Food expo and organic fair to promote organic agriculture
“Think green – think sustainable agriculture” is the one of the slogan of organic agriculture. Every individual enhance and promotes the sustainable and organic agriculture in order to attain the healthier and nutritious food. Organic farming helps to produce safe, nutritious and quality food products together with maintaining ecological balance and its sustainability. Organic agriculture first appeared as one of the priority sectors in Nepalese agriculture since the 10th Five Year Plan. Therefore, the organic farming is limited in the only export oriented commodities such as apiculture, coffee, tea, large cardamom, ginger etc. and in a certain group of farmers.
Food expo and organic fair promotes organic agriculture for spreading awareness and contributing to the increased recognition and utilization of local, indigenous and organic crops/products, food fair, organic fair, diversity fair etc. organized at local, regional or national level have been effective. The different varieties of fruits and vegetables with fresh and effective cost while conducting organic fair helps to creates effectiveness of farming system. In this context, the Government of Nepal: Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Department of Agriculture (MOALD) and Center for Agricultural Mechanization, Promotion and Infrastructure Development under Government of Nepal jointly organized 12th National Organic Agriculture Fair’ at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur from 28th Feb to 3rd March 2018. In the present context, the excessive used of chemical fertilizers declining the importance of organic farming. The certification of organic product in Nepal is costly and many farmers with organic product are not certified with organic certification. These kind of fair and expo will expose those farmers and helps them to get some space and importantly the consumers would be aware about the quality of the product they are consuming.
The national agriculture policy 2061 promotes export of organic products with commodities such as organic honey, coffee, orthodox tea, large cardamom, ginger has been produced organically in Nepal for export. The health benefits of organic products have increased the willingness of consumer to pay for organic products. The number of commodity has been imported from India day to day with the application of chemical pesticides which deteriorate the quality of produced. Some pesticides persistent and harmful effects leads to banned 24 pesticides in Nepal and in neighboring countries India about 27 pesticides banned. The organic agriculture can be the best opportunity for the utilization of inherent agro-ecological endowment to Nepal and to enhance the national economy of the country. The long term use of agro-chemicals in soil declines soil fertility and imbalances natural ecosystem. Therefore, the organic farming should be adopted to avoid such harmful effects of agrochemicals in Nepal. The organic agriculture promotes the cultivation of underexploited and underutilized crops (horse gram, Foxtail millet) local fruit and vegetables that can play a vital role in fighting poverty and food insecurity in the hills and mountains of Nepal. There are some Action Plan for promoting organic exports:
Step 1: Survey and identification of various components of organic farming and export
Step 2: Farmer’s education
Step-3: Quality control to meet out international standard
Step-4: Development of Agri- Export Hand Book
Step-5: Identification and categorization of farmers
Step-6: Marketing linkages and Networking
Step-7: Farmers support.
Food expo and organic fair promotes organic farming in context of Nepal. So we must encourages the people to focus on organic farming so as to conserve the environment as well as human health and to become self reliant.
About the Author:
Usha Karki; B.Sc. Ag
Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science