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How to Start an Organic Farming in Andhra Pradesh: Crops, Weed Management, Nutrients, Pest, and Disease Management

Organic farming uses ecologically based pest control methods and biological fertilizers derived from animal wastes and nitrogen-fixing cover crops. It is well known that organic farming has been developed because of the harm caused to the environment by chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers used in conventional agriculture, and it has many ecological benefits.

How to Start an Organic Farming in Andhra Pradesh
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There are fewer financial and external inputs needed for organic farming, and it is more dependent on natural and agricultural resources as inputs than conventional farming. There are many advantages to organic farming over conventional agriculture. They include the use of fewer pesticides, the reduction of soil erosion, the reduction of nitrate leaching into groundwater and surface water, and the recycling of animal waste.

However, consumers’ food costs are higher, and yields are generally lower due to higher food costs. Generally, organic crops yield less than conventionally grown crops by about 25 percent, although this can vary significantly by crop type. With climate change and an increasing world population, maintaining organic agriculture’s environmental benefits will be challenging, as will increasing yields and reducing prices.

How to start an organic farming in Andhra Pradesh

Organic farming in Andhrapradesh

More than 60% of the Andhra Pradesh population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture contributes around 19% to the state’s GDP. As part of its commitment to increasing farm income and making the sector globally competitive, the government is drafting a comprehensive package of policies and procedures.

The government of Andhra Pradesh is gradually promoting a low-cost input agriculture program. It is estimated that 60% of Andhra Pradesh’s cultivated area is under rainfed farming, but it produces less than 40% of its food. The soils are also poor in fertility because of natural vagaries. The majority of farmers are small and marginal.

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Maize Field
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There would be a strong push for organic agriculture in rainfed areas where the actual yield is significantly lower than the potential yield. Irrigated areas in the state amount to approximately 36 lakh hectares (40%) and contribute significantly to food production. Here, the government is taking an integrated approach to agriculture, which will not interfere with the state’s capacity to produce food.

Besides taking care of soil health by applying on-farm inputs and adopting other organic practices, it is agriculture that utilizes inputs rationally as per the soil and recommendations. As part of its National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) for Pulses and Paddy crops since 2006 and as part of PGS-India in 2015, the government of India and the Andhra Pradesh department of agriculture have implemented the Certified Organic Farming program.

The state government plans to train about 1.5 lakh farmers in organic farming in the next three years. The trained cultivators will receive a certificate declaring them organic farmers. The main goal of this project is to reduce agriculture expenditures and raise farmers’ incomes. In this project, cow dung will be promoted in farming as natural manure, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides will be eliminated.

Objectives of the Andhra Pradesh State Organic Farming Policy on organic farming

In Andhra Pradesh, the Organic Development Board (APODB) will be established to promote organic farming. APODB would coordinate the dispersed organic activity under one roof and spearhead the organic agriculture movement in Andhra Pradesh with adequate human resources. Promoting organic farming will be the responsibility of the APODB in conjunction with all stakeholder groups.

As a result of Andhra Pradesh’s organic farming policy, farmers can achieve higher yields and prices by using organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizer and animal or plant waste are used to control pests in agriculture. Agricultural practices began responding to chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers that caused environmental disasters. It uses organic inputs such as green manures, cow dung, etc.

Synthetic or chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, genetically modified organisms, sewage sludge, and irradiation are prohibited in organic farming. The state government has formed an organic farming policy committee to promote organic farming. In addition, the state government has decided to expand organic farming to protect biodiversity and the environment.

The basic principles of this approach are to eliminate chemical inputs and use locally available resources to reduce farmers’ reliance on inputs from the market that could put them in debt. Though natural farming methods have not been fully understood, preliminary evidence suggests increased income from higher yields and lower production costs.

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Pepper Garden
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Objectives of the Andhra Pradesh State Organic Farming Policy

  • The main goal of this is to improve soil fertility and productivity.
  • The farmers are less dependent on inputs and can cultivate crops with local resources, thus making farming more profitable and less expensive.
  • Utilize water judiciously, which is a very precious resource.
  • By adding organic manures to depleted soils in rain-fed areas, these soils will become input-responsive and will perform better even in drought conditions.
  • Assist farmers in attaining sustainable status and self-respect by reducing their debt burden.
  • By improving the farmer’s income and producing quality products, we will prepare them for dealing with the WTO.
  • Increase rural employment opportunities and prevent urban migration.
  • Facilitate the formation of ‘Self Help Groups’ among farmers to meet their needs.
  • Ensure the safety and cleanliness of the environment and the health of humans and animals.
  • Teaching and research on organic farming need to undergo appropriate institutional changes
  • Avoid using chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides to prevent contamination of soil, environment, and groundwater.
  • Plant and animal biodiversity must be increased/maintained. Properly recycle farm resources.
  • The environment and local farming systems play a significant role in controlling pests and diseases.

