Organic food regulation should protect interests of consumers, farmers

Sceptics often raise the Malthusian argument that organic farming has lower food production. But it is a sector that is posting impressive growth all over the world. The US is its largest market, and India has the highest number of organic farmers. For the farmer, it presents a low-external-input, low-debt approach, with farm-level resilience improved through diversity-based cropping. And we are yet to come across an organic farmer who has committed suicide in this country due to agrarian distress. In the era of climate change, organic farming’s approaches are suitable for both mitigation and adaptation. For the consumer, organic food production, especially accompanied by traditional seed varieties, means safer and nutritious food. Organic farming enterprises also take up eco-friendly food processing, while retaining the nutritional qualities of the produce.

The government had recently brought in large flagship programmes to promote organic farming. The recent growth in “formally-counted” organic farming areas and the number of farmers is reflective of the investments being made. As per reports, the year-on-year growth rate of the organic sector is anywhere between 20% and 25%.