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Amit Kumar Jain, JDS Panwar
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A perspective on organic agriculture has been presented in the book based on the available information in a cogent and easily understandable manner. In the book, there are 8 chapters oriented towards organic agriculture, environmental, income aspects and modernization in farming practices. Initially, the book provides an overall status of organic farming followed by biofertilizers i.e. granular, liquid and vermicomposting.  Different views on  various aspects of integrated agricultural management systems,  double income of farmers, agricultural technological innovations are furthermore discussed with a focus on technological innovations. Finally,  a vision was discussed on transformational role of digital technologies in agriculture.

Researcher, teachers, academics and students in the agricultural field in particular will find this book to be of immense use.

0 Start Pages

Preface Modern agriculture and food sysyems, including organic agriculture are undergoing a technological and structural modernization and are faced with a growing globalization. Organic Agriculture is a modern way of farming management, using limited amount of chemical treatments which have negative effects on the environment, human health or animal health. It contributes to environmental protection and helps biodiversity to increase, organic farming does not mean going back to traditional methods of farming. Organic farming takes the best of these and combines them with modern scientific knowledge. In this way, the farmers create a healthy balance between nature and farming, where crops and animals can grow and thrive. A perspective on organic agriculture has been presented in the book based on the available information in a cogent and easily understandable manner. In the book, there are 8 chapters oriented towards organic agriculture, environmental, income aspects and modernization in farming practices. Initially, the book provides an overall status of organic farming followed by biofertilizers i.e. granular, liquid and vermicomposting. Different views on various aspects of integrated agricultural management systems, double income of farmers, agricultural technological innovations are furthermore discussed with a focus on technological innovations. Finally, a vision was discussed on transformational role of digital technologies in agriculture. Selected or cited literature is also presented for further reading. It is hoped that the book will serve as a good reference source for those interested in organic agriculture.

1 Organic Farming History, Present Status and Future

Sustainable development has caught the imagination and action across the world. Sustainable agriculture is necessary to attain the goal of sustainable development. The word “sustain,” is derived from the Latin sustinere (sus-, from below and tenere, to hold), to keep in existence or maintain, implies long-term support or permanence. As it pertains to agriculture, sustainable describes “Farming systems that are capable of maintaining productivity and usefulness to society indefinitely. Such systems must be resource-conserving, socially supportive, commercially competitive, and environmentally sound”. “Sustainable agriculture is the successful management of resources for agriculture to satisfy changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of environment and conserving natural resources” (FAO). All definitions of sustainable agriculture lay great emphasis on maintaining an agriculture growth rate, which can meet the demand for food of all living things without draining the basic resources. Over time, the International Alliance for sustainable agriculture and an increasing number of researchers, farmers, policy-makers and organizations worldwide have developed a definition that unifies many diverse elements into a widely adopted, comprehensive, working definition

1 - 36 (36 Pages)
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2 Biofertilizers

2.1 Introduction Microbes are the oldest form of the life on earth. These organisms date more than 3 billion years to a time when they were covered with oceans. They are so tiny in size that million microbes can fit into the eye of a needle. Without microbes, we can’t live. Thus, understanding microbes is vital to understanding past and future. Microbes play vary roles in the earth’s environment recycling dead plant and animal matter through the soil, removing CO2 from the atmosphere by photosynthesis in the oceans and nitrogen from the atmosphere to form nitrogenous fertilizers plants. Microbes play an important role in nutrient recycling, management, organic matter, decomposition and increasing the crop productivity and quality against diseases. Over the past century, many of the basic scientific principles of plant nutrition and soil fertility have been explained. In developed countries, inorganic chemical fertilizers have been widely accepted as a major source of improving and maintaining soil fertility. Plants need sufficient nutrients in proper balance for normal growth and development. Seventeen plant nutrients are essential for proper crop development. Each is equally important to the plant, yet each is required in vastly different amounts. Our understanding of nutritional needs of crop plants begin from the famous five year willow tree experiment conducted by J.B. van Helmont (1579–1644).