Nutrient management in organic farming

Organic farming requires constantly building healthy soil rich in organic matter with all the nutrients plants need. Several methods can increase soil fertility, including green manuring, adding manure, and biofertilizers. Generally, farm yard manure (FYM) and vermicompost are low in nutrient content, so high application rates are required to meet crop nutrient requirements.

However, it is essential to note that in many developing countries, including India, organic manure is insufficient for crop needs, partly because cattle dung is extensively used for energy production. Manure made from Sesbania, cowpea, green gram, etc., improves the soil’s organic matter content. The use of green manuring has declined in recent decades due to intensive cropping practices and socioeconomic reasons.

As a result of these constraints, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) and Codex Alimentarius has approved the use of inorganic sources of plant nutrients in organic farming systems, such as rock phosphate, basic slag, rock potash, etc. A variety of substances provide essential nutrients from plant, animal, microbial, or mineral sources, as well as substances that undergo physical, enzymatic, or microbial processes to provide these nutrients. Their use does not impact the environment or produce in an unacceptable way, including soil organisms.

Weed management in organic farming

From the beginning of agriculture, farmers have struggled with weeds in their fields. In addition to reducing crop yields, weeds serve as hosts for pests and diseases, increasing competition for water, sunlight, and nutrients. As agrochemicals have been widely used for many years, some farmers are now interested in organic methods of managing weeds.

Furthermore, some weed species can become dominant in fields when herbicides are used because they are resistant. A potential decrease in farmer biodiversity can also be caused by some herbicides that destroy harmless weeds. Weeds cannot be eradicated under an organic seed control system; they can only be managed.

  • A band of nitrogen placed selectively can favor the crop over the weed. It is possible to enhance weed suppression by using legume residues instead of chemical nitrogen fertilizer to supplement the crop’s nitrogen needs.
  • It is possible to significantly reduce the introduction and growth of difficult weed species by using clean seeds, mowing weeds around the edges of main fields or after harvest, and thoroughly composting manure before application.
  • Tillage systems alter the dynamics of soil seed banks and the depth to which weed seeds are buried.
  • Controlling weeds in a vegetable operation requires effective water management. You can reduce weed pressure on your crops through careful irrigation management in several ways

Insect and pest management

In organic farming, it is essential to anticipate pests (where, when, and how). Consequently, planting schedules and locations are adjusted as much as possible to prevent serious pest problems. It is most effective to build up a population of beneficial insects whose larvae feed on the eggs of pests to combat harmful pests. Creating a population of beneficial insects requires establishing borders (host crops) around fields planted with flowering plants that the beneficial insects particularly enjoy.

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Peanut Farming
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In the fields, beneficial insects are released periodically, where the host crops serve as their home base and attract more beneficial insects over time. The use of natural insecticides like neem pesticides is used when beneficial insects cannot control pest outbreaks. Low toxicity and low environmental persistence are the two most important criteria for allowing organic pesticides. The National Organic Standards determine these criteria.

Diseases management in organic farming

Plant diseases are one of the most significant constraints on crop yield and quality in organic and low-input production systems. Crop resistance to certain diseases can be improved by adequately managing crops’ fertility, including a balanced supply of macro and micronutrients and crop rotation. Healthy soil with beneficial organisms is one of the most significant benefits of organic farming. Healthy bacteria, fungi, and microbes control the harmful bacteria and fungi that cause disease.

Organic crops cultivation in Andhrapradesh

Numerous crops are grown in Andhrapradesh throughout the year, making it one of the most prominent states of India. Agronomists also consider it a museum of crops. The state’s most common occupation is agriculture. For the people of this state, it is their main source of economic activity. Similarly, fisheries contribute primarily to the state’s inland, marine, and, to a limited extent, to its wealth. The agricultural sector also includes plantations & horticulture, animal husbandry, poultry, sheep, & goat production.

