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Organic Farming part 2

By DR. Venkatramana Hegde, Hosagadde. Director, Shramajeevi Television Pvt. Ltd. Bengaluru

Introduction

Dear readers, we have studied the bad effects of chemical farming, principles of organic farming, methods of supplying nutrients, composting, vermi-compost, Panchagavya etc. in the first part of this article. In this second part let us study non-chemical methods for pest and disease control, organic certification, marketing etc.

All creatures on this earth have the right and ability to live and survive. Hence we need not and cannot eradicate any pest, pathogen or weed. It is enough if it is kept under control to avoid economic damage to our crops. We have to follow non-chemical integrated farm management system for this purpose. There are many useful insects and organisms in the nature. There will be one or the other natural enemy for all creatures. This brings the balance in the eco system. But the interference of man disturbed this balance. Indiscriminate use of pesticides killed the predators like spider, frog, snake and bird. This led to the sudden multiplication of some unknown pests and has gone out of control. Coconut mite, sugarcane wooly aphid etc. are the best examples for this. If you stop spraying pesticides and minimize our interference, the situation will recover soon.

According to Indian national standards for organic production (NSOP) we should not use any synthetic insecticide, fungicide or herbicide. Instead of that, we are advised to use substances of plant, animal and microbial origin. We can use plastic mulch, insect nets, polyethylene and polypropylene based materials in protected cultivation in green houses. But we have to collect and clean these materials from the garden after the harvest of the crop. Off course it should not be burnt.

NSOP for pest & disease control

NSOP suggests destroying the original source of pests and diseases as a preventive measure. We can use insect barriers, solar energy, heat, UV rays, nets and plant based substances from neem, garlic, Pongamia etc. as control measure. One may use mechanical and biological methods in addition. But radiation is not allowed. Restricted use of neem oil and other neem products, pyrethrins extracted from chrysanthemum plant, predators and parasites, vinegar etc. is allowed. We can use silt, sodium bi-carbonate, NPV, soft soap, homeopathic and Ayurvedic products, biodynamic preparations, mulch, traps etc. without any restrictions. Further, limited use of calcium chloride, sodium carbonate, copper oxy-chloride, copper sulfate, copper hydroxide, potassium permanganate and Sulphur is allowed. But volume of any of these chemicals should not cross 8 kilograms per hector per year. Use of ethyl alcohol and tobacco is not permitted.

Non-chemical methods for weed, pest and disease control

Let us go through some non-chemical methods of weed control first. Like any other plant weed also prepares food for itself. Hence it adds humus to the soil if it is incorporated in the soil. Weed plays an important role in soil and water conservation. Touch me not, Cassia and many leguminous weeds have root nodules with nitrogen storage to enrich soil fertility. Chopping of the weed is popular in recent years instead of uprooting. Weed cutting machines are popular for this purpose. If the space is less between crop rows to operate brush cutters, we may use small rotary tillers for inter-cultivation. Cover crops or mulching is helpful in gardens for weed control. In wide open field irrigate once before sowing. Plough the land after the germination of weed seeds. This farmer uses simple equipment for paddy weeding. Small cage wheel is attached to the brush cutter itself for the purpose. Apart from weeding this operation helps for better tillering. Flood irrigation encourages weed growth in gardens. But the drip irrigation minimizes the weed growth. Panama wilt of banana spreads with flood irrigation water. But drip irrigation checks this problem.

