Introduction to organic farming in Telangana, cultivation and production practices: Organic farming is the best form of farming in which crops are grown without the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Gomutra, vegetable peels, and cow dung are used as fertilizer and added to the soil as manure. Organic farming involves the cultivation of plants and the rearing of animals by natural methods, including the use of biological materials, the avoidance of artificial substances to maintain soil fertility, and ecological balance pollution and waste are reduced. The crop is grown based on soil quality and weather. For better crop quality, the soil should be neither too acidic nor basic but neutral. About 55% of Telangana’s population is dependent on agriculture. And 75% of them are small and backward. The average landholding is only 1.00 ha and 66% of income comes from cultivation alone, significant changes are needed in the farming model.
The natural tendency to produce food without the use of synthetic chemicals and other harmful substances is called organic farming. The concept of straightforward, organic farming is nothing more than conventional agriculture that has been around for thousands of years before the 20th century. In India, this form of agriculture was as prevalent as it was in the 1960s and 70s before the advent of the Green Revolution. We now know that chemical farming has caused some serious damage to the health of the land and the people. It is clear that the wisdom of ancient farming is a test of time and those farmers were real scientists who knew a great deal about crops, climate systems, biodiversity, and the ecosystem. When needed, traditional knowledge must be understood through the lens of science and appropriate technologies need to be developed to increase productivity and make better use of natural resources.
A guideon how to start organic farming in Telangana, cultivation, production, schemes and organic certification in Telangana
Organic farming is a safe, sustainable farming system that produces healthy crops without harming the environment. It avoids the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the land, instead of relying on developing healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops with the help of farmyard manure and other natural organic substances.
Benefits of organic farming
Here are some important benefits that can be given below;
Promoting biodiversity – Fertilization of the land and crop rotation for animal husbandry naturally helps to promote biodiversity, which promotes optimal health in all living species. Because organic farms provide for wildlife, the local ecosystem is also improved.
Organic farming creates healthy soil – To grow healthy food, you should start with healthy soil. If you treat soil with harmful pesticides and chemicals, you may end up with soil that cannot grow on its own. Natural farming methods are much better than chemical soil management.
Food that tastes better – Organic food tastes better than products that come from traditional farms and methods. Organic produce has a lower nitrate content than inorganic varieties, which makes the fruit not only sweeter but also has higher levels of antioxidants. Science shows that organic farming is not only tasty but also good for you.
Reduction in pollution – Organic farming has environmental benefits that reduce pollution. Environmental benefits were consistently higher in organic systems due to fewer chemical inputs, less soil erosion, water conservation, and better soil organic matter and biodiversity than conventional systems.
Combatting Erosion – Organic farming not only builds healthy soil. A large study comparing adjacent organic and chemically treated wheat fields shows that in an organic field, the soil is 8 inches higher than the chemically treated field and only one-third of the erosion occurs. If you are not worried about erosion you should. Erosion problems are very serious, affecting land, food supplies, and humans. However, organic farming methods help prevents erosion.
Supporting animal health and well-being – Insects, birds, fish, and all sorts of other problems are encountered when humans enter and destroy their natural habitat. Organic farming practices encourage birds and natural predators to thrive on farmland, which helps control natural pests. As a benefit to organic farmers, happy and healthy organic animals are productive organic animals.
Key features of organic farming in Telangana
Important features of organic farming are;
- Protecting soil quality by using organic materials and encouraging biological activity.
- Indirect supply of crop nutrients by using soil microorganisms.
- Determination of nitrogen in the soil using pulses.
- Some organic methods like crop rotation, natural predators, and organic fertilizers are used for controlling weeds and pests.
- Take care of the protection of large environments and natural habitats and wildlife.
- Encouraging soil biological activity, and protecting soil long-term fertility from careful mechanical interventions.
- Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble nutrient sources which are made available by the process of micro-organisms.
- Also, nitrogen self-sufficiency through the use of legumes and efficient recycling of organic matter like crop residues and livestock manure.
- Weed, pest, and disease control relying on crop rotations, organic manuring, resistant varieties, and limited (preferably minimal) thermal, biological, and chemical intervention.
- The impact of farming systems on the wider environment in terms of housing, health, breeding and rearing, and careful attention to conservation of wildlife and natural habitats.
Organic production in Hyderabad
Due to the widespread use of chemical fertilizers, many farmers today are reluctant to use cow dung manure, which has led to a significant increase in the use of organic manure the last few years. To meet the demand for organic products in the city, many Hyderabad city professionals have resorted to organic farming to provide people with enough organic products, which will help them, lead a healthy lifestyle.
The organic food market in the city is growing at a rate of 25-30% per year, but awareness of organic farming is still low despite the availability of many organic producers in the city. Although many educated and knowledgeable organic farmers have made significant progress in organic farming in Hyderabad, this method of farming still needs to overcome challenges at the policy, commercial, and infrastructure levels.
Organic farmers face challenges due to a lack of policy, commercial, and infrastructure levels. These challenges could affect the development of organic farming in the state, as well as the quality of organic food production. Challenges due to inadequate agricultural infrastructure and cold storage facilities lead to loss of production due to spoilage.
Tips for starting an organic farming business
- Extensive is needed before starting your farm.
- This is to make sure that once your farm is up and running, you can gather information about potential losses and system issues.
- You can also understand the resources needed in your area and their estimated cost.
- You can visit other organic farming facilities, talk to business people who have valuable experience in this area.
- By learning from their experiences, you can make better decisions about the investment priorities you will make.
Organic farming methods in India
Some organic methods in India are:
Crop diversity – Organic farming encourages Crop diversity. Agriculture has revealed the benefits of polyculture (multiple crops in one place), which is used in organic farming. Crop diversity helps promote the environment and protects species from extinction.
Soil management – Organic farming relies heavily on the natural breakdown of organic matter, then using techniques such as average conventional farming, green manure and composting, to replace soil-derived food crops with previous crops. This biological process is driven by microorganisms such as mycorrhizae and insects, releasing nutrients available to plants during the growing season. Farmers use a variety of methods to improve soil fertility, including crop rotation, cover cropping, reduced tillage, and the use of compost. By reducing fuel consumption, less soil organic matter is lost to the atmosphere. It has the added benefit of carbon sequestration, which reduces greenhouse gases and helps reverse climate change. Reducing tillage can improve soil structure and reduce the likelihood of soil erosion.
Nutrition management in organic farming – In organic farming, it is important to constantly work to build healthy soil that is rich in organic matter and contains all the nutrients that plants need. Many methods such as green manure, fertilizer, and bio-fertilizer can be used to increase soil fertility. These organic sources not only add a variety of nutrients to the soil but also help prevent weeds and increase soil organic matter to feed the soil microorganisms. Soils with high organic matter resist soil erosion, retain water better and thus require less irrigation. Some natural minerals are needed to grow plants and improve soil consistency.
Organic manures – Generally available and applied farm yard fertilizers (FYM) and vermicomposting etc., are generally low in nutrients, so higher application rates are required to meet the nutritional requirements of the crop. However, in many developing countries, including India, the availability of organic fertilizer is not sufficient for crop needs; partly due to the widespread use of cattle dung in energy production. Green manuring with Sesbania, gram, green gram, etc. is effective to improve the organic matter content of the soil. Neem cake is organic manure that is a by-product of cold-pressed neem tree fruits and kernels and acts as a fertilizer for your plants.
Weed management – Organic farmers combine cultural, biological, mechanical, physical, and chemical tactics to manage weeds without artificial herbs. Organic crop rotations often include weed-suppressing core crops and crops to discourage weeds with different crops. These methods promote the growth of natural microorganisms that suppress the growth of common weeds.
