| | |Term paper | |Application of organic manure in agriculture in Nepal. | | | | | | | |Submitted by: | |Rakshya K.
C. | Table of Contents • Introduction to organic manure • Status of organic farming in Nepal • Development of the organic agricultural sector • Example of organic farming • Major constraints • Suggestions • Conclusion • References Introduction to organic manure Organic manure refers to the manures made from cattle dung, excreta of other animals, rural and urban composts, other animal wastes, and crop residues and last but not the least green manures. Organic manure is time tested materials for improving the fertility and productivity of soils.
These are ready to use live formulates of several beneficial microorganisms which on application to seed, root or soil mobilize the availability of nutrients by their biological activity in particular. As compared to chemical fertilizers, our organic manure/fertilizers are very useful and effective in terms of sustainability of agriculture. The major advantages of organic manure/fertilizers include: • Increased crop yield • Replaces chemical nitrogen and phosphorus • Activate the soil biologically • Stimulate plant growth • Restore natural soil fertility • Provide protection against drought and some soil borne diseases Eco-friendly • Cost-effective There are mainly three types of organic manure. They are: 1. Farm yard manure: These are commonly used organic manure that is readily available and includes cattle dung as well as excreta of other animals. It is an important agricultural by-product. Its major advantages are: a. Ability to improve the soil, tilth and aeration. b. Increases the water holding capacity of soil. c. Stimulate activity of micro-organisms. 2. Composts: Composting is a process of reducing vegetable and animal waste to a quickly utilizable condition for improving and maintaining soil fertility.
These are produced through the action of microorganisms on wastes. Wastes may be leaves, roots and stubbles, crop residues, straw, hedge clippings, weeds, water hyacinth, saw dust, kitchen wastes and human habitation wastes. 3. Green manuring: Green manure refers to fresh matter added to the soil largely for supplying the nutrient contained in the bio-mass. Leguminous plants are largely used as green manure due to their symbiotic N fixing capacity. Some non-leguminous plants are also used due to local availability, drought tolerance, quick growth and adaptation to adverse conditions.
Any plant cannot be used as a green manure in practical farming. Status of organic farming in Nepal Over 80% of the population is involved in agriculture which constitutes 41% of GDP. Government efforts to boost the agricultural economy have focused on easing dependence on weather conditions, increasing productivity, and diversifying the range of crops for local consumption, export, and industrial inputs. Solutions have included the deployment of irrigation, chemical fertilizers, and improved seed varieties, together with credit provision, technical advice and limited mechanization. Organic agriculture is still in its early stages in Nepal.
The importance of organic agriculture is being realized not only by farmers who have been using chemical fertilizer and pesticides for the last four decades, but also by the policy makers, intellectuals and concerned citizens after observing the deteriorating situation in the agricultural sector. The continuously increasing prices of agrochemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, etc. ) are another important factor driving farmers to look for alternatives to help sustain farm productivity and sustain their families. The organic agriculture movement in Nepal is gaining popularity and field-level programs are being implemented under various names (e. . regenerative, sustainable, ecological, natural and permaculture). All these efforts share a common concern- to decrease dependency on external farm inputs and utilize the local resource base in order to increase the production potential of soil, crops, plants and animals. Although the government is showing more favor toward organic agriculture, it is still not very open as its chemical-oriented programs and technical development are supported and financed by pro-chemical bilateral/multilateral/governmental agencies.
However, some professional NGOs and individuals committed to organic agriculture do practice small scale organic farming themselves. It is estimated that about 26% of Nepalese farming systems (mostly in remote and mountainous areas) is still in traditional mode with no use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Many resource-poor farmers have traditional systems that are similar to organic systems and arguably could be claimed as uncertified default organic agriculture. Development of the organic agricultural sector
Nepal’s economy is predominantly based on agriculture, and about two-thirds of the economically active population are engaged in farming and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Nepal has emphasized agriculture as a top priority for the last two decades through its national five year plans. Considerable investment has been made in promoting conventional agricultural systems but the agricultural development indicators have remained discouraging throughout this period. Per capita food growth has fallen by 0. % from 1980/81 to 1990/91 and Nepal has gradually shifted from being from being a net exporter of food grain to being a modest net importer in some recent years, and this scenario is set to continue. Apart from economic impacts, other adverse impacts from use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers are becoming more persistent, as demonstrated by recent studies on pesticide use. A systematic approach to promote sustainable and organic agriculture in Nepal was instigated in 1986 following the establishment of the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture Nepal (INSAN).
A commercial organic farm was established in 1989 under the leadership of Lotus Organic Farm, set up by Mrs. Judith Chase. It received a further boost through the establishment of other organizations including the Nepal Community Support Group(NECOS, 1989), the Jajarkot Permaculture Program (1991), Lotus Land agriculture Farm (1991), the Community Welfare and Development Society (CWDS), HASERA Agriculture Farm (1992), the Nepal Permaculture Group (1992), Ecological Services Centre (1994), and Organico Nepal (2001).
In all there are about 80 national and international organizations directly or indirectly working in this area. Several individuals, groups and business are establishing commercial production centres for tea, coffee, herbs and herbal products, fruits and vegetables. Organic agriculture has become one of the priority areas for sustainable agriculture development worldwide due to concerns about the negative impacts of conventional agriculture, international trade potential and its contribution to sustainable development.