It is advised to grow crops and varieties adapted to the local conditions. Hybrids can give higher yield under favorable conditions. But it fails with adverse climatic situations. Farmer has to spend every time to purchase hybrid seeds. Generally commercial hybrids have less resistance against pest and diseases. Hence the spending on fertilizers and pesticides is more. But the local varieties are available with the farmers with less cost. Use of these varieties enriches crop and varietal diversity. Varieties respond well to organic farming and can face adverse climatic conditions. Pest and disease problem is also less. There are varieties with resistance or tolerance against specific disease or insect. For example, we have tomato variety resistant to bacterial wilt. Growing resistant variety will bring down the necessity of medicines. Planting time is also important. Incidence and extent of damage depends on the season and climatic condition. Many times we can minimize the loss due to pest and disease by adjusting sowing or planting time. Crop rotation is also an important practice. Repeated growing of any crop will lead to build up of pest and disease and deficiency of micronutrients. Crop rotation with different types of crops will minimize these problems. This improves the health and sturdiness of the crop minimizing pest and disease problem. Leguminous crops in the crop rotation cycle enrich soil fertility benefiting the mono-cot crop of the next season. Intercropping and mixed cropping systems are also useful to bring down pest and disease problem.

Summer ploughing

Most of the insects pupate in the soil after the harvest of crop. Adults emerge by next cropping season. Hence summer ploughing exposes the pupa to direct sun and predators. Even the pathogens get destroyed by direct hot sun. Thus summer ploughing helps a lot for pest and disease control.

Solaraization

Solaraization is another effective method of pest and disease management. Cover the seedbed or planting site tightly with transparent plastic sheet for 8 weeks. It is most effective in hot summer if the soil has sufficient moisture. Heat collected beneath the poly sheet destroys root knot nematodes, soil borne pathogenic fungi, insects and weeds. In this areca garden bunches are covered with poly cover to avoid Kole roga (nut decay) of areca nut. This is a popular and effective method in heavy rainfall areas.

Prevention of pest and diseases

Preventing pest and disease is our priority in organic farming. Follow recommended spacing for crops and varieties. Light penetration and free movement of air between rows and plants of crop will keep the pests away. This is the reason for healthy growth of paddy in SRI method. Uproot excess plants after germination to maintain optimum plant population. This allows remaining plants to grow healthy and sturdy. Vegetables like tomato, bitter gourd, ridge gourd etc. are tied upright with thread. This avoids the contact of leaves and fruits with the soil minimizing soil born infection.

Mulching

Mulching is given importance in organic farming. It is helpful for soil and water conservation. It is also useful for pest and disease management. Mulching avoids splashing of pathogens with rainwater from soil to the upper portion of plants. This is followed in black pepper for the control of wilt disease. Silver colored shining plastic mulch repels aphids by reflection of light. This method minimizes the spreading of mosaic disease of watermelon and wilt disease of tomato and chili. Preventing the entry of vector insects avoids many diseases in vegetable nurseries. Nylon nets are used for this purpose.

Physical methods

It is possible to pick and kill larvae and other insects in kitchen gardens. Kill the pest by putting it in kerosene in a poly bag. Sticky trap is one of the methods of integrated pest management. Paint metal plate or tin with yellow colour and apply grease or castor oil on it. Put this yellow sticky trap in the field. White flies and aphids of brinjal, tomato and cotton are attracted to this trap. Insects get trapped on the sticky surface and die. Likewise, violet colour attracts thrips and lice. Clean the trap once in 2 to 3 days and apply the sticky substance again. Adult insect gets attracted to the lamp in dark hours. Glow an incandescent bulb in the field from 6 to 9 pm. Fill water in an earthen vessel with wide mouth and put a little bit of kerosene. Keep vessel below the bulb. Insect attracted to the bulb die by falling in to water. Switch off the light by 9 pm. Otherwise some useful insects will also die.

Paddy case worm is common if the transplanting is delayed. In western ghat region there is a traditional method for the control of this case worm. Twig of Mukkadaka or Gnidia glauca plant which has insecticidal property is swinged to open the case of the worm. Stop water flowing in and flowing out before this work. Case worms fall down. Put a little amount of kerosene to a gunny bag and keep it in the water outlet. Then leave the stagnant water. Case worms moving with the flowing water die due to kerosene. Some farmers use the twigs with sharp thorns or coconut leaf spoke broom instead of Gnidia glauca plant. There is a traditional method for the control of ear head bugs of paddy. Burning bundle of wooden sticks is swinged just above the crop by 7 to 8 pm. The bugs fly in the dark and die due to burning of wings.

