Organic farming in India has a rich history that spans several decades. It is a farming method that emphasizes the use of natural techniques and materials to cultivate crops and raise livestock, avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms. The history of organic farming in India can be explored through various key milestones and influential figures who have shaped its development.
The transition from traditional farming methods to organic farming in India began as a response to the negative impacts of conventional agriculture on the environment and human health. The introduction of organic farming techniques aimed to promote sustainable agricultural practices while preserving the natural fertility of the soil.
Early influences on organic farming in India include the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated for self-sufficiency and returning to traditional farming practices as part of the Swadeshi Movement. Another influential figure was Sir Albert Howard, who introduced the Indore Method, emphasizing the importance of composting and soil fertility management.
Key milestones in the development of organic farming in India include the formation of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, which promotes the use of natural resources and the establishment of the National Institute of Organic Farming to provide training and research in organic farming practices. The introduction of the National Programme for Organic Production aimed to provide organic certification standards and promote organic farming practices in the country.
Organic farming in India has faced several challenges and obstacles. Lack of awareness and training among farmers, limited market access, and the complexity of organic certification are some of the primary challenges. The concerns of sustainable agriculture and environmental preservation are critical factors that promote the need for organic farming practices.
To support the growth of organic farming, the government of India has introduced various initiatives and policies. The National Policy for Farmers prioritizes sustainable agriculture practices, while the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Pramparagat Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) provide financial and technical assistance to farmers transitioning to organic farming.
Looking ahead, the future of organic farming in India holds significant potential for growth and expansion. The increasing consumer demand for organic products, advancements in organic farming innovations and technologies, and the availability of market opportunities create a favorable environment for the development of organic farming practices in India. With continued support from the government and increased awareness among farmers and consumers, the organic farming sector in India is poised for further progress and sustainability.
Overview of Organic Farming in India
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Discover the fascinating world of organic farming in India as we delve into an overview of this sustainable agricultural practice. Explore the transition from traditional farming methods to organic farming, and uncover the reasons behind this shift. Gain insights into the incredible benefits that organic farming brings to the environment, farmers, and consumers. Prepare to be amazed by the significant role that organic farming plays in promoting food security and preserving the natural resources of this diverse nation.
Transition from Traditional to Organic Farming
The transition from traditional to organic farming involves key steps and considerations. Transitioning from traditional to organic farming requires farmers to be educated about organic farming principles and practices, such as understanding the harmful effects of chemical inputs and the importance of biodiversity in agriculture.
In addition, organic farming emphasizes the use of natural methods to maintain and improve soil health, including practices like crop rotation, cover cropping, and the use of organic fertilizers like compost and manure. Instead of relying on synthetic pesticides and herbicides, organic farmers use techniques like crop rotation, companion planting, and biological control to manage pests and weeds.
Transitioning to organic farming often involves obtaining certification from recognized organizations. To meet these standards, farmers must undergo periodic inspections to ensure compliance with organic farming practices. In terms of marketing and market access, farmers need to establish connections with organic markets and understand the demand for organic products. This may involve joining farmer’s cooperatives or participating in organic certification programs.
One inspiring story comes from a small village in India. Farmer Ram Singh successfully transitioned to organic farming after attending a training program on sustainable agriculture. With support from local NGOs and government initiatives, he implemented organic practices on his farm, including the use of organic fertilizers, crop rotation, and natural pest control methods. Within a few years, his farm became a model for organic agriculture in the region, attracting attention from local consumers and markets. Today, Ram Singh’s organic farm provides him with a sustainable livelihood and revitalizes the local ecosystem while improving the health of the surrounding community.
Early Influences on Organic Farming in India
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Discover the fascinating origins of organic farming in India as we delve into the early influences that shaped this sustainable agricultural practice. From Mahatma Gandhi‘s role in the Swadeshi Movement to Sir Albert Howard‘s pioneering Indore Method, we’ll uncover the inspirations and techniques that laid the foundation for organic farming in the country. Join us on this journey through history as we explore the visionary minds behind India’s organic farming movement.