Apart from these broader concerns, small scale organic agriculture is very relevant and appropriate for a developing country like Nepal, due to its diverse ecological niches, its fragile and often marginal land characteristics, and high labor force availability. Table: Production and export for some certified organic products |S.
N |Commodity |Area covered |Production/year |Export destinations | |1 |Tea: |345 Ha |50 tons |USA, Germany, Japan, Australia, Poland, | | |Gurans and Kanchanjunga | | |Spain and India | |2 Coffee: |75 Ha |15 tons |Japan, Tibet, Bangladesh | | |District Cooperative Federation, Gulmi | | | | |3 |Herbs: |198 Ha |25 tons |European countries | | |One World Pvt. Ltd. Gorkha and Chitwan | | | | |4 |Black sesame: |68 Ha |5 tons |European countries | | |One World Pvt. Ltd. , Chitwan (in process) | | | | Sources: Websites of Kanchenjunga Tea Estate, Gurans Tea Estate, All Nepal Tea and Coffee Centre, Shambala Herbal and Aromatic Company and Argo-Enterprise Centre (AEC).
An example (Organic Farming on the rise with a new enterprise for women) Elephant jungle safari in Sauraha, one of the most popular tourist hubs of Chitwan National Park is a dream for visiting tourists. Sauraha however, suffers from the unmanaged waste of elephants. Each elephant produces 130 kg of dung a day, resulting in 165 elephants producing 21. 5 metric tons of dung a day. This is generally a nuisance and dumped in a place called “Malkhad” to dry naturally. The dried dung is later burnt, emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.
With the support of UNDP and Global Environment Facility/Small Grants Program in partnership with an NGO-Pesticide Monitor Nepal-12 local women of the village have found a way of getting rid of this unmanaged waste by producing vermicompost from the elephant dung. These 12 women are responsible for the overall management of compost production at the community level which is giving rise to organic farming. The semi-digested elephant dung is very good feed for vermis (earthworm) and produce vermicompost.
The project trained these women on vermicompost techniques, and also constructed a vermin composting shade house for the worm and compost production. The project partnered with some Users Committee at the local level to manage the worm shade house. In May-June, the women sold 2 tons of vermicompost earning Rs. 24,000. After seeing the success of the initiative, 60 other women have also started vermicomposting in their own houses. The vermicompost shade house is a good learning place for visiting tourists also. The villagers feel that this initiative is a good start to replace chemical fertilizers and save the cost of importing them.
Major constraints for organic farming In developing countries there are many special challenges and constraints for the organic agriculture movement. This is in part because organic agriculture embraces a more holistic approach to nature, and is therefore more complex to implement. Few major problems related to organic agriculture development in Nepal are discussed below: • Production: Small-scale farmers in Nepal’s remote, resource-poor, fragile and marginal farming systems face numerous problems related to access to technology and its implementation.
Some of the major difficulties are: ? Lack of appropriate and adaptive technologies. ? Lack of incentives for farmers to convert to organic methods. ? Lack of efficient agronomic alternatives for managing soil, plant nutrients and pests. ? The long organic conversion period represents high and often unacceptable risks for small farmers. • Policies: The lack of an enabling policy environment and the absence of incentives for environment friendly farming are serious bottlenecks to growth of organic sector in Nepal.
In order to address these issues, clear and supportive policies in support of organic agriculture must be formulated (including basic standard and certification body); and mechanisms for providing farmers with effective incentives to encourage farmers to convert to organic methods, and broaden the production base. • Insufficient marketing: Given the current political instability, poor infrastructure and disorganized marketing systems, marketing of perishable agricultural products is a daunting task. Roads are unreliable, there is poor access to timely marketing information and no storage facilities exist.
Furthermore, small-scale farmers also face other problems: ? Limited research on how organic agriculture contributes to sustainable agriculture in order to persuade decision makers. ? Limited awareness about the preferences of urban consumers for organic products. ? Lack of information and effective co-ordination among the different organizations and professionals involved in this area. Suggestions Upon reviewing situations of organic farming in Nepal, following methodologies must be taken to pioneer it in the nationwide and globally. By encouraging private entrepreneurs to establish training institutions and diddemination of qualitative seeds organically grown. ? Formulate concrete planning policies for the betterment of farmers and farming system. ? Implement organic farming system manipulating old methods. ? Manage fine networking of marketing system. ? Create public awareness about the bad impact of disorganized agriculture activities. ? To encourage farmers to apply modern technology by not destroying natural resources. Conclusion
Organic farming is getting increasing attention from development stakeholders in Nepal. There are indeed several challenges and constraints ahead due to the weak enabling environment, lack of research information and marketing infrastructure. However, organic agriculture has maintained its pace of development and recognition within the country and outside. Many actors i. e. government organizations, NGOs, private sector and farmers are involved in different steps of organic agriculture promotion and consolidation.
All these efforts from several stakeholders would provide a strong backing in the days to come for the further institutionalization of organic agriculture in Nepal. References • APP, 1998. Agriculture Perspective Plan. National Planning Commission/APROSC, Kathmandu • NPC, 2002. Tenth Five Years Plan. National Planning Commission, 2002 • Sharma, 2005. Recent Research Outcomes of Permaculture and Sustainable Agriculture in Nepal • Carson, B. (1992). The Land, the Farmer, and the Future: A Soil Fertility Management Strategy for Nepal. ICIMOD Paper no 1. Kathmandu, Nepal.