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21. Organic farming
Organic farming is a production system which excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, , growth regulators, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and livestock feed additives. India is home to 30 per cent of the total organic producers in the world accounting to 2.59% of the total organic cultivated area of 57.8 million ha according to World Organic Agriculture 2018 report. Pure organic farming includes the use of organic manures and biopesticides with complete exclusion of inorganic chemicals and pesticides. Integrated organic farming involves integrated nutrient management and integrated pest management. Organic farming is practiced to release nutrients to the crops for increased sustainable production in an ecofriendly and pollution free environment. It aims to produce crop with a high nutritional value. In January 2016, Sikkim became India’s first ‘100 per cent organic state’. From 2010 onwards, Sikkim has converted land under organic certification. Till 2012-13, Sikkim has total 56,638 ha of land under organic farming certification achieving more than it’s target of 50,000 ha. In 2016-17, Sikkim has produced about 80,000 metric tonnes of various organic vegetables over farm area of 14,000 ha out of the certified land of 77000 ha after becoming a fully organic state. Sikkim just achieved the feat of being the world’s first organic state and has been awarded UN Future Policy Gold Award 2018, also known as Oscar for best policies beating 51 nominated policies from 25 different countries. But at the same time, most organic farmers struggling due to poor policy measures, enhanced input costs and limited market due to cumbersome and time consuming certification system for organic food. In 2018, implementation of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) highlights that all states except Tripura, Odisha and Karnataka have failed to utilize even 50% of their funds under the scheme. In view of the above, the present publication on ‘Organic Farming-Principles and Practices’ is planned in 15 interesting chapters vividly highlighting various aspects of organic agriculture covering importance of organic farming, Principles of Organic Farming, Organic source of Plant nutrition, Standards, Accreditation, certification and inspection, Export prospects of organic products, Diversified Farming Systems for Sustainable Agriculture, Biofertilizers for enhanced crop production, Vermicomposting, Mycorrhiza for soil health and sustainable agriculture, Biopesticides, IPNS-a tool for organic agriculture, ITK/IKP used in organic agriculture, Natural growth promoters in organic farming, Agroforestry a viable component of organic farming and Management of insect-pests and diseases in organic agriculture.