Organic Farming In Gujarat, How To Start

Introduction to organic farming in Gujarat: Organic farming can be described as an agricultural process used to control pests obtained from organic fertilizers and animal or plant wastes. It is an agricultural system that uses organic fertilizers and emphasizes techniques such as bone meal and crop rotation and companion planting. It began in response to rapidly changing farming methods in the early 20th century. Organic farming is a new system of farming that maintains and improves the ecological balance. India, due to its diverse agro-climatic zones, has the potential to produce all kinds of organic products. In many parts of the country, the legacy of organic farming is an added benefit. It promises to use the market for organic producers, which continues to grow in the domestic and export markets.

A guide to how to start organic farming in Gujarat, organic certification in Gujarat, and weed management in organic farming

Organic Groundnut Farming In Gujarat
Organic Groundnut Farming (pic source: pixabay)

Benefits andadvantages of organic farming

Organic farming is developed by various organizations. Biological pest control, mixed crop cultivation, and rearing of insect predators are encouraged. Organic standards are allowing the use of naturally occurring substances. Consumer demand for safe and healthy food has increased due to growing concerns over food quality, pollution due to chemicals, and environmental issues. Then, this growing demand has given rise to a new wave of agriculture sector that is called organic farming.

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Organic Chilli Farming In Gujarat
Chillies (pic source: pixabay)

Under organic farming, farmers have to get higher yields by showing the resources available to them and using more organic fertilizers. Organic products are grown in an agricultural system with an environmentally and socially responsible approach without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It is a farming method that works on the ground level with the ability to reproduce and regenerate the soil, good plant nutrition, and proper soil management, producing nutritious food which is resistant to diseases. Adopting organic farming necessarily involves a series of steps that farmers have to follow and certify with certification and inspection agencies. This is important to ensure that the consumer is not deceived and the real organic farmer is not harmed. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation will be the nodal department for the implementation of the Gujarat Organic Policy. Appropriate arrangements will be made for the effective implementation of regulations and policy. Under the new policy domain, the Department of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Development will continue agriculture with renewed vigor and budgetary outlays. The benefits of organic farming can be given below;

  • Eco-friendly
  • Promotes sustainable development
  • Healthy and delicious food
  • Inexpensive process
  • It uses organic inputs
  • Generates revenue
  • Generates revenue through exports
  • Source of employment
  • Organic farming is more labor-intensive. Therefore, it creates more jobs.
  • It not only maintains the fertility of the land but also increases it.
  • This method cleans the environment from pollution. It requires less water.
  • Organic farming saves water. This cultivation maintains and improves the quality of the land. It is also very important for the farmer’s livestock and other animals.
  • Organic growing foods are sold at high prices.
  • Agricultural support animals will not only be safe but they will thrive.
  • It has low cost and high profit so it is useful for farmers.

Gujarat organic farming information

Gujarat has been an important state in adopting organic farming. There are more than a dozen groups and networks across the state volunteering for the promotion, training, and marketing of organic produce. Consumer demand for organic food in the domestic market has increased due to the collective efforts of many organizations. The state’s agricultural universities are now being equipped with technologies and training facilities related to organic farming. Gujarat has launched excellent promotional activities like Seed Festival, Organic Food Festival, and the two-year Convention of Organic Farmers, which are now followed by other organizations at the national level. The services of expert resource persons, trainers, and movement organizers are available.

India’s growing population has begun to put pressure on the agricultural sector to maintain food security. Therefore, maximizing crop production is an important issue to meet the growing demand for grain. However, increased crop yields due to the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers introduced during the Green Revolution is a major threat to the sustainability of agricultural productivity in the long run. Removal of crop residues and indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers have adversely affected the health of oil which is deteriorating. To address the problem of sustaining crop production through sustainable agricultural practices, the government has proposed to promote organic farming methods, modern technologies to control traditional farming methods such as green manning, biological pests, and in conjunction with herbal management.

Organic food, feed as well as processed and/or packaged products need special mention and given the huge potential in the state, this policy will encourage core producers, processors, and marketers to take advantage of this opportunity. Planning assistance will be provided through the coordination of Gujarat Agro Industries Policy Programs. Food-based industries in Gujarat will be encouraged to acquire and use organic products in their products with the help of branding and traceability.

For organic farming development, the Government of India has implemented the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP). The national program includes accreditation programs for certification bodies, organic production standards, promotion of organic farming, etc.

