By Hugh Finlay
The state of Himachal Pradesh in India will be bringing another 2,000 hectares of land under organic cultivation, in addition to developing 200 bio-villages. Already 22,000 hectares of land has been switched to organic production, with 40,000 small farmers registered as organic farmers. Himachal Pradesh, which is pushing strongly for a changeover to organic, is ideally placed to go organic, as it has less of a history of chemical farming than other Indian states.
The state government of Himachal Pradesh is actively encouraging organic farming, awarding cash prizes for the the most progressive organic farmers. In the Una, Kangra, Bilaspur, Mandi and Hamirpur districts, the state encourages farmers to produce a variety of organic crops for sale. The scheme is being carried out with help from the Indian Agricultural Development Society, and is also recieving help from Japan (the Japan International Co-operation Agency). Farmers from other districts (Solan, Shimla and Sirmour) have spontaneously decided to join in, in the push for organic. Apart from providing adequate irrigation, the other important aim the stae government has to consider is to making sure the farmers have enough vermicompost. State government subsidized vermicompost units have been set up.
Organic Farming is developing in Tanzania. Jordan Gama, the head of of the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM), which coordinates and facilitates organic farming in the country, said that organic farming will continue to develop, due to growing support from consumers and other groups in the country. TOAM works closely with the Tanzanian government, and also with organic organisations such as the Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity, the Africa Organic Network, and the International Organic Umbrella Organisation.
Germany now has 7.5% of its land under organic cultivation, a figure which the German government is proud of. The government's aim is to have 20% of Germany's arable land under organic cultivation. "Organic farming has established itself alongside conventional agriculture as an important pillar of the German agriculture and food industry." said Christian Schmidt, the German Agriculture Minister.
In 2015 the amount of organic land in Germany was 6.5%, compared with 2000 when it was 3.5%. The number of organic farms in Germany is 27,132, a big increase from 12,740 in 2000. Germany has the largest organic market in Europe, worth 9 billion euros. This is a big growth from 2006, when it was worth 2.9 billion euros.