37 - 60 (24 Pages)
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3 Liquid Biofertilizers

The earlier products of bio-fertilizers were carrier (solid) based where lignite is usually added as a carrier material. Lignite is hazardous to the production workers. Also, the shelf life of carrier based bio-fertilizers is only 6 months and is difficult to transport. Liquid Biofertilizers (LBFs) on the other hand have a shelf life of minimum one year, with no health hazards to production workers and are easy to transport. Additionally, LBF can be used in drip irrigation and as a component of organic farming. The liquid Bio fertilizers are suspensions having agriculturally useful microorganisms, which fix atmospheric nitrogen and solubilize insoluble phosphates and make it available for the plants. The use of this biofertilizer is environment friendly and gives uniform results for most of the agricultural crops and directly reduces the use of chemical fertilizer by 15 to 40%. The shelf life of the liquid bio fertilizer is higher (in the range of one to two years) compared to that of solid matrix base biofertilizer. 3.1 Definition Liquid biofertilizers are liquid formulation containing the dormant form of desired microorganisms and their nutrients along with the substances that encourage formation of resting spores or cysts for longer shelf life and tolerance to adverse conditions. The dormant form on reaching the soil, germinate to produce fresh batch of active cells. These cells grow and multiply by utilizing the carbon source in the soil or from root exudates. “A preparation comprising requirements to preserve organisms and deliver them to the target regions to improve their biological activity” or “A consortium of micro-organisms provided with suitable medium to keep up their viability for certain period which aids in enhancing the biological activity of the target site”.

61 - 88 (28 Pages)
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4 Earthworm and Vermitechnology

Earthworms have been on the earth for over 20 million years. In this time they have faithfully done their part to keep the cycle of life continuously moving. Their purpose is simple but very important. They are nature’s way of recycling organic nutrients from dead tissues back to living organisms. Many have recognized the value of these worms. Ancient civilizations, including Greece and Egypt valued the role of earthworms played in soil. The Egyptian Pharaoh, Cleopatra said, “Earthworms are sacred” 4.1 Earthworms Earthworms belong to Phylum Annelida of animal Kingdom. They are long and cylindrical shape, length of earthworms vary from a few mm to nearly 3mtr as noted in case of Megas colex species found in Australia. The body of earthworms has a large number of grooves. Due to these grooves the body of the earthworm is divided into number of compartments called segments. In mature earthworms, few anterior segments appear swollen due to glandular thickening. This part is called as clitellum. The segments are not clearly seen in this part. There are 2500 to 3,000 species of earthworms in the world which are adapted to range of environment. More than 350 species have been identified in India. The species of earthworms are differentiated mostly on the basis of external features such as length of earthworms, number of segments, position of clitellum and external aperture present on the body. Earthworms were referred by Aristotle as “the intestines of earth and the restoring agents of soil fertility”

89 - 122 (34 Pages)
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5 Integrated Agricultural Management Systems

Agriculture has been very successful in addressing the food and fiber needs of today’s world population. However, there are increasing concerns about the economic, environmental and social costs of this success. Integrated agricultural systems may provide a means to address these concerns while increasing sustainability. Integrated agricultural systems have multiple enterprises that interact in space and time, resulting in a synergistic resource transfer among enterprises. In an integrated agricultural system, management decisions, such as type and amount of commodities to produce, are predetermined. Full integration of agricultural systems at the producer or community scale may help in slowing or reversing some of the detrimental environmental and economic problems associated with specialized industrial agriculture. Modern agriculture requires intensive inputs.