Crops cultivated under organic farming in Gujarat

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Organic Pearl Millet Farming In Gujarat
Pearl Millet (pic source: pixabay)

The share of organic agriculture in the total agricultural production of the state is negligible. Although initially the Indian organic sector is growing very fast and has already entered the global organic market in some important sectors like Spices, Fruits, Vegetables, Cotton, Grains, Oilseeds, and Pulses, etc.

Dang produces Paddy, Peanut, Black Urad, and Tor, Gram, Wheat, Mango, Cashew, and Various Vegetables. Special incentives will be given to local farmers.

Based on the above, emphasis will be placed on growing the following crops organically;

  1. Large horticultural crops, including vegetables. It consists mainly of Banana, Mango, Papaya, Guava, Cashew, Pomegranate, Custard Apple, and Fresh Vegetables.
  2. Export grains like millets and pearl millet.
  3. All pulses, Soybeans, Corn/Maize, Peanuts, and Cotton.
  4. Spices such as Pepper, Cumin, Garlic, Turmeric, Coriander, and Ginger.
Organic Maize Farming In Gujarat
Maize (pic credit: pixabay)

Soil management for organic farming

In organic farming, soil fertility management is a different approach is required than the method used in a traditional farming system. Nutrients are highly soluble in synthetic fertilizers, so the availability of nutrients is fairly predictable and nutrients become readily available to plants. Biological processes are not required to make them available and they do not enhance the biological health of the soil. Many synthetic fertilizers destroy the soil by drying it out or making it acidic or salty.

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Adding Farmyard Manure
Adding Farmyard Manure (pic credit: pixabay)

Healthy soil is the foundation of a profitable agricultural system. Soil management in organic farming support plant growth and regulate environmental standards are affected by management practices, it is possible to crop and soil management systems. This biological process, driven by microorganism’s releases nutrients available to plants during the growing season. Farmers use a variety of methods to improve soil fertility, including crop rotation, cover crops, low yields, and the use of fertilizers. By reducing fuel-intensive crops, less organic matter from the soil is lost into the atmosphere. This has the added benefit of carbon sequestration, which reduces greenhouse gases and helps reverse climate change. Reducing cultivation can also improve soil texture and reduce the likelihood of soil erosion. Plants need a large number of different amounts of nutrients to thrive. Adequate nitrogen supply, and especially harmonization, so that plants get enough nitrogen when they need it most, is a challenge for organic farmers.

Limitations of organic farming

  • Organic farming is a more time-consuming process.
  • Production is low in the beginning.
  • Easy availability of chemical fertilizers.
  • The need for large-scale biological transfer.
  • Low availability of high-quality containers.
  • Lack of marketing facilities.
  • Certification process.
  • Lack of research facilities.
  • Lack of training facilities for farmers.

Area approach under organic farming in Gujarat

Organic farming plays an important role in promoting organic farming in areas where fertilizer consumption is very low, i.e., dry land / rainfed area, hilly areas, dry land / rainfed agriculture consisting of the net sown area could play an important role in promoting organic farming. The eastern part of the state, which includes the districts of Sabarkantha, Dahod, Panchmahals, Chota-Udaipur, Narmada, Surat, Tapi, Dang, Valsad has the most potential area for organic farming because of the socio-economic condition of farmers and traditional crops.

All farmers in Dang district, Surendra Nagar, Kutch, Dharampur and Kaprada taluka of Valsad have been declared as 100 percent organic farming in Gujarat.

The state has a variety of climatic conditions ranging from arid to semi-arid to mild to humid. Rainfall and temperature vary greatly from region to region, with soil and ground topography, including vegetation. Considering the diverse agro-climatic conditions, the state is divided into eight agro-climatic zones which provide opportunities for the cultivation of different types of crops. The following is a list of soil types, rainfall, and potential crops for organic farming in terms of agro-climatic zones.

Agro-climatic zoneType of soilSuitable crops for organic farming
South Gujarat (Heavy Rain Area)Deep black with some patches of coastal alluvial, laterite, and medium black  Sorghum, Nagli, Ragi, Cashewnut, Custard Apple, Vegetables, Turmeric, and Ginger  
South Gujarat  Deep black clayeySorghum, Mango, Custard apple, Banana vegetables, Pulses and  
Middle Gujarat  Deep black, medium black to loamy sandSorghum, Papaya, and Custard apple, Vegetables, Pulses, Soyabean, and cotton
North GujaratSandy loam to sandyPearl Millet, Cotton, Groundnut, Vegetables, Chilles, Coriander, Cumin, Papaya, and Pomegranate
Bhal & Coastal AreaMedium black, poorly drained, and salineCotton, Cumin, Pulses, and Durum Wheat  
South SaurashtraShallow medium black calcareous  Pearl Millet, Cotton, Groundnut, Pulses, Mango, Custard Apple, Chilles, Coriander, and Cumin
North Saurashtra  Shallow medium blackPearl Millet, Cotton, Groundnut, Pomegranate, Papaya, Chilles, Garlic, Coriander, and Cumin  
North West Zone  Sandy and salinePearl millet, Pomegranate, and Cumin  
Organic farming areas and crops in Gujarat