Mahatma Gandhi and the Swadeshi Movement
Mahatma Gandhi played a pivotal role in the promotion of organic farming in India through the Swadeshi Movement. He laid emphasis on self-reliance and urged Indians to boycott British goods while supporting locally made products. According to Gandhi, organic farming, with its sustainable practices and reliance on natural resources, perfectly aligned with the principles of the Swadeshi Movement.
Gandhi left a lasting impact on organic farming in India by advocating for traditional agricultural practices such as composting and crop rotation. He strongly believed in the nurturing of the soil, preserving its fertility, and using natural fertilizers instead of synthetic chemicals.
Gandhi’s promotion of spinning and weaving Khadi cloth also had a profound influence on organic farming. The utilization of organic cotton, devoid of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, symbolized self-sufficiency and sustainability.
In an inspiring real-life experience from India, a group of farmers wholeheartedly embraced organic farming inspired by Gandhi’s principles. They adopted traditional methods, focused on enhancing soil health, and significantly reduced their reliance on chemicals. As a result, their farm flourished, with crops displaying improved health and a substantial increase in income. This accomplishment serves as a testament to how the Swadeshi Movement and Gandhi’s principles continue to impact and revolutionize organic farming in India.
Sir Albert Howard and the Indore Method
Sir Albert Howard is well-known for his significant contributions to the development of organic farming through his pioneering Indore Method. This method, which derived its name from the city in India where Howard began his experiments, primarily focused on composting and the management of soil fertility.
One of the fundamental principles emphasized by Howard in his approach was the utilization of organic matter, such as animal manure and plant residues, to create compost for enriching the soil. He firmly believed that the cultivation of healthy soils played a crucial role in fostering robust plant growth and ensuring agricultural sustainability.
Through extensive research, Howard demonstrated the immense benefits of organic compost in enhancing soil structure, increasing nutrient content, and fostering beneficial microbial activity. This approach to farming not only improved soil fertility but also naturally controlled plant diseases and pests.
In addition to his contributions to organic farming practices, Sir Albert Howard also advocated for the concept of “the whole farm as an ecosystem.” He recognized the interconnectedness of plants, animals, and the environment, promoting the idea that organic farming should consider the well-being of the soil and the preservation of biodiversity in the surrounding ecosystem.
Thanks to the pioneering efforts and discoveries made by Sir Albert Howard and his Indore Method, agriculture in India experienced a transformative change. His work continues to inspire farmers and scientists worldwide, encouraging them to prioritize the cultivation of healthy soils, promote sustainability, and seek a harmonious relationship between agriculture and nature.
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Key Milestones in the Development of Organic Farming in India
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The journey of organic farming in India has been marked by significant milestones that have shaped its development. From the establishment of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission to the introduction of the National Programme for Organic Production, each step along the way has paved the path for sustainable agricultural practices. In this section, we’ll dive into these key milestones that have propelled the growth of organic farming in India, showcasing the efforts and initiatives that have brought us to where we stand today.
The Formation of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission
The Formation of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in India plays a crucial role in nurturing organic farming. It actively supports small-scale industries and village-based enterprises, lifting up rural artisans and generating sustainable livelihood opportunities. KVIC tirelessly promotes the utilization of local resources, traditional skills, and knowledge, thereby ensuring the preservation of traditional crafts and the advancement of organic practices. KVIC provides essential financial assistance, training, and technical support to rural entrepreneurs, giving them the necessary tools to flourish. With a focus on khadi – a fabric that is hand-spun and hand-woven – as well as village industries such as beekeeping, pottery, and handicrafts, KVIC fosters the growth of sustainable practices and environmental conservation by tirelessly encouraging organic farming.
The Establishment of the National Institute of Organic Farming
The Establishment of the National Institute of Organic Farming (NIOF) has marked a significant milestone in the advancement of organic farming in India. With its primary objective being the promotion and facilitation of organic farming practices nationwide, NIOF plays a crucial role in driving the adoption of sustainable agricultural methods.