Pheromone traps

Another method of insect control is the use of pheromone trap. Pheromones are the biological substances released by female insect to attract male. Pheromones are specific to each species of insects. These are artificially produced in the lab and supplied as lures. Traps fitted with lure are placed at 2 to 3 feet height above the crop. 5 pheromone traps are enough for 1 acre. Male insects get attracted, trapped in the poly bag and die. This reduces the chance of mating and multiplication is cut to that extent. Originally the pheromone trap is the system of monitoring of pest population. Pheromone traps are popular for the control of helicorpa and spodoptera insects in cotton, sunflower and tomato, and stem borer and fruit borer in brinjal etc. It is commercially used for the control of fruit flies in mango and other fruit crops also.

Insect repellents

Repelling the pest is also a method of crop protection. Put 1 part of neem cake and 3 parts of water in an earthen pot. Cover the mouth with cloth and ferment it for 3 days. Keep 1 pot in each corner of the field. Open the pot and stir well by evening. Bad smell of fermented neem cake will keep the insects away. Cow urine and Panchagavya are also the good repellents of insects. In one more method neem cake is tied in a gunny bag and kept immersed in the water inlet of the farm. Content of neem cake gets dissolved in the water. This protects the roots and tillers of the plant from pest and diseases.

Bird perches

Bird perches are seen in some fields. Otherwise maize or okra plants are grown here and there. Birds sit on these perches and predate on the insects. 20 bird perches per acre can give considerable control of insect pests. However, bird damage is a major problem in some crops. Shining ribbons are tied to protect the ear heads grown or the seeds sown from the birds. Birds damage the pomegranate fruits as well. Cellular tapes are tied across to threaten the birds.

Trap crops

Let us study the trap crop concept now. We find marigold plant rows around cotton fields. Moths of cotton bollworm are attracted to these flowers and lay eggs. Marigold flowers are plucked once in 2 to 3 days and destroyed. Likewise, okra and red gram are also used as trap crops in cotton. Marigold is helpful even in tomato. Apart from these root exudates of marigold controls soil nematodes. Hence crop rotation with marigold in nematode affected field can control nematode effectively. Castor is the trap crop for spodoptera cut worms. Mustered plant is effective for diamond back moth of cabbage. Putting 2 to 3 rows of sorghum around chili crop acts as physical barrier for the entry of the vector insect aphid. 2 rows of red gram and castor around the vegetable crop control most of the larvae.

Biological control of pests and diseases

Parasitoid

Biological control is the method of priority in organic farming. Use of parasitoids is one of them. Trichograma insect belonging to the group of wasps is the popular one. This attacks the eggs of most of the insects. Trichograma female injects its egg in to the eggs of other insects. The larva eats all the content of the host egg. Trichograma is effective on stem borers of paddy and sugarcane and cotton bollworm. Trichograma eggs are produced in the lab. Egg card is stapled to the crop at the rate of 40,000 eggs per acre. Many species of wasps and few species of flies are useful as parasitoids. These insects develop on or inside the body of the other insects and kill the host.

Predators

Use of predator insects is another important method of biological pest control. Natural enemy of the pest insect is identified first. Then it is developed in the lab and released in the crop. Few years ago wooly aphid became a major pest on sugarcane. Micromas insect was used as predator. Eggs of this insect was produced in the lab on large scale and distributed to the farmers. Likewise, lady bird beetles are the well-known predators in the nature. These attractive tiny beetles predate on aphids and scale insects. Green lacewing bugs are also useful predators. Adult lacewing bug lays eggs in groups on leaves and other parts of the plant. Larvae emerging out of these eggs feed on the eggs and larvae of other insects. 1000 eggs of green lacewing bug are sufficient for one acre. It predates on mites, white fly, lice, American bollworm of cotton etc. Snakes, frogs, spiders and dragon fly etc. are the efficient predators in the nature. If we stop spraying pesticides and allow them to survive they will do their work effectively.

