The Union Budget 2022-23 has announced chemical-free Natural farming across the county with the initial focus on five-kilometer-wide farmland corridors along the river Ganga. In fact, the soil in the five-kilometer-wide corridors along the river Ganga is rich with natural nutrients, which automatically create a food bowl for the entire country.
Promoting natural farming in this golden corridor of the river Ganga will be a positive step which will encourage farmers across the country to take up chemical-free natural farming.
In the years to come, the global demand for food will increase phenomenally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation Report, as many as 828 million people worldwide were affected by hunger in 2021.
The United Nations, in its survey, finds that one in three people globally do not have access to adequate food, and over 2.3 billion people – 30 per cent of the world’s population – lack year-round access to food.
The UN has estimated that the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – zero hunger by 2030 will be missed by a huge margin of 660 million people. The propagation of mono-crop farming, use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides has aggravated the hunger situation across the world though it has increased food production for a short period.
Big farmers in the West and European countries are giving up farming in spite of huge Government subsidies. The number of farmers’ suicide in Europe is increasing. Excessive use of chemical fertiliser and pesticides has adversely affected the soil quality and reduced the disease resistance capacity of the crops. Vast farmland with a single crop has become prone to pest attacks and diseases. The crop diversity once helped farmers survive; when one crop failed, the other crop lived to sustain the farmers. Chemical-free natural farming will repair the farmland, but it will take a little more time.
There is growing health consciousness among the world community for safe, chemical-free food; chemical food-related diseases like tomato flu, bird flu, swine flu and melamine contamination etc, have worsened the fear among people. With rich crop diversity, farming skills and the largest number of farmers worldwide, India can grow chemical-free food to meet the global demand.
As per Fortune Business Insights analysis, the global organic foods market is projected to grow from $157.48 billion in 2022 to $366.66 billion by 2029, at a CAGR ( Compound Annual Growth Rate ) of 12.83% in the forecast period. Though natural farming today gives far less yield in comparison to chemical farming, the combination of traditional and modern technology will reduce the cost of production and increase the yield of natural and organic food in future.
According to the IMARC group analysis, the organic food market size in India reached US $ 1278 million in 2022, and the group expects the market to reach US $ 4602 million by 2028. India has a great opportunity to tap the world’s food market.