Organic Agriculture in Rajasthan
CUTS International in collaboration with Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) implemented a two year pilot project to promote organic consumption in the state of Rajasthan, which was just concluded in the month of the October 2015. The purpose was to promote organic consumption by spreading awareness among generation, sensitization, capacity building and advocacy activities in the state covering six major agriculture potential districts that is Jaipur, Dausa, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Pratapgarh and Kota.
Farmers willing to adopt organic farming told that their biggest challenge is to convert the entire field to organic farm and a process of 3 years. 97.3% of farmers are willing to adopt organic farming if support is provided to them. A majority of farmers suggested that spreading awareness is the best way to promote organic farming.80% of farmer respondents were found aware about the implementation of project while 74.7% of them had participated in project activities. 76% farmers were of the perception that project has been successful in creating an impact. It was reported that 23.8% farmers have started doing only organic cultivation and 22.1% have started organic farming as backyard farming or kitchen gardening. 38.1% farmer respondents said that the number of farmers doing organic farming has increased over the project period.
The end line evaluation of Pro-Organic project has been completed with a goal to assess the project effectiveness and also to collect evidence of change due to the project intervention. The study has conducted in 2 Gram Panchayats from 51 blocks hence a total of 102 Gram Panchayats have selected from six districts. A total of 3122 sample stakeholders’ feedback has been collected. Out of the total samples, 1605 were farmer respondents while 1517 consumers were interviewed. Approximately 40 percent respondents out of the total sample were women.
The study indicates that 97.6% of interviewed farmers were found aware about the hazards caused due to use of chemical based inputs. In all the selected districts 69.6% farmers are using a mix of organic as well as chemical based inputs while 16.3% are using only organic inputs in farming. In Dausa district, highest number of farmers said that the organic farming is good for health (87.1%), good for soil (72.5%) and more profitable (46.6%).
NGOs play a vital role in motivating the farmers for adoption of organic farming. Out of the farmers doing organic farming those motivated by NGO range from 41.3% in Jaipur to 89.4% in Kota district.
The major agencies providing assistance on organic farming are NGOs (54.6%), NABARD (20.9%) and state government support (17.7%). The NGOs are providing 84.4% support in Kota district while NABARD 36.5% in Dausa district and state government 52.5% in Udaipur district. 82% of farmer respondents have not received any support for organic farming.45.8% farmers are not aware about certification while 44.2% do face problems in marketing of organic produce. Lack of awareness of marketing avenues is major reason for farmers not getting good returns on their produce.
In this report, awareness on ill effects
of chemical based products was found to be 95.5% while 88.6% consumers feel organic products are better than chemical based products. 80% of the respondents credited awareness on organic products to the NGO working in their area. In the districts Dausa consumers are most aware at 60% regarding identification of certification. 55.3% consumers have purchased organic products while 22.1% attributed unavailability of organic products as reason for not purchase.
Giving a boost to organic farming in rajasthan , the state government will dedicate one block each in 11 districts for Organic Agriculture in Rajasthan . The agriculture department has started process to identify the blocks in the 11 districts. An agriculture department official said that with in order to discourage use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture, 11 blocks in 11 districts will be completely transformed into organic farming. “We have started the process of identifying the blocks,” the official said. The identified districts include Dungarpur, Banswara, Jhalawar, Pratapgarh and Udaipur. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje at different platforms had appealed to the farmers to stop using pesticides, chemicals and fertilizers as they could cause cancer. Presently, the organic farming is being practised in about 60,000 hectares of land in the state. Now, efforts are being made to encourage more farmers to adopt organic farming.
The government is trying to convert the big chunk of land from pesticide and chemical farming to organic farming. If organic farming is done on small land, the adjacent farming using chemicals and pesticide could affect its organic nature. So, promoting organic farming in whole block will help the cause, the official said. For encouraging farmers to opt for organic farming, the agriculture department has identified four farmers of the state for their efforts in organic farming. Agriculture commissioner Neeraj K Pawan said that four selected farmers are Kailashchand Jat from Kotputli panchayat samiti, Om Prakash Sharma from Piprali panchayat samiti of Sikar district, Ramjilal Sharma from Baswa panchayat samiti of Dausa district and Ramdev Jat from Kishangarh panchayat samiti of Ajmer district. Each selected farmer will get subsidy on organic farming in rajasthan Rs 1 lakh. The announcement of subsidy on organic farming in rajasthan award was made by Raje in her Budget speech 2015-16. Before selecting the four farmers, the agriculture department had invited applications from the farmers for the award. The department also constituted a committee to select four farmers, who have done the best work in organic farming.
Rajasthan organic certification Agency (R.O.C.A) is an integral part of RSSOPCA which is registered under 1958 society act and works under the guidelines of state government. RSSOPCA is a governing body established by the State Government of Rajasthan through notification in the Official Gazette under the provision of “The Seeds Act 1966, Section 8” in the year 1978. This Agency functions as per “Rule – 6 of the Seeds Rules 1968”. ROCA is working as a separate wing of RSSOPCA for organic certification as per guidelines of ISO-65.