At the recent Tasting India Symposium in New Delhi, there were animated discussions over working towards a sustainable food culture. The question of Indian farming going organic was highly debated.
Miss Meera Mishra, India Office Country Coordinator of the International Fund for Agricultural Development said there are three fundamental reasons why organic food is being promoted around the world.
- We want good quality food, free of toxic and chemical residue
- We want to improve the health of the soil, which is benefitting the environment. This comes after decades of promoting chemicals for enhancement, and suffering the consequences.
- We want farmers to get better remuneration; the most important factor. Unless they produce, we cannot have anything.
With this in mind, there are therefore three pillars of organic food: the producers, the organic trading companies and the consumers.
The Huffington Post recorded a farmer explaining what it means to go organic: "When you expect farmers to grow food without chemicals, for the first three years they have tough time with weeds. There is a loss of balance in the soil’s eco-system, pests increase and there is lots of labour involved to manage this. In such a scenario, current certification systems can be a burden. In trying to make a farmer go organic, you can’t be punishing him for it at the same time.”
More steps and elements need to be listed before farmers can make the change to organic, and government aid is just one of the prerequisites to this.