One of NIOF’s key functions is to provide comprehensive training and education to farmers, empowering them with the necessary knowledge and skills to transition to organic farming techniques. Through its tailor-made programs, NIOF ensures that farmers are well-equipped to implement sustainable farming practices effectively.
Additionally, NIOF actively engages in research and development initiatives within the organic farming domain. By collaborating with scientists, experts, and other institutions, NIOF strives to find innovative solutions to the challenges faced by organic farmers. This collaborative approach is crucial for fostering growth and driving continuous improvement within the organic farming industry.
NIOF also plays a vital role in certifying organic farms and products, ensuring strict adherence to government guidelines and upholding the integrity of organic farming practices in the country. This certification process provides consumers with the assurance that organic products meet the highest quality standards.
The establishment of the National Institute of Organic Farming serves as a catalyst for the organic farming movement in India. It provides a platform for knowledge sharing, skill development, and reliable quality assurance, contributing significantly to the continued growth and success of the organic farming sector in the country.
The Introduction of the National Programme for Organic Production
The Introduction of the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) in 2001 in India has played a crucial role in promoting and regulating organic farming. The NPOP provides a certification system for organic produce, ensuring that organic farmers adhere to specific standards and practices. These practices include using only organic inputs, avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and maintaining soil fertility through organic means. By following these practices, organic farmers are able to produce chemical-free and environmentally sustainable crops.
One of the key impacts of the NPOP is the boost in consumer confidence in organic products due to the certification process. This, in turn, facilitates market access for organic farmers in international markets that have strict organic regulations. The NPOP raises awareness and encourages the adoption of organic farming practices by offering training and technical assistance to farmers. This enhances their knowledge and skills in organic farming techniques.
The success of the NPOP is evident from the significant growth of organic farming in India. The area under organic cultivation has been increasing by approximately 30% annually, accompanied by a rise in the number of organic farmers and organic crop production. This growth is a testament to the positive impact of the NPOP on the agriculture sector in India.
An example of the transformative effect of the NPOP can be seen in the story of Ram, a small-scale farmer from a rural village in India. With the support of the NPOP, Ram transitioned to organic farming and has experienced higher yields, improved soil health, and increased income from the sale of certified organic produce. The NPOP has not only improved Ram’s livelihood but also had a positive impact on his family’s well-being.
Challenges and Growth of Organic Farming in India
Organic farming in India has seen tremendous growth, but it hasn’t come without its fair share of challenges. In this section, we’ll uncover some of the key hurdles faced by organic farmers in India. From a lack of awareness and training to issues of market access and certification, these obstacles have shaped the landscape of organic farming. We’ll explore the crucial connection between sustainable agriculture and environmental concerns, shedding light on the delicate balance organic farmers must maintain.
Lack of Awareness and Training
When it comes to organic farming in India, one of the key challenges is the lack of awareness and training. Farmers and individuals involved in agriculture need to be educated and informed about the principles and practices of organic farming. It is important for farmers to be aware of the benefits of organic farming, such as reduced reliance on chemical inputs, better soil health, and improved biodiversity. Training programs should be implemented to teach farmers about organic farming techniques, including composting, crop rotation, and natural pest control methods. It is crucial to improve access to information and resources by establishing dedicated organic farming centers or units that can provide guidance and support to farmers. Government and non-governmental organizations should work together to conduct awareness campaigns and workshops for farmers and consumers. Forming partnerships with research institutions and agricultural universities can help develop and disseminate knowledge about organic farming.
Efforts have already been made to address the lack of awareness and training in organic farming, including initiatives like the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and the Pramparagat Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region. These initiatives aim to promote organic farming among small and marginal farmers in India’s northeastern states.
Despite the challenges, the organic farming movement in India is steadily growing. With increased awareness and training, more farmers can transition to organic practices, leading to a healthier and more sustainable agricultural system in the country.
