Why Organic Agriculture
Pakistan is facing severe energy crisis and high prices of chemical fertilizers in national market. The raw material like rock phosphate is depleting at faster rate. The high priced synthetic fertilizers are beyond the purchasing power of the poor farmers of the country. This situation is further augmenting. Hence, it is the need of the time to introduce alternate farming technologies which are cost effective and sustainable both for productivity and soil fertility.
Directorate of Organic Farming was established on August 22, 2008 to help the small farmers. With the blessing of Allah, Directorate of Organic Farming progress leaps and bounds and introduced/developed lot of innovative technologies like bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides and bio-herbicides. Moreover, In view of these innovations, Directorate of Organic Farming was upgraded to National Institute of Organic Agriculture. The institute is involved in identifying new production technology and disseminating new knowledge to the small farmers across the country.
World Organic Agriculture Scenario
Organic Agriculture has rapidly developed worldwide during last few years and is now practiced in approximately 110 countries of the world including Pakistan. The share of agricultural land and farms continue to grow. Furthermore, it can reasonably be assumed that uncertified organic farming is practiced in even more countries. According to latest survey, more than 26 million hectares are currently managed organically by at least 558,449 farms worldwide. Pakistan has also great potential to introduce organic rice as major export commodity in international market like India. India is selling her rice in European market at very high price (three fold higher than conventional) as compared to conventional rice. Although peoples consider that with the introduction of organic farming yield will reduce. Actually, this is not the real case because in Pakistan small land holders are not able to apply heavy doses of fertilizers as well as pesticides. It is expected that 33% of Pakistani farmers are already producing mixed organic. Now it is the need of the time to support such farmers technically and morally to use natural inputs like residues, compost and crop rotation which are useful for land sustainability.
Pakistan Organic Agriculture Scenario
In 2005-2006 total area under organic agriculture was 35000 acres which increased to 150000 acres (approx.) by 2009-2010 as reported by Hunza Organic, Noor Organic, Taj Food and from others (Muhammad, 2010). The total export value of our organic rice, cotton, dry fruit and fresh fruit is worth 100 million US Dollars.
Economic Evaluation of Applications of Organic Fertilizers (Nutrients) and Bio-pesticides
Besides evaluation of efficacy of different organic field inputs levels, economic analyses of using these products are carried out for different crops including vegetables. Overall cost expenditures incurred and total returns obtained from different organic products are subjected to analyze and estimate the net returns per unit area and per unit time while using organic production systems.