NPV

Many species of microorganisms are used for biological control of pests and diseases. NPV is popular for the control of American bollworm of cotton and armyworm. This virus solution is mixed in water and sprayed in evening hours. NPV enters the body of the pest larvae with the food. Affected larvae die within 2 to 5 days by drooping down their head. NPV spreads to the whole crop from these dead larvae. 250 ml of 100 LE NPV is mixed with 250 grams of Jaggary and 100 ml of soft soap. This is sufficient for spraying 1-acre crop. It is recommended to use manual sprayers for this purpose.

Use of bacteria and fungi

Bacillus thurengenisis or BT bacteria is very popular for biological pest control. This enters the body of the pest insect through digestive tract and produces poisonous protein. BT is effective for the control of butterflies, moths, beetles and flies. There are some pathogenic fungi of pest insects. Beauveria bassiana fungus works against white fly, thrips, aphids and weevils. Paecilomyces fumosoroseus fungus controls white fly, aphid and thrips. Metarhizium fungus kills beetles, bugs, spider mites etc.

Certain fungi are useful for the control of diseases also. Trichoderma horzianum is the important one. It inhibits the growth of pathogenic fungi by producing antibiotics, competitive growth and by suppression. Trichoderma is commercially used against Botraitis rot, Fusarium wilt and Phytophthora diseases. Trichoderma cultured in lab is mixed with organic manure and applied around the base of the plant. It is necessary to maintain sufficient organic matter and moisture for further multiplication of Trichoderma in the garden. Do not apply any fertilizer after applying Trichoderma. Likewise, Pseudomonas fungus is also popular for biological control of many diseases.

Organic methods of seed treatment

Let us study the methods of seed treatment in organic farming now. Milk is useful for this purpose. Mix 75 ml of milk with 425 ml of water. Keep the seeds to be treated in a cloth and soak it in the solution for 6 hours. Then drain, dry under shade and use it for sowing. This treatment helps for better germination and for the control of seed borne diseases. In one more method, mix 500 ml of cow urine in 2 liters of water. Soak the seeds for half an hour, drain, dry under shade and use it for sowing. This avoids seed born fungal and bacterial diseases. In another method of seed treatment, mix 500 grams of sweet flag root powder in 2 liters of water. Soak the seeds in this solution for half an hour. Drain the seeds, dry under shade and use it for sowing. In one more method, mix 250 grams of Pseudomonas culture with 1 liter of Jaggary solution. Spread germinated paddy seeds sufficient for 1 acre on the floor and smear the solution. Mix gently and use it for sowing. Trichoderma may be used instead of Pseudomonas. All these methods are effective for the control of seed borne diseases.

Let us study some biological methods for the control of some bacterial and fungal diseases of crops. Ferment the cow urine for 1 week in an earthen pot. Mix 50 to 100 ml of this in 1 liter of water and spray. In another method, mix 1 liter of cow urine and 1 liter of fermented butter milk with 8 liters of water and use it for spraying. Otherwise mix 300 ml of sweet flag root extract and 1 liter of cow urine in 8.7 liters of water and use it for spraying. To prepare sweet flag extract soak 400 grams of sweet flag root powder in 2 liters of water and keep it for 3 hours. Then filter it for the extract. Add one liter of cow urine with 10 liters of water and spray the solution to any crop. This acts as a source of micronutrient and pest repellent. It can control some diseases also.

