More needs to be done to generate optimism towards making the future of farming and food in our country brighter and sustainable.
I was at an event last week where researchers from ICRIER released a report titled “Organic Farming in India” – something they had worked on for almost a year.
Earlier in the year, I’d also met with them to share my thoughts and opinions. The overall atmosphere was quite positive, despite discussions around solutions to the current problems. Some noteworthy government officials and bureaucrats were also present who shared the same optimism, in my opinion. I left the event thinking they had done an exhaustive job, that the industry evaluation, current problems, and bottlenecks were thorough, and the suggestions for the way forward were well thought out.
I open my Google alert feed the next day that prompts me on the latest news around organic, and the top headline says, “Organic food grown in India for domestic consumption may not be safe, says study”. This was Livemint. The Times of India carried a similar headline. And the following day many others followed suit. This isn’t new. Whenever there is an industry story any publication decides to do, it’s always to poke holes and portray organic in the negative light, other than in the business sections, where they talk about market growth and success stories.
Many of us in the industry have dedicated many years to making organic a more realistic and viable option. We’re aware of the loose ends that need to be tied, but there is so much more that is positive and promising, contrary to the picture painted by the media.