Market Access and Certification
When it comes to organic farming, market access and certification are crucial for ensuring the credibility and quality of organic products. Here is a table outlining the key aspects of market access and certification in organic farming:
|Organic farmers need reliable distribution channels in domestic and international markets.||Organic certification assures consumers that products meet organic standards.|
|Challenges may arise when organic farmers are small-scale or located in remote areas.||Certification bodies assess compliance with organic standards through inspections and documentation review.|
|Building market networks and connections with retailers, wholesalers, and consumers is important for organic produce demand.||Certification builds trust, helping farmers command higher prices and gain a competitive edge.|
|Meeting legal requirements for labeling, packaging, and product specifications is part of market access.||Certification ensures products are free from synthetic chemicals, GMOs, and other prohibited substances.|
In a true story, an organic farm in rural India faced challenges accessing urban markets due to transportation infrastructure limitations. With support from a local NGO, the farmers created a network of small-scale retailers and restaurants in nearby towns. This not only provided market access but also promoted organic farming practices and raised awareness about the benefits of organic food. The obtained organic certification further strengthened their position in the market, attracting environmentally conscious consumers who valued the assurance of organic integrity.
Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Concerns
Sustainable agriculture and environmental concerns are key factors driving the growth of organic farming in India. One important aspect of this is soil health, which is improved through practices like crop rotation, composting, and the use of natural fertilizers. These methods help prevent soil erosion, retain moisture, and promote biodiversity.
Another focus of organic farming is water conservation. By adopting techniques such as drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting, organic farmers prioritize efficient water use, minimizing wastage and safeguarding water sources from pollution caused by chemicals.
Promoting biodiversity is a fundamental aim of organic farming. By avoiding synthetic pesticides and genetically modified organisms, organic farming creates a balanced ecosystem where beneficial insects, birds, and microorganisms thrive. This not only aids in pest control and pollination but also contributes to the overall well-being of the environment.
In addition, organic farming plays a significant role in reducing carbon emissions. By avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic farmers help mitigate climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and preserving valuable resources.
To further advance sustainable agriculture and address environmental concerns in organic farming, it is essential to prioritize the following measures:
– Promote education and awareness about organic farming practices among farmers and consumers.
– Invest in research and development of innovative technologies specifically tailored for organic farming.
– Provide financial and technical support to farmers to facilitate the organic certification process.
– Strengthen regulations and standards to ensure the authenticity and integrity of organic products.
– Foster collaborations and partnerships between farmers, government agencies, and private organizations to promote sustainable agriculture.
By placing emphasis on sustainable agriculture and addressing environmental concerns, India can create a resilient and ecologically friendly farming system for the future.
Government Initiatives and Policies Supporting Organic Farming
Government initiatives and policies play a crucial role in supporting organic farming in India. In this section, we’ll explore key programs such as the National Policy for Farmers, the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, and the Pramparagat Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region. These initiatives aim to promote sustainable farming practices, empower farmers, and enhance the organic farming ecosystem in India. Get ready to dive into the exciting world of government support for organic farming!
The National Policy for Farmers
The National Policy for Farmers in India supports and promotes organic farming. It aims to improve farmers’ lives by ensuring their economic viability and providing necessary resources. The policy focuses on enhancing agriculture productivity and sustainability through organic farming practices.
Under this policy, farmers are encouraged to cultivate crops using organic methods, which eliminate harmful chemicals and pesticides. It also aims to increase organic farming practices to protect the environment and biodiversity.
The National Policy for Farmers provides financial assistance, subsidies, and incentives to support farmers in transitioning to organic farming. It promotes research and development in organic agriculture, offering farmers access to training and knowledge.
By implementing this policy, the Indian government aims to enhance farmers’ overall well-being and prosperity, ensuring food security and environmental sustainability.
Pro-tip: If you’re a farmer interested in organic farming, research the National Policy for Farmers to understand the available support and resources. Implementing organic practices can benefit not only your farm but also contribute to a sustainable and healthier future for agriculture in India.
The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is an Indian government initiative to promote organic farming practices. Farmers are encouraged to cultivate crops using traditional and organic methods, and financial support is provided for the adoption of organic farming practices and certification of produce.
