Jaipur, April 12, 2022
Sustained growth is key to India’s future, for which a reduction in chemical farming and a move from chemical to organic farming are challenging. To this end, we all need to become champions of reform and reduce the amount of chemical farming by moving towards organic farming. This was pointed out by Padma Shri award winning Farmer Jagdish Pareek. In continuation, he added that Rajasthan, a state suffering from water shortages, needs a technology along with traditional strategy to achieve our target without any financial loss.
He was speaking as Chief Guest at the launch of a project named “Developing a Culture of Sustainable Consumption and Lifestyle Through Promoting Organic Consumption and Production and Adopting Sustainable Consumption Practices by Engaging Consumers in the State of Rajasthan, India” (ProScop). This project will be implemented in twelve targeted districts and all seven divisions of Rajasthan for five years (2022-2026).
“We should not think of shifting from conventional farming into organic farming overnight. We need to go slow and gradually”, said George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International. George reminded to learn from present Sri Lankan crisis, which shifted to organic farming without any preparations. He said this project phase (2022-2026), envisages converting selected gram panchayats to 100% organic farming. 190 countries are practising organic farming, and 74.9 million hectares of land is organic, as per “The World of Organic Agriculture 2022” report of IFOAM. However, it is only 1.6 percent. Furthermore, he added, India ranks fifth (Australia 1st) in the area under organic certification and 1st in terms of the total number of producers. George also quoted and highlighted that state-wise, Madhya Pradesh has covered the largest area under organic certification and Rajasthan earned the 2nd position, with 12% of the total organic certified land in the country. In the end, Cheriyan added, organic farming is a time-consuming process. There are several challenges, but we all need to move slowly and gradually and we will achieve our target without facing any crisis issues.
Shri Hanuman Mal Dhaka, Additional Commissioner, Dept. of Agriculture, highlighted the adverse effects of chemicals that are used by farmers in their farming. Dhaka spoke explicitly about product demand and supply, stating that we need to raise public awareness about the hazardous effects of chemical products so that people recognise the value of organic items.
Organic farming can be a way to protect the climate, environment, and water, said Dr. A.S. Baloda, Director, Rajasthan Agriculture Research Institute (RARI). On a similar note, he emphasised the need for farmers to perform honestly in organic farming.
Surendra Awana, a progressive farmer, talked about innovative ways of farming and divergent practical methods that are helping farmers to take new initiatives to move towards organic farming.
In the beginning, Deepak Saxena, Assistant Director of CUTS International, welcomed all the guests and participants. Rajdeep Pareek, CUTS Program Officer, gave an overview of the entire project objectives and activities to be covered in the coming years. Amit Babu, CUTS, gave an abridged outline of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), which is about minimising the use of natural resources and the emission of waste and pollutants, helping to improve resource efficiency and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. Kuldeep Panwar, Director, CUTS International, gave an overview of the work on FPOs.
Nimisha Sharma moderated the event, and Dharmendra Chaturvedi proposed the vote of thanks. At the meeting, more than 60 participants, government officials, civil society representatives, media and consultants from targeted districts in Rajasthan took part.
For more information, please contact
Rajdeep Pareek (94616 70755)
Dharmendra Chaturvedi (94142 02868)