although the labour cost is more (they use manual methods such as introducing a predator insect to get rid of the pests), only a 5-7% premium is needed to break even.
But all these demand the 3 Ps – Patience, Persistence and Prolonged hard work. Study reveals that organic farmers have to wait at least 3 years before they can start reaping the benefits.
Benefits of Organic Farming
- Superior quality than the conventional crops and tastes better
- Can be stored for a longer period
- Low input costs
- Can withstand drought and needs less irrigation
- Pests/weeds are naturally controlled
- Give better yields from the same land, as the soil quality improves with time
- Income security and assured Rate of Return
- Organic farming creates a system that supports biodiversity by growing fresh and chemical free produce that gives liberty for growers and happiness and good health for consumers.
Going back to our roots, there is a famous saying in Tamil – “Unavey Marundhu” – meaning ‘Food is medicine”. Eating clean and chemical-free food brings enormous benefits to keep up a healthy body and healthy mind.
So why are you waiting more? Bring your Organic Farming dreams to life soon.