In organic farming, chemical herbicides cannot be used. So weeding can only be done manually. Different cultural methods such as tillage, flooding, mulching can be used to manage the weeds. In addition, biological methods can be used to treat damage caused by weeds. When the ground is fallow, a cover crop can be planted to suppress weeds and improve soil quality. Weeds growth can be restricted by drip irrigation whenever possible, limiting the distribution of water in the plant line.
Insect management – In organic farming, the presence of pests (where and when) is anticipated, and accordingly the planting schedules and locations are adjusted as much as possible to avoid serious pest problems. The basic strategy for dealing with pests is to create populations of beneficial insects, whose larvae eat insect eggs.
Disease management in organic farming – Plant diseases are a major obstacle to reduced crop yields and quality in organic and low input production systems. Proper management of crop fertility through a balanced supply of macro and micronutrients and crop rotation improves resistance to certain crop diseases. Thus the greatest reward of organic farming is healthy soil that is alive with beneficial organisms. These healthy microbes, fungi, and bacteria contain harmful bacteria and fungi that cause disease.
Organic crops production in Telangana
In case if you miss this: How To Start Backyard Vegetable Farming.
The state of Telangana has made agriculture its primary goal to improve the welfare of the farming community, to acquire knowledge of modern technical farming to increase agricultural production and productivity. There are three major zones in Telangana, North Zone, Central Zone, and South Zone.
The crops grown organically in Telangana are Rice, Maize, Red Gram, Green Gram, Millet, Sesame, Castor, Cotton, Peanut, Soybean, Black Gram, and some more.
Vegetables – About 20+ vegetables are being consumed in the state of Telangana. Some of the important organic crops in Telangana are Tomatoes, Onions, Green Peppers, Okra, Potatoes, Leafy Vegetables, Pumpkins, Eggplants, Bitter Gourds, and Beans. The state of Telangana is rich in vegetables like Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cabbage, Cabbage, Cucumber, Carrot, and Radish. Surplus production is to be converted into value-added products such as pickles, sauces, and ketchup, etc.
The use of leafy vegetables is less in Hyderabad. Therefore, time is needed to encourage the production of leafy vegetables in urban areas through the promotion of vertical gardening, and backyard cultivation, etc., and that the government is encouraging farmers to cultivate vegetables. Demonstrate field level, provide quality vegetable seeds on Center of Excellence subsidy and subsidize permanent venues and mulching components for increased production and quality production.
Accordingly, the state government has allocated Rs. 242 crore for horticulture and Rs. 50 crore for the promotion of vegetable cultivation.
Step by step process for organic farming in Telangana
Step by step farming involves some main steps. The first is crop selection, which means choosing the right crop according to the season. After that, some important points are land preparation; select the right seeds and sowing process, watering, and the addition of natural fertilizers such as Gomutra. And, the final stage is harvesting. It is a method that increases the lifespan and happiness and health of the people.
Step 1) Understand the basics of organic farming and the quality of organic farming
Organic farming systems are based on knowledge and transitional producers must be familiar with some practices. Transitional producers must be prepared to read the appropriate information, conduct their trials, and training events. Converting from traditional to organic farming is more than replacing artificial materials with organic allowed materials. This is a holistic system that relies on sound methods focused on prevention strategies. There are few organic treatments available for farmers for certain problems, and prevention is a key factor in organic production.
Step 2) Identify the resources that will help in the organic farming business
Existing organic farmers help share valuable technical information. A good mentor should be able to offer transitional producers knowledge, practical experience, and appropriate reading material.
Step 3) Choosing a site for organic farming in Telangana
The location of your project plays an important role in the success of any project. Your area of organic farming in India usually decides how to try. Organic farming sites should be close to clean water sources – water is the most important asset for crop growth and health. If your water source is very far away, it is very difficult to deal with irrigation measures. As a start, it can be a monotonous thought but on the other hand, it is essential to work effectively on your farm. The proximity of the organic farming area to the commercial center adds an important function to the farm’s management capacity. The farm’s proximity to the market includes easy communication for sale. Similarly, it helps to holistic costs when sending goods to the farm.
