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How To Start Organic Farming in India

How To Start Organic Farming in India

Sure, organic farming in India sounds like a hot trend today, but it is a practice adopted by Indians since time immemorial. Would you believe that the very first instances of this practice date back to no less than 10,000 years all the way to the Neolithic age. While this is a matter of history, even Indian mythology provides proof of organic farming in the Ramayana.

In the book of Ramayana, all dead things, including rotting corpses, garbage, etc., were returned to the Earth only to grow wholesome things that nourished life. Such was the prowess of organic farming in India.

The inorganic farming practices that encourage the use of pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, and other such chemicals rip away several precious nutrients that should form a human diet. However, there is a soaring realisation to return to root farming practices once again.

So, if you plan to return to root farming by starting an organic farming business, congratulations. For starters, this is the right time to create an organic farming business, as the Indian market is ripe and ready to adopt organic produce, even if it means paying a tad extra.   

How to start an organic farming business in India?

Starting organic farming in India can be daunting and can leave you with several questions. Where will I get funding? Which are the ideal sites for crop cultivation? Do I need any certification? If you're dealing with such questions, our next section is bound to help you.

Here are the three things you need to know if you want to start an organic farming business in India.

1. Get certified

While organic farming in India for self-consumption requires no certification, starting an organic farming business does. You can apply for your organic farming certification at any testing centre accredited by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Organic certification is an initiative to ensure the quality of your product and whether it is safe and fit for both domestic as well as international consumption. This certification ensures that organic farming businesses follow a set standard, ethics and guidelines.

Once you are certified, you can even export your farm's produce to different countries around the world. Simply put, if you want your product's packaging to read "100% organic", you need to be certified.

2. Find funding

While certification comes cheap, the actual process of organic farming in India requires substantial investment. You need funds to purchase or lease a suitable plot of land if you don't have one already.

Here is a rough breakdown of expenses other than land acquisition costs for organic agriculture in India.

  • Land prep costs – Rs 30,000 to Rs. 40,000
  • Planting costs – Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000
  • Manures and organic fertilisers – Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000
  • Irrigation = Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000
  • Labour fees = Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000 (depending on the state or province)
  • Miscellaneous expenses = Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000 (you can also take this number as a small  percentage of the total cost, like 5% or 6%)

Total (calculated as per the higher range figures) = Rs. 1,88,000

These approximations are for organic agriculture in India on a 1-acre land.

As you can see, you don’t require millions of rupees to start organic agriculture in India, but the amount is just right to apply for a business loan. Doing this will ensure you don’t dent your savings for starting your business.

3. Site selection

One of the most critical elements of organic agriculture in India is selecting a fertile plot of land. Here are the key things you must keep in mind while selecting a site for organic agriculture farming in India:

  • How far is a clean water source from the shortlisted site? A site too far might make it harder to deal with effective irrigation.
  • How far is your farmland from commercial districts and markets? A site too far will add to transportation costs, which will increase the price of your produce.
  • What do you want to grow? Suppose you want to farm green leafy vegetables. In this case, you must stay away from clay-like soil and opt for farming land rich in loamy soil.

Keep these factors in mind when selecting a site for organic-farming-related business in India.

The market potential of organic agriculture business in India

Since the need for organic farming in India is high, given its demand, you stand to book substantial profits. Let’s understand the market potential of this business with the following examples.

The farm gate price of a kilo of organic tomatoes is Rs. 15 (lower than usual). And the total production per acre equals 20 tonnes of tomato. So, your income per acre of organic tomatoes will be 20000x15= Rs. 3,00,000. This is more than your start-up cost, excluding the price paid for acquiring the farming land.

Talking about macro numbers. The Indian organic food market stood at a whopping US$ 849.5 million in 2020. It is further expected to grow by a staggering 20.5% between 2021 and 2026, reaching US$ 2601 million by 2026.

Different methods of organic farming

Here is a quick summary of different techniques/types of organic farming in India.

#1 Soil Management: Recharging the soil after the cultivation of crops to restore nutrients is soil management. Organic farmers use good bacteria, animal waste and manure to manage soil post-cultivation and harvesting of crops.

#2 Crop Diversity: Another popular organic farming technique is to plant several different crops at once. Doing this helps meet the growing demands of crops.

#3 Biological Pest Control: Pests are a problem in any field. However, organic farms get rid of pests by using herbicides or pesticides that contain fewer chemicals or are completely natural. Doing this safeguards the produce from pests without coating them with chemicals.

In the end

Now that you know how to start organic farming in India, it’s time to figure out the funds. Partner with one of India’s most trusted lending institutions – Tata Capital.

Opt for our business loan at affordable interest rates and negotiable repayment terms to launch your organic farming business. You will find our business financing flexible, meaning it can be used for any type of business-related expense – from purchasing equipment to leasing out land.

Want to know more? Head over to our website today!

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