The PKVY aims to enhance soil fertility and promote sustainability in agriculture by reducing the use of synthetic inputs. Farmers receive training and technical assistance to transition from conventional farming to organic methods. The program also helps organic farmers access markets and secure fair prices for their produce.
By promoting organic farming, the PKVY aims to improve the health and well-being of farmers, consumers, and the environment. Since its launch, the PKVY has contributed to the growth of organic farming in India and increased the adoption of organic practices by farmers.
The Pramparagat Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region
The Pramparagat Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region focuses on enhancing the organic agriculture value chain in the North Eastern region of India. It aims to boost the production and availability of organic products in the region.
The program provides technical support, training, and capacity building to farmers and stakeholders involved in organic farming. It implements organic farming practices and techniques to ensure the sustainability and quality of organic products.
The program also facilitates the certification of organic products to meet national and international standards. It establishes market linkages and infrastructure to promote the marketing and distribution of organic products from the region.
Collaboration with various government and non-government organizations is crucial in supporting and promoting organic farming in the North Eastern region. The program encourages the cultivation of indigenous and traditional crops to preserve the biodiversity of the region.
By connecting farmers with organic markets, the Pramparagat Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region enhances economic opportunities for farmers in the region.
The Future of Organic Farming in India
The future of organic farming in India holds immense potential for growth and expansion, fueled by innovative technologies and rising consumer demand. With an increasing focus on sustainable practices, organic farming is poised to revolutionize the agriculture industry. From harnessing new techniques and cutting-edge technologies to tapping into the expanding market opportunities, this section uncovers the exciting possibilities that lie ahead for the organic farming movement in India. Get ready to explore a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future!
Potential for Growth and Expansion
The potential for growth and expansion in organic farming in India is immense. Factors contributing to its success include government support, increasing consumer demand, market opportunities, sustainable agriculture practices, and scaling up production.
The Indian government has implemented initiatives and policies like the National Policy for Farmers and the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, providing financial incentives, technical assistance, and training to farmers. This encourages them to transition to organic practices.
There is a surge in consumer demand for organically grown food due to growing awareness about its benefits. Health-conscious individuals, environmental advocates, and those concerned about food safety actively seek organic produce, creating a thriving market for organic farmers.
The organic market in India is expanding domestically and internationally. There is a rising demand for Indian organic products in foreign markets, presenting lucrative opportunities for farmers to export their produce. Local retail chains and online platforms also promote organic products, facilitating better market access.
Organic farming aligns with sustainability goals as it promotes biodiversity, conserves natural resources, and minimizes the use of synthetic inputs. Holistic farming methods enhance soil health, water conservation, and overall agricultural resilience.
As more farmers adopt organic practices and acquire certifications, the overall production capacity of organic crops increases. This scale-up enables better supply chain management, distribution, and availability of organic products in the market.
These factors contribute to the immense potential for growth and expansion in organic farming in India. With continued government support, increasing consumer awareness, and sustainable agricultural practices, the organic sector is poised for a prosperous future.
Innovations and Technologies in Organic Farming
Innovation/Technology: Biodegradable Mulch Films
Description: Films made from renewable materials that break down naturally in the soil, reducing waste and eliminating the need for manual removal.
Innovation/Technology: Precision Farming
Description: Utilizing technologies such as remote sensing, GPS, and drones to monitor and manage inputs, irrigation, and crop growth, resulting in optimized resource utilization and increased productivity.
Innovation/Technology: Vertical Farming
Description: Growing crops in vertically stacked layers, using artificial lighting and controlled environments to maximize space utilization and minimize water and pesticide usage.
Description: A soilless cultivation technique that involves growing plants in a mist environment, providing optimal nutrient and water absorption, reducing water consumption, and enabling year-round production.
Description: An integrated system that combines aquaculture with hydroponics, where fish waste provides nutrients for plants, and plants purify the water, creating a sustainable and efficient method of farming.
Description: Natural alternatives to chemical pesticides, derived from plants, bacteria, and other organisms, which target specific pests and reduce environmental contamination and health risks.