As the nation’s largest rice producer, Andhra Pradesh is called the ‘Rice Bowl of India.’ There are 13 districts, six agroclimatic zones, and five soil types in Andhra Pradesh. The state has 10.1 million acres of agricultural land, which accounts for 37% of its total land area. In total, 36% of the cultivated area is irrigated. The soil in Andhra Pradesh is red, mainly lateritic and black, with low fertility and salinity issues.

Maize and Jowar are other crops grown besides cotton, sugarcane, groundnuts, pulses, and chillies. Tobacco is also grown to a limited extent. Several horticulture crops are grown here, including mangoes, guavas, oil palms, coconuts, cashews, lemons, and oil palms. Cucumbers, guards, bhendi, brinjal, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, and leafy vegetables are other vegetables grown in the state.


Advantages of Organic farming

No Genetically modified organisms

Genetically modified seeds are not a concern for organic farmers. The goal of these farms is to prevent any interaction with outside organisms. Growing food organically reduces contamination, mutation, and crop loss risks.

Does not harm the soil

Organic farming methods can replace synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Healthy ecosystems and erosion prevention are achieved by working with the soil. Furthermore, organic farmers do not use chemicals that harm water quality or pollute the air as their conventional counterparts do.

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Sugarcane Farming
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More nutritious food

Using organic farming methods ensures that the soil is fertile and fertilizers are not required. Additionally, these methods naturally produce nutrients like calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Additionally, organic farms ensure that their animals are treated humanely by feeding them healthier food instead of using antibiotics to compensate for unhealthy feed.

Safer and healthier work environment

In an environment where health problems are constantly present, organic farming can provide a healthy working environment. In addition to using fewer harmful chemicals to maintain their land and crops, organic farmers use fewer pesticides.

Increased resistance to pests and disease

Due to the lack of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers used on organic farms, they are usually resistant to pests, weeds, and diseases. Increasing pest resistance also helps organic farmers reduce production costs.

Fertilizers are made naturally and on-site

Organic fertilizers are made on-site using natural ingredients that enrich the crops without harming them. People who want a healthier diet or want to make a more significant environmental impact can benefit from this type of farming.

Can grow more variety of crops

Through crop rotation, composting, and animal breeding, organic farming can help farmers grow more variety quickly without using artificial fertilizers or pesticides.

Climate-friendly and easier on the environment

As a result of organic farming, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 25%, and water is saved by growing organic crops. In an organic farm, a wide variety of eco-friendly methods are available, which create a better balance between native ecosystems, livestock, and plants.


Due to its environmental friendliness and minimal impact on the land, organic farming is more sustainable for the future than conventional farming. In organic farming, crops are rotated, livestock is used to convert weeds into nutrient-rich soil, and chemicals are minimized.

Drawbacks in organic farming

Lack of support and infrastructure

One of the significant disadvantages of organic farming is the lack of infrastructure to support the industry’s many processes. Farmers also have difficulty making a profit from organic farming because it is too costly.

Large initial investment

The organic farming industry is an expensive one. Investing in new equipment for a farm becomes more accessible as the organic farmer makes more money. In addition, organic farming can be challenging as fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals cannot protect crops from pests or maintain their health.

Organic farming is Knowledge-Intensive

The organic farming process involves a variety of strategies and is a knowledge-intensive one. Farming organically requires independent monitoring of environmental factors such as carbon dioxide and water levels in the atmosphere, soil moisture, acidity levels, and others. Additionally, farmers must understand each plant’s natural life cycle and the soil’s needs. Those who want their milk and meat to be sold to consumers must also follow organic safety regulations.

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Sugarcane Farming
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Organic farming needs much more work than conventional farming

Consequently, organic farms need a workforce familiar with organic farming practices. The result is also higher costs and lower profit margins. Moreover, organic farms are less productive than conventional farms; often, they produce less than a third of what a conventional farmer could produce.

Requires considerable efforts in marketing 

In terms of revenue, organic crops are less profitable because there is no marketing for them, making it difficult to compete with conventional crops.


A sustainable organic agriculture system maintains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people. It relies on ecological processes, cycles, and biodiversity adapted to local conditions rather than inputs with adverse effects. Agriculture that uses organic methods benefits the environment, promotes fair relationships and improves the quality of life for all. It combines tradition, innovation, and science.


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