Step 4) Prepare the soil and make good fertilizer
Production of all good organic farms starts with good soil. The condition of the soil directly complements the plants that grow in it. Inorganic soil treatments can potentially harm the environment, plants that grow in the soil, as well as consumers who eventually eat food. Good soil means soil that is essential for plant growth. Good soil is a mixture of compost, leaf and grass clippings, and manure, among other important techniques.
Farmers usually benefit when they make their compost onsite. Compost helps save water, cut weeds, and keep waste out. This stage is important when one starts organic farming. Some techniques need to be considered for plant and farm conditions. Also, an organic farming technique does not necessarily work for all farm plants.
Step 5) Plan your transition carefully
Develop a transition plan with clear and realistic goals. The plan identifies the different steps to be taken for organic transition and ensures that a realistic time frame is included. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Consider ways to overcome any weakness, while building strengths. The business aspect of the interim plan should include a budget of more than one year and an effective/realistic marketing strategy. Carefully make sure the list of expenses is comprehensive. Include all requirements to initiate the transition, such as mechanical hay equipment, special composting equipment and applicators, additional handling equipment dedicated to organic products, and processing equipment. Although the demand for organic products is constantly increasing, farmers need to make sure that they have a reliable market for the organic products they are planning. Careful planning is essential. Use realistic products and prices when evaluating the feasibility of your project.
Step 6) Understand your soil in Telangana and ways to improve it
Soil is at the heart of organic farming. It is important to understand the different characteristics and limitations of the soil found on their farms. Soil suitability can vary significantly from one field to another. Good drainage, good fertility levels, and organic matter, proper pH, biological health, high fruit content, and low grass and pest pressure fields are the best assets. Often these fields are prepared in advance for transfer and certification.
Step 7) Identify crops or livestock suitable for your situation
Before growing a crop or raising any livestock, consider the following: degree of difficulty in growing or enhancing the product, soil and soil suitability, climate suitability, product demand level, marketing challenges, capital requirements, profits on traditional current prices, transitional and organic products, and additional workload.
Step 8) Identify pest challenges and control methods
The availability of organic matter has improved significantly over the past few years. New pest control products including Bt, spinosad, Kaolin clay are effective and currently available to organic farmers. It is often said that the types of weeds found on farms evolve as farmers change the way they grow their crops and control their weeds. By keeping track of the weed population, growers will be able to improve their crop rotation and their control measures.
Under organic livestock management, cattlemen must be provided with careful care that promotes health and meets the behavioral needs of different types of livestock. With good herd health practices, farmers need to rely on traditional medicine. Organic pesticides are obtained from natural sources. These include living organisms like Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) bacteria used to treat caterpillar pests or plant derivatives such as pyrethrins or neem oil. Inorganic pesticides based on minerals such as sulfur and copper are also allowed.
Organic pest control combines biological, cultural, and genetic control in addition to pesticides to reduce pest damage. Biological control is used by natural enemies to attack insects such as predatory insects (such as ladybugs) or parasites (such as certain pyrethrins wasps). Cultural control can disrupt plague cycles, most commonly crop rotation. Finally, traditional plant breeding has produced a wide variety of pest-resistant crops. The planting of genetically diverse crops provides genetic control of many pests and plant diseases.
Step 9) Avoid some common mistakes
Understand the need for good transitional and marketing plans. Understand the need to fully understand organic standards. Organic producers need to understand the criteria to know what is permitted and prohibited. Failed to think about prevention – Transitional farmers should improve their crop rotation, soil and crop management skills, and livestock management practices (feeding program, heard health program, grazing system, housing facilities, and husbandry).
Organic certification in Telangana
How to Get a Certificate of Organic Agriculture Products in Telangana?
What is Organic Certification?