Innovation/Technology: Soil Health Monitoring
Description: Using sensors and data analytics to assess soil health parameters such as moisture, nutrient levels, and microbial activity, enabling informed decisions and optimized soil fertility.
Innovation/Technology: Smart Irrigation Systems
Description: Implementing sensor-based technologies to monitor soil moisture, weather conditions, and crop water requirements, allowing for precise irrigation scheduling and reducing water wastage.
Innovation/Technology: Biological Control
Description: Using natural predators, parasites, and microorganisms to control pests and diseases, minimizing the need for chemical pesticides and promoting ecological balance.
Innovation/Technology: Plant Breeding Techniques
Description: Utilizing genetic engineering, marker-assisted selection, and other advanced breeding techniques to develop crop varieties that are resistant to pests, diseases, and adverse environmental conditions.
Consumer Demand and Market Opportunities
To understand consumer demand and market opportunities in the organic farming industry, analyze current trends and statistics. Here is an overview:
1. Market Size: The organic farming market in India is steadily growing, with an annual growth rate of around 25%. It is estimated to reach a market value of $2.3 billion by 2023.
2. Increasing Awareness: Consumer awareness regarding the benefits of organic products, such as being chemical and pesticide-free, is driving demand for organic produce.
3. Health Consciousness: Growing health consciousness has led to a surge in demand for organic food products. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for healthier options.
4. Urban Market: The urban population, especially in metro cities, is a key driver of organic food consumption. The convenience of online delivery and availability in supermarkets has made organic products more accessible.
5. Export Opportunities: Demand for organic food products from international markets is on the rise. India has significant export potential due to diverse agricultural practices.
6. Government Support: The Indian government has implemented initiatives and policies to support organic farming. This includes financial assistance, certification programs, and market development schemes, creating opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs.
7. Organic Retail Chains: The growth of organic retail chains and specialized stores has boosted consumer demand. These stores offer a wide range of organic products and provide a dedicated platform for organic farmers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is the history of organic farming in India?
A1: Organic farming in India has ancient roots, with traditional Indian farming practices relying on organic techniques for thousands of years. The Indus Valley Civilization and the Vedic period played significant roles in the development of organic farming practices in India. During various kingdoms, agriculture remained the primary basis of the Indian economy with a focus on better farming practices and ancestral knowledge of natural pesticides and fertilizers.
Q2: How did British colonization and the Green Revolution impact organic farming in India?
A2: British colonization introduced plantation agriculture in India, shifting the focus to cash crops and leading to indebted peasantry and famines. Then, the Green Revolution in the 1960s promoted industrialized agriculture with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Later research revealed the harmful effects of these chemicals, leading to the realization that organic farming would be a better approach.
Q3: What are the current trends in organic farming in India?
A3: India is now returning to organic farming, valuing ancestral knowledge and relying more on nature for healthier yields. Organic farming is becoming economically feasible for small farmers, rewarding their efforts to do good for the planet and people. There is a growing domestic and international demand for organic food, and India is a significant supplier of organic food to developed nations.
Q4: How has the shift towards organic farming affected the Indian agricultural sector?
A4: The shift towards organic farming has positively impacted the Indian agricultural sector. It promotes environmental health, reduces health hazards, ensures sustainable agricultural production, and improves soil health. Organic farming also helps in the optimal utilization of natural resources and reduces the cost of agricultural inputs. Organic farming has created opportunities for small farmers and improved the overall well-being of agricultural communities.
Q5: What are the challenges faced by organic farmers in India?
A5: Organic farmers in India face challenges such as stringent standards for non-organic food in international markets, the need for certification and compliance, and higher production costs compared to conventional farming. Organic farmers may encounter difficulties in accessing markets and reaching consumers who are willing to pay a premium for organic products.
Q6: What are the future prospects of organic farming in India?
A6: The future of organic farming in India looks promising. The organic movement has gained momentum once again, and the area under organic cultivation has been steadily increasing. With increasing awareness about the health and environmental benefits of organic food, the demand for organic products is expected to continue growing. Government support, infrastructure development, and better market access for organic farmers can further strengthen the organic farming sector in India.