Gujarat Organic Products Certification Agency (GOPCA)

The first step in obtaining GOPCA certification is for the operator (the person responsible for the certified unit/form) to contact the GOPCA office. It sends a detailed application package like a copy of the application form, certification process, and Indian Organic Standards. Then, the operator needs to complete the application form and then return it to the GOPCA office.

Recognition of prior organic management – According to Organic Standards, the farm must complete a three-year conversion period for perennial crops and two years for annual crops to be certified organic. However, operators who have been practicing organic farming for a long time may apply for recognition of organic management in advance. For this, they have to present proof. According to national standards for organic production, a one-year transition period is required.

For organic farmers, this provides certification services with internal control systems (ICS) under NSOP standards regarding inspection and certification. Group certification can be applied to small farmer groups, which come under the Internal Control System (ICS), typically cultivate the same crop, use the same input and production methods, and under the same label marketing their products.

It is an organic certification institution of the Government of Gujarat recognized by the Government of India for its Organic Production System and its inspection under the NPOP (National Organic Production Program) and EN 45011 / ISO 65. It conducts certification operations for the international market. Inspection and certification are carried out under national organic standards. Then, the production system is based on an internal quality system and applied to producer groups, farmers’ cooperatives, and small-scale processing units. Producers in the group should apply a similar production system and the farms should be geographically close. Farms with the land of 4 hectares or more also belong to a group but must be inspected annually by GOPCA. The total area of ​​such farms will be less than 50% of the total area of ​​the group.

Processors and exporters may be part of the group but will be subject to annual GOPCA inspections. The legal status of the group or the constitution of the organization should be and it should be presented through the organizational chart. Group certification is based on the concept of an internal quality system that consists of;

  • Implementation of internal control system
  • Internal standards
  • Risk assessment

State Level Certification Agency – Gujarat Organic Production Certification Agency (GOPCA), society has been formed under the Department of Agriculture and has been recognized by APEDA for Organic Certification in the State. The present challenges of identification and deployment of trained and professional human resources will be a passionate task and will be met diligently in collaboration with the Gujarat State Seed Certification Agency and the State Agricultural Universities.

In Gujarat, 90% of the farmers who do organic farming do not have any certificate that they do organic farming. Expensive certificates are issued by APEDA but are not verified in the fields. The Central Government’s Agriculture Department works to certify organic farming practices through the National Organic Farming Center in Ghaziabad.

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Organic farming policy of Gujarat

Under the Gujarat Government’s Organic Farming Policy, promoting organic farming practices in the state will spend about Rs. 10 crores in a year. Gujarat is the 9th state after Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Nagaland to announce for organic farming policy. It helps farmers with certification, marketing, and branding and focuses on the tribal areas. An Organic Cell will be set up under the agriculture department to implement the organic farming policy and a Gujarat Organic Farming Committee will be formed to monitor the implementation of the policy for organic farming. As part of policy-making, the state interviewed more than 1,200 people, including 650 farmers, 130 scientists, and hundreds of others, who presented their views orally and in writing at seven public consultations. The four agricultural universities in the state, which presided over the event, said that the universities were in the process of developing a package of seeds and methods for organic farming.

The state government aims to increase the area under organic farming tenfold in the next five years. The current farm area under organic farming is about 4,000 acres across the state. Branding and proper marketing are essential to ensure high value for money. This policy will help create brands, promote the brand, arrange buyer-seller meets, market-led extension, and exhibition. The production of organic farmers will be simultaneously linked to the agri-export zone.

The Gujarat government had announced an organic farming policy in 2015, stating that areas, where fertilizer consumption is very low, can play an important role in promoting organic farming.

Some districts have a high potential for organic farming in Gujarat. These districts are Dang and also tribal districts of Sabarkantha, Narmada, Surat, Dahod, Panchmahal, Chhota Udepur, Tapi, and Valsad. Because this is due to the socio-economic status of farmers and traditional crop patterns which require minimal use of chemicals. Dang, Dharampur and Kaprada talukas of Valsad and Vansda talukas of Navsari districts of South Gujarat are being encouraged to adopt 100% organic farming under the state scheme.