Plant extracts for the control of pest and diseases

Neem seed extract

We can use some plant extracts for biological control of pests and diseases. First one is the neem seed extract. 3 kilograms of fresh neem seed or 5 kilograms of old neem seed is enough for 1 acre. Pound the seed finely and soak it in earthen pot in 10 liters of water. Cover the mouth with cloth and keep it for 3 days. Neem seed extract is ready after filtering this mixture. Azadirachtin content is less in very fresh and very old seeds. Put 50 ml of neem seed extract in 1 liter of water if the pest population is less and 100 ml extract if the infestation is severe. 60 to 70 liters of this solution is enough for 1 acre. Add 10 ml of soft soap solution for 1 liter of the spray solution. Detergent is not present in this soap. Crush the soap and soak it in water for 1 day to get the soap solution.

Neem leaf extract

5 kilograms of neem leaves is sufficient for 1 acre. Crush the leaves and tie it loosely in a cloth. Soak it in 10 liters of water overnight. Then filter it for neem leaf extract. Put 50 to 100 ml of this extract in 1 liter of water depending on the pest population. Add 10 ml of this solution for 1 liter of spray solution and spray. 60 to 70 liters of solution is enough for 1 acre.

Neem cake extract

5 kilograms of neem cake is enough for 1 acre. Pound the neem cake and tie it in cotton cloth. Soak it in 10 liters of water for 3 days. It will give 7 to 8 liters of extract after squeezing the bag of the cake. Put 50 to 100 ml of this extract in 1 liter of water. Spray it with 10 ml of soap solution. Soil application of neem leaves, seeds and cake is also a popular practice. This controls soil nematode, termite and soil borne diseases. These are good organic manures also.

Neem oil

Use of neem oil is also common in organic farming. 1200 to 1800 ml of neem oil is sufficient for spraying one acre of crop. Add 20 to 30 ml of neem oil and 10 ml of soap solution for 1 liter of water. Stir it well and spray immediately. Neem oil gets separated from water and floats on the top after sometime. It is better to use power sprayers for spraying neem oil solution. Neem oil gives good result before 1 year.

Ginger-Garlic and Chili extract

For spraying 1 acre half kilogram of fresh Ginger, 1 kilogram of garlic and half kilogram of green chili is enough. Crush all these to make it a paste. Mix it in 7 liters of water and filter. Use this extract at the rate of 50 to 100 ml per liter of water and add 10 ml of soap solution. Spraying fresh solution gives better result. It may be kept maximum for 3 days.

Jatropa leaf extract

5 kilograms of leaves is enough for 1 acre. Crush the leaves and keep it in a pot with 10 liters of water for 1 week. Stir the mixture once in a day and cover the mouth with cloth. Filter this and spray the extract at the rate of 50 ml per liter of water. In another method put 1 kilogram of cow dung in 10 liters of water and mix thoroughly. Filter it through a mesh and use it for spraying. This is useful for the control of insect pests.

Five leaves extract

Here the plants with latex like Giant milk weed, Cactus or Jatropa, bitter plants like neem, creat, geloe or Dronapushpi, plants not browsed by animals like malbar nut, plants with good smell like five leaved chaste tree, holy basil or papaya and plants not affected by pest and diseases like morinda or railway creeper are used for this extract preparation. Take 1 kilogram leaves of any one plant from each group. Crush the leaves, add 2 parts of water and keep it in a pot. Add 1 liter of cow urine and 100 grams of Asafetida. Cover the mouth of the pot tightly. Stir the mixture once in a day and keep it for 1 week. Spraying this solution will control the pests and diseases. 50 ml of this extract is sufficient for 1 liter of water. This extract may be kept up to 30 days. Asafetida in this extract prevents flower drop.

Boiled extracts of herbs

Collect the whole plant without root for this purpose. Cut it in to small pieces. 2 kilograms of plant is enough for 1 acre. Add 8 liters of water for 2 kilograms of plant and boil it till the extract evaporates to 2 liters. Mix 300 ml of this boiled extract with 9.6 liters of water and 100 ml of soap solution. Spray this solution to the crop. This can be kept for some time, but stir it once in a day. Spraying this boiled extract with power sprayer is effective against hoppers, ear head bug and white fly. Spraying in the morning before 10 Oclock gives better result. Boiled extract of Creat plant is effective against all types of larvae. For aphids and other sucking pests use Tough weed extract. Boiled extract of Malbar nut plant can control fungal diseases.

