Scientific Package of Practices (PoPs) for organic production of crops in cropping systems


Organic agriculture is intended to produce high quality, nutritious food that contributes to preventive health care and well-being in an environmental friendly manner. The principles underlying our traditional agriculture are also part of the organic farming concepts. Indian agriculture in a way may be regarded as organic because majority of its cultivated area is under rainfed cultivation and only about 38% of cultivated land is under irrigation and in rainfed areas; there is little or no use of fertilizers and other agriculture chemicals on account of risks associated, resources poor farmers and smaller land holdings. The researchable issues such as identifying the appropriate production systems that involves natural manuring in the form of recycling and plant protection has got greater value in the organic food production systems. In order to develop a technological package of organic farming including plant protection for different crops and cropping systems, a Network Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) was initiated during 2004-05 by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi with Indian Institute for Farming Systems Research (IIFSR) as nodal institute. In order to address, issues of comparison of organic, inorganic and integrated nutrient management practices, method and source of nutrient application, management of pest, diseases and weeds in various crops/ cropping systems, four experiments were planned and conducted at 13 centres. The objectives along with significant findings of all the experiments are presented in the subsequent sections.