Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Tamil Nadu
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

Tamil Nadu Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Organic farming catching on

By Our Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE, MAY 11. A desire to export chemical-free farm products is motivating farmers in the Coimbatore region to opt for organic farming.

"Organic farming is picking up for vegetables and greens, besides orchard crops such as mango, sappota, guava and amla," said K. K. Krishnamurthi, president, Indian Society for Certification of Organic Products (ISCOP).

"It is increasing in Erode district, especially in Gobi and Kodumudi. There are organic farmers in Salem and Coimbatore too. Several engineers, chartered accountants and doctors are taking it up. Most of them have their own farms where organic farming is being carried out traditionally," he said.

Organic agriculture enhanced biodiversity and biological activities so that people could obtain food, feed, fibre and timber without harming the environment.

Cultivation methods used on the farm were meant to "restore, maintain and enhance" ecological harmony.

Organic farmers considered soil fertility the key to increase agricultural yield and boost resistance to crop pests and plant diseases.

Mr. Krishnamurthi said the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority had accredited ISCOP to certify farm products and processes.

To qualify for the certificate, farmers have to follow certain eco-friendly practices such as the use of biofertilizers instead of chemicals and avoid use of fungicides and weedicides.

Certification of organic products was a way of protecting consumers, producers and traders against misleading or deceptive labels. Used as a marketing instrument, it enabled producers to obtain premium prices in the market.

"Tamil Nadu was traditionally organic but people began going for chemical fertilizers when there was shortage of food," he said.

However, over-dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides could only end up polluting the soil and atmosphere. In course of time, agricultural yield would begin to drop because of soil exhaustion.

"At one time, organic farmers who wanted certification for their products had to approach foreign agents in Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand and some European countries. They charged heavy amounts, which burdened farmers.

"The Government of India has now realised that it can help farmers by identifying better talent within the country, to do the certification process. It has granted accreditation to organisations like ISCOP, to act as a role model for the country," he said.

In April this year, the society issued organic farm certificates to four farms in Tirunelveli. On May 9, it certified nine farms in the Coimbatore region. These were at Anaikatti, Theenampalayam, Athiyurpudur, Kanuvai, Thenkarai and Telungupalayam.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Tamil Nadu

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu