Organic farming is a system of agriculture that focuses on the use of natural inputs and processes to produce crops and livestock without the use of synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic farming is guided by a set of principles that promote sustainability, environmental protection, and animal welfare. Here are the principles of organic farming:
- Principle of Health
- Principle of Ecology
- Principle of Fairness
- Principle of Care
Organic farming is becoming increasingly popular as consumers become more conscious of the environmental and health impacts of conventional agriculture. By promoting sustainable practices and reducing the use of synthetic chemicals, organic farming offers a viable alternative to conventional agriculture that benefits both the environment and human health.
Organic certification is a process through which a third-party certification body inspects a farm or business to ensure that it meets the organic standards set by the certification body. The certification body verifies that the farm or business uses natural inputs and processes to produce crops and livestock, without the use of synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and GMOs.
The need for organic certification arises from the desire of consumers to purchase food that is produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Organic certification provides consumers with assurance that the food they are buying has been produced in accordance with organic principles, and that it is free from synthetic chemicals and GMOs.
Organic certification also benefits farmers by providing a market for their organic products. Certification enables farmers to access premium prices for their products, as organic products typically command higher prices in the marketplace. Additionally, certification helps farmers to improve their farming practices, as they are required to meet certain standards in order to maintain their certification.
Thus, an interaction with IPM or Organic Farmers program was organized by NPHF 13th April with the aim of providing information on organic certification and Participatory Guarantee System.
Objectives of the program
- To educate farmers about the principles and practices of organic farming and the requirements for organic certification.
- To provide Knowledge to farmers regarding organic certification.
- To provide knowledge about the Organic Certification process and its importance.
- To discuss with IPM and Organic farmers regarding their market problems, organic and IPM farming.
Opening and welcoming session:
SuniraMarahatta, project officer, welcomed the attendees and thanked them for their presence and acknowledged the increasing importance of organic farming and IPM practices for the sustainability of agriculture and the environment. She introduced the facilitator for the meeting, Chandra Prasad Adhikari, who has extensive experience in organic and IPM farming practices. She expressed her confidence that Chandra Prasad Adhikari would provide valuable insights to the attendees and answer their questions. She asked Samana Sharma, project manager to give short insights about the project and objectives of the meeting.
This session was facilitated by Mr. Chandra Prasad Adhikari, Organic activist.He started by explaining the principles of organic farming and the benefits of organic certification. He also discussed the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and how it offers an alternative to third-party certification.He provided the farmers with information on natural inputs and processes, pest and disease control, soil health, and biodiversity. He also shared examples of successful organic and IPM farming practices and provided tips for farmers interested in transitioning to organic and IPM practices.
Major Highlights of his session were:
- History of organic agriculture.
- Organic agriculture: 1986 by NGO (INSAN) started to grow organic vegetable in organic farm Gamchha, Bhaktapur in 1987.
- National Permaculture Group (NPC) had lead role in Organic Agriculture movement since 1992.
- Priority from 10thfive year plan. (2059/60- 2063/64).
- DADO (2002): started organic vegetable production in Kathmandu: first governmental intervention.
First national workshop in organic farming: 2063 (Baisakh28-30), Kritipur i.e. June 12-14, 2006
- Organic certification and organic market in Nepal
- Total Organic certified area: 9361 ha
- Organic area under oilseed: 122 ha (area under conversion)
- Coffee organic area: 804 ha
- Global organic share of Nepal: 0.2 %
- Global organic share of coffee by Nepal: 30.3%
- Organic producers: 983
- Organic agriculture: its importance and basic/guiding principle.
- Objective of organic agriculture production and processing system
- Standards of organic agriculture
- Process and types of organic certification
- Certification Agencies
- Certification inspector.
- Registration system.
- Participatory Guarantee System.
Nowadays, pesticide use has been exceeded to maximum extent. Further addressed that, as a farmer they were compelled to use pesticide for maximum yield as without pesticide the production would destroy and it would cause financial crisis with no benefits in comparison to their investment.
One of the farmers suggested a method of making organic pesticides in home. Though it takes a longer period, it is very effective if we want to go towards organic farming methods. Similarly, local seeds should be preserved and used.in comparison to hybrid seeds.
Most of them shared the problem of organic market and asked us to coordinate for its possibility. They also realized coordination among themselves for exchange or buying and selling of IPM or organic products.
The attendees expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to learn from an experienced facilitator and engage in meaningful discussions with other farmers too. They also appreciated the valuable insights and resources provided to help them understand about certification and participatory guarantee system to authenticate their product as organic or IPM one.In conclusion, the meeting was a success in providing farmers with valuable information and resources on organic certification and the participatory guarantee system.
Farming, Health and Environment Project
Nepal Public Health Foundation
13th April 2023
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