State Soil Health Mission Overview and Evaluation of Organic Farming

State Soil Health Mission Overview and Evaluation of Organic Farming

Question: To ensure sustainable development, and protect the environment, organic farming is a must. Discuss the recent initiative entitled State Soil Health Mission undertaken by the government of Arunachal Pradesh in this context. Also highlight the benefits and drawbacks of organic farming, with special reference to the environment as well.

State Soil Health Mission

• The state government has launched this programme to make Arunachal Pradesh a hundred percent organic state

• Programme envisages creation of proper documentation of soil health as well as a preparation of soil map

• It focuses on distribution of Soil Health Cards for farmers so they are guided by scientific nutrient management

• Programme also aims to check the overuse of fertilisers and its negative impacts

• It aims to increase crop production via sustainable soil management paving the way for organic farming

Evaluation of Organic Farming


• Organic farming is extremely cost effective; farmers save on synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides

• Use of organic farming also lowers soil erosion to 50% and leads to a 5 fold increase in productivity within a span of half a decade

• Improving the entire ecosystem and ground water through organic farming is beneficial for agricultural practices

• Nutritional benefits of foods growing through this method of farming far exceed conventional crops

• Organic farming also retains the fertility of the soil for a longer time period allowing farmers to use land for longer duration of cultivation

• Benefits of organic foods is that they lack artificial and harmful chemicals and preservatives

• Plants grown in organic farms are also more resistant to drought

• Organic farming boosts the fertility of the soil through the use of bio manures and useful microorganism bodies to increase the soil health through proper decomposition and stimulation of nitrogen fixation
• Organic farming has proved to be beneficial for the dairy industry too as cows graze on healthy produce

• US soil nutrition pioneer Dr. Northern conducted may experiments to test hypothesis that soil health improved due to increase of disease and pest resistance

• Crops are able to compete with weeds better if they are organically grown

• Lower input costs are another plus point because fertilisers are created in situ through green manuring and leguminous crop rotation or through on farm composition and worm farming

• Better soil mineralisation can lower establishment costs and reap benefits through minimal maintenance

• Organically grown plants are also more tolerant

• Organic farming leads to less toxic environment for air, soil and water conservation

• Soil preservation is facilitated through organic farming

• Organic farming is crucial for preservation of wildlife in the lowlands and provides safe pasture land for grazing

• Organic farming also promotes and protects diverse habitats filled with animals, insects and birds

Impact on The Environment

• Conventional agriculture is energy expensive and traditional agriculture uses 9 calories of energy for every 1 calorie of food produced

• Organic agriculture also produces less GHG emissions and it is eco friendly

• Fertilisers which are chemical/synthetic harm the groundwater and wetlands

• Traditional agriculture poses a public health threat to consumers and ground water users


• Conventional farming leads to superior productivity in a short duration through expending of massive inputs of chemicals and machinery over fields of single crop/monoculture

• Organic farmers do not grow modified or GM crops which are engineered to tolerate herbicides and resist pests; conventional growers take advantage of GM crops

• Organic farming is more time consuming and requires a considerable higher degree of skill

Facts and Stats

• Arunachal Pradesh has 82% forest cover

• It has one of the richest resources as far as aromatic and medicinal plants are concerned

• Cabinet has also adopted the AP Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Policy which will further promote bio farming in the state.

• Production cost can be cut to over 25% in comparison to traditional farming as in case of organic farming cost through use of natural fertilisers
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