Organic farming focuses on utilizing natural materials in agriculture and prohibiting the use of the chemical fertilizers and pesticides which ultimately ruins the fertility of land. Initially, the heavy use of chemical fertilizers increases the production of the land but as time passes the production capacity of land decreases and finally may reach to zero .Organic farming helps to produce safe, nutritious and quality food products together with maintaining ecological balance and its sustainability.
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) defines the overarching goal of organic farming as: “Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved…”
Difficulties in organic agriculture in Nepal
- Lack of organic inputs such as seeds, bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides.
- Lack of government initiatives, plan, policies and assistance.
- Lack of adequate information of different aspects such as advantages of organic farming and the organic products, crops and area on organic cultivation, technology, marketing, suppliers of input, etc.
- Organic farming is a labor-intensive farming. So, in the urban areas where there is scarcity of labor, the cost of cultivation may be high.
- The misconception of the people that, “organic agriculture is not a feasible option to improve food security”.
- Awareness: There is lack of awareness about the organic farming and the organic products amongst consumers and producers
Organic Vegetables Production
Trending Organic Products
In Nepal organic products like, vegetables, fruits, tea, coffee and other crops are grown. Some popular organic crops that are grown in Nepal are:
|Vegetables||Peas, Soybean, Coriander, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Potatoes, Cucumber, Lady Finger, Brinjal, Bitter Gourd, Onion, Tomato, Carrot, Radish, Spinach, Green Salads, Leeks, Artichokes, Brussel Sprouts, Broccolis, Arugula|
|Fruits||Strawberries, grapes, blackberries, apple, pear|
|Other Crops/Herbs||Coffee, Tea, Ginger, Garlic, Honey, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Chilly, Pepper, Caraway, Fenugreek|
|Nuts||Walnut, Pecan, Macadamia, Pine nut, Chest nut, Gingko nut|
How to promote Organic farming?
- The policy and program should emphasize the organic food rather than the market and the business oriented agricultural system.
- The cost of production is high and Nepalese farmers cannot compete with the international market. Hence Government must provide support to the organic farmers in order to minimize the cost of mass production. Subsidy must be provided based upon the volume of production in order to motivate the farmers for easy marketing of the products.
- Due to the lack of awareness, consumers are not convinced for the premium price of the organic product. Therefore, farmers need to compete in the international market. Arrangement of the subsidy in price and insurance of the production is the biggest incentive for the farmers. There should be separate and interrelated networking of training, research and technology development, verification and extension of organic agriculture for its development.
- Organic certification is important for the exportable organic product but, small farmers cannot afford the additional costs as well as the time-consuming certification process. There is a need of a packaged program so that a farmer can be self-equipped and prepared for the process of certification.
- There are limited courses and activities on organic farming at school, universities and training institutions. As a result, extension services have usually faced problems of trained professionals on organic agriculture. Thus, incorporation of courses related to organic production is necessary in the education programs of primary and secondary school level, universities and training institutions for developing professionals in this field.