Organic certification is defined as the process of certification for organic food producers and other organic agricultural products.
Procedure to apply organic certification;
- A person (farmer/farmer group/processor/trader) who is looking for a certificate of organic farming for agricultural produce should make sure that his form is from the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) standards.
- The TSSOCA (Telangana State Seed Organic Certification Agency) has provided the general procedure for organic certification. This organic certification is available on the TSSOCA website.
- After that, select the menu on the main page and click on Organic Certification and select the Certification Procedure.
- Now select the organic application.
- Applicants submit the first general application asking for certification requirements, procedures, and prices.
- The applicant receives the first package of information from the certification body via email or phone, often accompanied by individual additional information such as application form, organic system plan, organizational profile, certification agreement.
- The applicant is requested to complete the application form giving some details about the farm unit. This written application form has been reviewed by the CB (Certification Body) and checked if applicable.
- Based on the size of the certified unit, the CB calculates the certification fee.
- Once the applicant and the CB agree on the fee, the applicant signs the agreement. In doing so, he/she is committed to meeting organic standards. The CB sends a signed copy of the agreement back to the counter.
- The CB will write if any inconsistency is found and once it obtains measurable action from the concerned operators, it goes to the Certification Committee for final decision and issues the certificate by email after which the original courier or by post.
- To use the Certification Agency logo / India Organic logo, the operator has to send an application to the office which will be sent to the operator after the approval of the Certification Committee as per NSOP. The draft labels should be sent to the certification agency’s office for verification and approval before printing.
Eligibility – Certified products need to be associated with authenticity for 2 to 3 years. For the first time certification, the soil meets the basic requirements of being free from the use of prohibited substances for many years.
Validity – The organic certificate is valid for one year only; it has to be renewed every year.
Processing time – It depends on your operation history and compliance with certification standards and regulations. It takes 2 years for annual crops and 3 years to certify perennial crops as organic.
The government gives a subsidy of Rs 4,500 per acre to each farmer. It is using MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) to help farmers. The government of Telangana has decided to promote organic farming by making agricultural inputs available to farmers and by training farmers.
Schemes for organic farming in Telangana
How about this: How To Start Vertical Farming In India.
The Soil Health Card Scheme (SHC) – SHC will be implemented during the 12th National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
Plan with the following objective;
- The main objective is to make agriculture more productive;
- To conserve natural resources;
- To approve comprehensive soil management practices
- To improve utilization of water resources; etc.
Soil Health Management (SHM) is an important intervention under the NMSA to improve the use of water resources. Soil Health Management aims to promote Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) through equitable use of chemical fertilizers to improve soil health and its productivity, soil strength, and fertilizer testing facilities, to provide farmers with recommendations to farmers for improving soil fertility; ensuring quality control requirements of fertilizers, bio-fertilizers and ensuring quality control requirements, soil testing laboratory staff, extension staff, and farmers through organic fertilizer expertise and knowledge classification training, promotion of organic farming methods.
Prampragath Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) scheme
- It is to promote commercial organic production through certified organic farming.
- Pest production will be free from pesticide residues and will play a role in improving the health of consumers;
- It will raise farmers’ income will increase and create a potential market for traders.
- It will encourage farmers to mobilize natural resources for input production.
- Farmers Groups of farmers will be encouraged to engage in organic farming under Prampragat.
Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
- In this scheme, every farmer will be provided Rs. 20,000 per acre in 3 years for the seed to harvesting of crops and then transport produce to the market.
- This will be promoted using traditional resources and organic products will be linked to the market.
- This will increase the certification of domestic production and organic production.
What are the different ways for a farmer to marketing organic products?
- Organic products must be certified by a government authority/agency.
- Explore international markets.
- Access to corporate shopping malls and organic stores.
- Plans to set up organic stalls in key growth centers, especially in Rythu Bazar and organic melas.
- Access to market intelligence apps from various agencies, including reputable NGOs.
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