India and during the pre-British era primarily, agriculture was practiced
using organic techniques. Fertilizers, and pesticides were made from
plant and animal products and in fact, for thousands of years, India
was one of the most prosperous countries in the world.
during the 1950s and 1960s, the ever-increasing population and several
natural calamities lead to a severe food scarcity in India. As a result,
the government was forced to import food grains from foreign countries.
Together with this, to increase food security, it also had to drastically
increase food production in the country. The Green Revolution became
the government's most important program in the 1960s. A large amount
of land was brought under cultivation. Hybrid seeds were introduced.
Organic fertilizers were replaced by chemical fertilizers and locally
made pesticides were replaced by chemical pesticides.
By the 1990s, India was back to exporting food-grains but with time,
land is losing its fertility due to extensive dependence on chemical
farming. Larger quantities of fertilizers are required and today,
pests are becoming immune faster, forcing farmers to use stronger
and costlier pesticides. What's more, due to increased cost of farming,
most farmers are heavily in debt.
The good news is that such dire conditions are turning farmers towards
Organic Farming once again. Not only do they realize that it is good
for their land and for themselves in the long run, but they also want
to reap the benefits of the growing domestic and international demand
for organic food.
According to the International Fund for Agriculture and Development
(IFAD), about 2.5 million hectares of land was under Organic Farming
in India in 2004. Further, there are over 15,000 certified organic
farms in India. India therefore, is one of the most important suppliers
of organic food to the developed nations. No doubt, the organic movement
has again started in India.