123 - 176 (54 Pages)
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6 Indian Farming and Doubling of Farmer’s Income

6.1 Introduction India experienced an impressive growth and productivity gains in agriculture since Independence reflecting our farmers’ resilience against multiple odds and challenges. Despite a structural transformation post-Green Revolution, characterized by a consumer centric and food security policy objective, the regular distress and crises in the recent past pose a severe threat to income and livelihood security of farmers. The income realised from agriculture compared to nonagriculture, has been too low with a wide variation across regions. The average income of an agricultural household during 2012-13 has been estimated as low as at `6426 per month, marginally higher than the average consumption expenditure (`6223). Further, around 23 per cent of the farmers still live below the poverty line (DFI Committee, 2017a). Estimates from the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) indicated that the annual growth in gross value added from agriculture has reduced drastically from as high as 6.9% (October-December, 2016) to a mere 2.3% (April-June, 2017) at 2011-12 prices in the recent past ten quarters. Shockingly, the growth was lower in nominal terms in comparison to real prices during the April-June, 2017 quarter indicating the creeping deflation in farm sector.

177 - 210 (34 Pages)
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7 Technological Innovations and Practices

Technological change has been the major driving force for increasing agricultural productivity and promoting agriculture development across the world. In the past, the choice of technologies and their adoption was to increase production, productivity and farm incomes. Over many decades, policies for agriculture, trade, research and development, education, training and advice have been strong influences on the choice of technology, the level of agricultural production and farm practices. Agricultural production today faces several challenges: an increasing world population has to be fed, but at the same time the environment and animal welfare need to be protected. Globalisation has led to increasing international competition, while the agricultural sector is also under heavy economic pressure as a result of regulation. These conditions can perhaps only be met by innovation, be it on the technological or on the systems-level (OECD, 2001). Agriculture is becoming more integrated in the agro-food chain and the global market, while environmental, food safety and quality, and animal welfare regulations are also increasingly impacting on the sector. It is faced with new challenges to meet growing demands for food, to be internationally competitive and to produce agricultural products of high quality. At the same time, it must meet sustainability goals in the context of on-going agricultural policy reform, further trade liberalization and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements as agreed to by the government.

211 - 228 (18 Pages)
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8 Transformational Role of Digital Technologies Towards Agriculture

India is on the progressive path of development and its rural population is an integral part of this growth trajectory. As India gears up for an era of increased digitalisation, the issue of holistic and inclusive economic growth remains a pivotal concern. Hitachi, one of the leading Japanese conglomerate with a global footprint and a forerunner in digital innovation, has been an active contributor in transforming millions of Indian lives, its services reaching far beyond citizens within city limits. While India is one of the world’s fastest-developing economy, equitable growth remains a critical imperative. The rural population today constitutes above 45% of the national income. In 2050, despite urbanization, over half of India’s population will still be rural. Prime Minister, Sh. Narendra Modi has prioritized radical digitalisation to induce economic inclusiveness through a host of initiatives. ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ provide for impetus and opportunity to rural citizens, to ensure they are equal participants in India’s growth story. Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure. In many developed countries, farming has been modernized by a wave of technologies, adopted at farm level. Digital technologies are finding increasing use in the agricultural value system, and High-tech farming is becoming the standard, thanks to use of sensors, logic controlled systems, data analytics, etc. In India, the increasing availability of energy and internet connectivity to the large rural landscape is further accelerating such changes. Digitised information systems allow remote access to knowledge, has given rise to group sharing and continue even now to revamp how societal exchanges happen interpersonally, commercially and in the extension services system. The digital spectrogram can be compared against a large database and spectral analysis can diagnose the contents of the sample. This analysis can happen in the cloud, and results communicated to the farmers almost instantaneously. There exist various similar technologies where a sample from a field, gets converted into digital information, is promptly analysed to provide accurate results, which then allows farmers to take decisions best suited to the land they farm on. The availability of satellite imagery, infrared imagery, and a myriad of remote inputs allow for more accurate weather forecasts, advance warnings on pest infestation and similar, and more. Instead of traditional homilies about temperature and rainfall events, the farmers now consult and share the advisories and forecasts of the same.

229 - 250 (22 Pages)
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9 End Pages

Annexure Annexure-I State/Ut-Wise Biofertilizer Production (Carrier Base) (Mt) in India During 2016-17


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