In our country, lack of awareness & following the practice of conventional farming are the two main reasons for negligence. When we heard the word Organic Farming, we tend to intend for rich people. Those who have high paying capacity, ONLY they can consume it. It is like a FASHION STATEMENT. But when we think of the demand-supply economy of organic farming, then we realized the less production tend to higher cost of Organic Products.
Here is the list of the cited reasons-
Who is Producer?
In this case- Small Group of Farmers Or Individual Farmer Or Group of Minimum 25 & Maximum 500
There is a gap between understanding the certification standards & labelling requirements.
There is negligence by key trading partners to sign similar arrangements.
For getting to your farm, the cost involved is very high. The cost includes international validity, inadequate certifying agencies & supporting infrastructure facilities for verification.
INR 50 & INR 500 per farmer per year for certification &
INR 2500 per farmer for Internal Audit & Documentation.
Still, it is expensive & lengthy procedures for a small group of farmers OR individual farmers.
Lack of Market availability for pre-certification produce-
When a farmer applies for his FARM as Organic Farm, before that he needs to produce without the using conventional practices. This means that pre-produce whatever produce in his land, there is no market available for that product.
In that case, what will farmer do? Simple answer…to sell in a conventional Market…
So during the process, farmers will incur a heavy loss.
The market is not ready for such type of procedure error Or Else, the farmer will be in loss for that particular years.
There is a need to discuss & develop the procedure that will benefit the farmers before the pre-certification process.
No standardization for the certification of different commodities-
Fruits have different standard & vegetables have different standards. When farmers will produce the two different commodities on the same farm, they need to apply differently.
For example, Herbal & Medicinal Products have different standards & dairy products have different.
Hence, those company having multiple commodities needs to obtain multiple certifications & their records as per the applicable standards.
High Dependency on Conventional Agriculture-
Only 1% of the Organic Area India have but at the same time, we are the highest number of produces in the world.
Conventional Production System of Agriculture is more profitable to the farmers than Organic Farming.
Low Incentives for Farmers-
The cost of buying organic manure is very high & In initial years, the yield from the organic farm is very low. When it comes to shifting from Conventional TO Organic, Farmers tends more towards Conventional.
Lack of Input Support & Subsidy on Organic Inputs-
There is a shortage of reliable, quality input for Organic farming along with that no subsidy from the Government on such Input products (For Example, Biofertilizers & Biopesticides.)
Farmers need to use their farm-grown manure in large quantities.
Sometimes, it costs too & yields are low, then it becomes a loss-making business model.
But before moving towards the next challenge, take a break for good initiative by the Indian Government to promote Organic Farming…
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Lack of Research & Development in Organic Cultivation-
There is strong support needed from the Government Of India for producing non-GMO seeds for organic cultivation that will yield high & need to do little research on Niche Crops for Organic Farming under different Argo-Ecological Zones.
Extension Services need to be available for organic farming also.
Highly Proficient & Practical Advisory Services for Organic Pest & Disease Control Measures need to be ensured.
2. Processor-Level Challenges
Proper Branding & Packaging –
For selling the Organic Products, there is a need to separate Packing Material. It should not be mixed with the Government Warehouses.
There is a lack of labeling standardization.
There is a lack of Common Understanding from different stakeholders to brand & promote the Organic Product.
Competition from International Market-
There is always a divergence between International Quality & Safety Standards with the Indian Standards. This will cost Indian Products at a lower side in terms of profit & Branding.
Lack of Organic Supply Chain
India has organic farming potential in Remote, Hilly & Tribal Areas. But the same issue of strong supply Chain & lack of development in Infrastructure fade this reality.
The cost of collection, transportation & storage of fresh Organic Produce is very high
due to lack of Organised Supply Chain.
There is high demand-supply mismatch resulting mixing of both produce & hampering the quality products to the consumer.
3. Consumer-level Challenges
Mismatch in Demand-Supply of Organic Products
There is limited availability of Organic Products in the Indian Food Market. A few numbers of retail shops available in the country.
This drives the consumers towards conventional products in the market.
Cost of Organic Products
Training cost + Processing Cost + Special Inventory Cost+Packaging Cost+Logistics Cost +Distribution Cost=Additional Cost on Buying Food Items (Approximately INR 1200–1500 per month for a family)
This choice is ONLY restricted to Higher Class living in urban areas.
The middle class in Indian Market is too away from this extra cost of buying Organic Products.
Limited Awareness among consumers-
Many Consumers in India don’t know the benefits of organic Products & if they know, there is a lack of availability in the Market.
There is a difference between Organic Food Products & Natural Food Items.
Consumers have no idea what to buy OR not.
The awareness among Consumers is creating another factor in the less profitable business of Organic Farming.
If the right consumer at the right time for Organic Products is not available due to Awareness & Proper Marketing Channels, then there is less chance of Buyers for Organic Products.
Challenges & Constraints For Organic Farming in India