Broad spectrum herbal pesticide

Take 100 liters of cow urine, 3 kilograms of neem leaves or cake, 3 kilograms of papaya leaves and 3 kilograms of Pongamia leaves in a plastic barrel. Keep it under shade for 15 days. Use this extract at the rate of 5 to 10 ml or even more with 1 liter of water and spray to any crop. This works against most of the pests and diseases.

Plants for biological control

There are many plants useful for biological pest and disease control.

# Greater Yam or Diascorea alata - It has tubers below the soil surface. This plant is useful for the control of aphids, lice, maggots etc.

# Black night shade or Solanum nigrum - It is an annual plant. Use the whole plant with fruits for the control of aphids and lice.

# Coriander - Leaves, seeds and oil of this plant is useful for the control of aphids.

# Ginger - Rhizome is used against American bollworm, aphid, anthracnose of mango and beetles of grams.

# Turmeric - Extract of the rhizome is useful for the control of armyworm, aphid and for some diseases.

# Lemon grass - Leaves, roots, seeds and oil of this perennial grass is useful. This lemon grass extracts acts as repellent of pest and growth retardant. It is effective against fruit fly, mite, mosquito and storage pests.

# Neem - Leaves, seeds, cake and oil are useful. Neem preparations are effective against aphids, brown and green hoppers, diamond back moth, root knot nematode, termite, stem borer and against most of the insects.

# Onion - Extract of the tuber is effective against nematodes, beetles of grams, ticks and tobacco mosaic virus.

# Garlic - Tuber, leaf, flower and oil is useful. Extract of these works against aphids, armyworm, bacteria, Colorado beetle, mite, root knot nematode and blast disease of paddy. Around 2500 plants in the nature are identified to have insecticidal property. Here we mentioned only few popular herbs. You can try with the plants of your locality. It is better to use different plants in next sprays.

Control of storage pests

Let us study the methods of control of storage pests now. Dip the gunny bag in neem seed extract solution and dry before filling the grain. This will keep away the pests for 4 months. Mixing the dry leaves of neem, Pongamia or five leaved chaste tree with the grain controls the storage pests. Even we may use the powder of these leaves. Spread the leaves in a layer at the bottom. Pour 20 kilograms of seeds on it. Put another layer of leaves. Fill the grain again. Repeat these layers till the bag is full. Spread the leaves at the top and tie the bag. This method will avoid the storage pests for 1 year.

Smoke method in the warehouse

Put ignited charcoal in a metal pan and keep it in the warehouse. Put handful of green leaves of neem or five leaved chaste tree on it. Close all the windows and door so that the smoke accumulates in the entire room. Smoke the room for 1 hour. Moths and all other pest insects will die. Then clean the room and keep it closed. Rats and mice are the permanent pests of any warehouse. A small mouse eats 1 kilogram of grain per year. Apart from this it pollutes the grain with the excreta. Keep traps for the control of rats and mouse. Use of poisons is not allowed even for this in organic farming.

Organic certification

Organic certification is necessary to sell the produce in national and international markets under organic label. This certification is done only by companies approved at national level. SKAL, ECOCERT, INDOCERT and few more companies are working in India as organic certifying agencies. Certification is done for organic crop produce, processing of organic products, product from natural collection, organic farm inputs etc. Subsidiary activities like animal husbandry, bee keeping etc. under organic practice are also being certified.