Organic farming university in Gujarat

Gujarat will set up the country’s first organic farming university. The Gujarat state government will set up the country’s first university to focus on organic farming. Farmers should now move to organic farming and its methods in the traditional way. A site can be selected near Agriculture Kamdhenu University in Gandhinagar district. The university will focus exclusively on organic farming and research. To promote organic farming, the state government has taken steps such as setting up a cell to implement its new organic farming policy. A year ago, the Gujarat government announced subsidies for farmers engaged in this fast-growing system of agriculture because of the growing demand for organic farm products worldwide. Subsidies were to be given to those involved in organic farming to encourage more farmers to adopt techniques that avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides and rely on crop rotation and green manure.

Weed management in organic farming

Organic weed management promotes weed eradication by increasing phytotoxic effects on crops and herbs, rather than weed control. Organic cultivators promote cultural, biological, mechanical, and physical. Combine chemical tactics to manage weeds without artificial herbicides. Organic standards require annual crop rotation, meaning that a single crop cannot be grown in one place without different, intermediate crops. Organic crop rotations often include grass-suppressed core crops and crops with different life cycles to discourage weeds associated with a particular crop. Other cultural methods used to increase crop competitiveness and reduce weed pressure include a selection of competitive crop varieties, planting of high densities, narrow rows, and encouraging rapid germination of the crop.

Mechanical and physical weed control methods used on organic farms can be broadly grouped as follows;

Tillage – crop rotation to include crop residues and soil modification. Remove existing weed growth and prepare seedlings for planting. Turn to the soil after sowing to kill weeds, including row crops.

Mowing and cutting – It is used for removing the top growth of weeds.

Flame Weeding and Thermal Weeding – The use of heat to kill weeds.

Mulching – Preventing the growth of grass with organic matter, plastic films, or landscaping fabric.

Organic Mulch
Mulch (pic credit: pixabay)

Some naturally occurring chemicals are allowed to be used in herbs. These include acetic acid (concentrated vinegar), corn gluten meal, and some forms of essential oil.

The process to get a certificate of organic agricultural products in Gujarat

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Organic Certification In Gujarat
Organic Certification (pic credit: pixabay)


  • For getting a certificate of organic agricultural products, a person (farmer/farmer group/processor/trader) who is looking for a certificate of organic farming for his agricultural produce should ensure that his form is from the National Organic Production Program (NPOP) according to the organic crop production standards.
  • Submit the fee application and complete verification of the field specified by the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP).
  • GOPCA has provided internal standards for organic crop production.
  • The operator (the person responsible for the certified unit/farm) contacts the GOPCA office. Then send a detailed application about a copy of the application form and process for certification.
  • After that, the operator needs to complete the application form to apply for certification. In Ahmedabad, the operator has to send 80% of the offer fee in advance in the form of DD payable GOPCA.
  • Before the inspection, the operator has to sign the inspection and certification agreement. During the inspection, the operator must co-operate with the inspector as stated in the inspection and certification agreement.
  • During the inspection visit, the inspector completes the inspection report. The operator acknowledges it with his signature and then receives a copy. Also, copies of the scale of the sanctions and relevant standards are handed over to the operator during the inspection. For further verification, the original inspection report will be sent to the GOPCA office.
  • After inspection, total inspection and certification costs are finalized and a receipt is sent to the operator.
  • After that, the inspection report will be submitted to the Certification Committee. Communication will be sent to the operator if additional documentation is required.
  •  The Certification Committee will decide on the certification based on the available documents for organic farming. The decisions for certification will be notified to GOPCA within 1 month after receipt of the inspection report and some important related documents (if any).
  • To use the Certification Agency logo / India Organic logo, the operator has to send an application to the office which will be forwarded to the operator under the NSOP after approval by the Certification Committee.

Required Documents – The following are essential documents;

  • Document attached to the application form (in order)
  • Completed application form email (e-mail) and contact number must be written.
  • PAN Card, Copy of Aadhar Card, and Passport Size Photograph (Main Operator)
  • Aadhar Card and Passport Size Photograph (of Contact Person)
  • Documents relating to the date of registered land.
  • Land Map (Sample Survey Number)
  • Date of Farm
  • Organic System Plan (Sample winter, summer, monsoon season survey number planting crops and estimated production)
  • Recent Ground and water test reports along with the application form along with all the above documents along with the required fee should be sent to the Director, GOPCA.

Eligibility – For organic farming, the product needs to be authenticated for 2 to 3 years to get the qualification certification.

Processing time – It depends on your history of operations and your compliance with certification standards and regulations. It takes two years for annual crops and three years for perennial crops to become organic.


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