Conventional farms cannot be certified organic with immediate effect. Residues of chemicals used earlier will remain for some time. Normal time gap specified for certification is 3 years. This is called conversion period. Inspectors from the certification agency visit the farm from time to time to verify whether all the norms of organic farming are followed. They give all necessary information on requirements for certification and suggest necessary changes. If the entire farm is not brought under organic farming farmer has to maintain safer distance and clear separation between organic and inorganic divisions of the farm. In such cases all necessary precautions should be taken to maintain organic and conventional produce separate at the time of harvesting, processing and storage. In field crops for certification 2 years must be over at the time of sowing after implementing organic methods. In plantation crops 3 years should be completed before the harvest of first organic crop. Specific guidelines are laid down for each crop, practice or product for organic certification. One can get such details for their specific requirement from certification agencies.

One should follow organic certification guidelines even for processing and packing. PVC packing materials are not permitted. It is advised to keep away the laminated and aluminum coated packing materials. Organic certification agencies are controlled by APEDA of commerce ministry of government of India. Cost of certification is bit high for an isolated individual farm. Group certification of many farms together works out quite cheap. India Organic is the brand given for organic products of India.

Organic milk production

Let us study the organic practice in animal husbandry now. Animals should have freedom to exercise their natural behavior. They should have enough space for movement, clean air, water and sunlight. The animal should have protection against excess light, heat, rain and wind. Enough space should be provided for rest and the floor should have natural bedding material. Equipment used on the farm must be safe for the animals. Poultry birds and rabbits should not be kept in cages. Farms without sufficient land are not permitted. Animals living in groups or herd should not be reared separately. Breeding should be by natural method. However artificial insemination is allowed. But the technique of embryo transfer is not permitted. Species and breeds from genetic engineering are not allowed in organic farming.

Food provided to the animals on an organic farm should be pure organic. Use of coloring agents is not allowed. All artificial stimulants, preservatives, digestion promoters, urea, oil cakes from solvent extraction etc. are not permitted. But vitamins and minerals from natural sources are acceptable. We may use bacteria, fungi, enzymes and molasses for fodder preservation. Priority should be given for ethno-veterinary practices and medicines, homeopathy, Ayurveda and Yunani medicines for the treatment of health problems. Avoid the chance of illness and cut down the use of medicines. However, one can use conventional medicines, but by considering double time of safety period. All vaccines specified by the animal husbandry department are allowed. But the vaccines of biotechnology are not permitted. Certification agency will consider all these points while certifying animal husbandry units.

Organic honeybee keeping

Bee keeping in organic methods is also picking up in recent years. Foraging area of these honey bees must be either natural forest or the organic farm. Bee boxes should not be kept near the farms using chemicals. Avoid artificial feeding of honey bees unless it is quite essential. Further the food provided should be of organic product. Keep bee species adapted to the locality. Foundation wax sheet tied to the frames must be from organic wax. Veterinary medicines are not allowed. One must not use any restricted substance and chemicals for any purpose in organic bee keeping.

Demand for organic products is increasing in recent years. Organic farming is very popular in Germany, France, Australia and America and in many other countries. It is picking up slowly in India as well. Consumers are getting awareness about the hazardous effects of agro-chemicals. We find organic outlets here and there in big cities now. Organic products are fetching better price. Farmers have also started organic farming on large scale. Organic produce needs systematic marketing network now.

Off course this organic farming is not a new practice for our farmers. Till 1965 chemical farming was not known in India. Even after the popularity of green revolution many traditional and tribal farmers of western ghat region were following organic farming itself. They grow indigenous crops and varieties organically even today. Farmer has to come out of the mindset of chemical farming now and follow the practices that existed earlier to green revolution. This is the necessity of todays Indian agriculture. It is better to stop fighting against the nature. This can bring back the balance in the eco system. This will lead to sustainable crop production also. Organic farming can answer many problems like poor health, environmental pollution, farmers suicide, social stress etc. It is expected from the government to give priority and support for organic farming instead of announcing loan and relief packages. Organic farming can improve the profitability of farming. This will lead to the social stability of rural India.

Organic farming means living as a part of nature. It is the farming method following the nature. There is no confrontation with other creatures in the eco system. No intention to use all resources for ourselves by suppressing other members of the nature. Hence this organic farming will continue forever. Namaskar.