Uttar Pradesh Organic Farming: For Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, Millets, Crops, Livestock, and Aquaculture

Organic farming and afforestation are being promoted along the banks of the Ganga by the Uttar Pradesh government to make the sacred river cleaner, free of pollution caused by chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides, and ensure its uninterrupted flow. The state government intends to encourage organic farming within a radius of 10 km of both banks of the Ganga in 27 districts through which it passes, extending the initiative launched during its first term.

In addition, the state government intends to develop 6,759 hectares of land along the Ganga’s banks in 503 locations across different districts in the next six months. Besides, increasing forest cover and improving climate will prevent soil erosion, reducing flood severity. The government has already initiated several plantation drives in Kasganj and other areas. The Gangetic plains of UP, however, are the only area in UP with a maximum organic farming area.

The Namami Ganga Yojana involved 103,442 farmers in 3,309 clusters covering 63,080 hectares and 1,75,000 farmers in 4,784 clusters covering 95,680 hectares. Organic farming replaces chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides with organic products to increase yields and protect the soil. Because floods change the soil of the Gangetic plain every year, it has great potential for organic farming.

Uttar Pradesh organic farming

Major crops in Uttar Pradesh

Rabi crops

Wheat: About 24% of agricultural land in the state is dedicated to producing this crop. Among all states, Uttar Pradesh produces the most wheat. In the Ganga-Yamuna and Ganga-Ghaghara doab, Gorakhpur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Saharanpur, Agra, Aligarh, Muzaffarnagar, Kanpur, Etawah, Farrukhabad, Moradabad and Fatehpur produce the most wheat. However, the Eastern and Northeastern districts of Uttar Pradesh have low wheat yields because of high rainfall.

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Uttar Pradesh Organic Farming: Wheat Crop

Gram: This is the state’s fastest-growing cereal crop. The main districts where gram is grown are Banda, Hamirpur, Jhansi, Jalaun, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Lalitpur, Kanpur, Fatehpur, Sitapur, Barabanki, Allahabad, and Agra. There are more gram producers in Hamirpur than anywhere else in the state.

Mustard: The oil seed crop is the largest growing one in the state. In India, Uttar Pradesh is the second largest producer of mustard after Rajasthan. The main mustard-growing districts are Gonda, Bahraich, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Kanpur, Sitrapur, Etah, Meerut, Saharanpur, Faizabad, Mathura, Sultanpur, Aligarh, and Bulandshahr and Etawah.

Barley: Alluvial and sandy soils are the best for growing it. Despite its short growing season, it is drought-tolerant. Its geographical conditions are similar to those of wheat. Rajasthan is the state that produces the most barley, followed by Uttar Pradesh. Among the districts where barley is grown are Varanasi, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Ballia, Mau, Ghazipur, Etah, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, and Pratapgarh.

Kharif crops

Rice: After West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh ranks second in rice production in India. In the Terai region, it is planted in Shravasti, Maharajganj, Bahraich, Kushinagar, Deoria, Balrampur, Shahjahanpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Ballia, Mau, Saharanpur, and Pilibhit. Shahjahanpur is a major producer of rice.

Jute: This fiber crop can be found in the Terai belt, the Saryu plateau, and the Ghaghara plateau. There are several major centers for jute cultivation, including Bahraich, Maharajganj, Deoria, Gorakhpur, Gonda, Sitapur, and Lakhimpur-Kheri. Planting occurs in April-May, and harvesting occurs in August-September.

Sugarcane: It is the state’s most important cash crop. The state of Uttar Pradesh produces the most sugarcane in the country. 13% of the state’s cultivable land is planted with it. In addition to clayey loam soil, it requires 100-200 cm of yearly rainfall. There are two belts where it is grown:

Terai Belt: It includes Rampur, Pilibhit, Sitapur, Bareilly, LakhimpurKheri, Gonda, Faizabad, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Basti, Mau, Ballia, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur and Deoria districts.

Ganga-Yamuna Doab: It includes Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Moradabad, and Saharanpur districts. Muzaffarnagar is the largest producer of sugarcane.

Cotton: With the help of irrigation, it is grown in the Ganga-Yamuna Doab, Rohilkhand, and Bundelkhand regions of the state. Various cotton varieties are grown in these regions, including UP Deshi, Bengal cotton, Punjab cotton, and American cotton. It is grown in Saharanpur, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Muzaffarnagar, Agra, Aligarh, Firozabad, Moradabad, Kanpur, Bareilly, Manipuri, Mathura, Farrukhabad, Rampur and Etawah districts of the state.

Arhar: This is one of the state’s most important cereal crops. Besides this crop, Bajra and barley are sown as well. Arhar pulses are primarily grown in Varanasi, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Allahabad, Hamirpur, and Lucknow. However, Arhar crops are most commonly grown in Hamirpur.

Groundnut: It is primarily grown in the districts of Sitapur, Hardoi, Etah, Badaun, and Moradabad. Arid conditions make groundnut cultivation more difficult. It grows best in sandy soil. In June and July, it is sown, and in November and December, it is harvested.

Maize: Uttar Pradesh ranks third in the production of maize in India. It is a rainy crop. It is grown in districts like Meerut, Ghaziabad, Farrukhabad, Gonda, Bulandshahr, Jaunpur, Etah, Firozabad, and Manipuri.

Organic vegetable farming in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is the state with the highest vegetable cultivation rate. Uttar Pradesh contributes approximately 26% to the total horticulture production in the country. UP produces the second most vegetables and the first most potatoes out of all states. A variety of vegetables are grown in the state, such as peas, chilies, okra, tomato, brinjal, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, melon, radish, carrot, turnip, and cucurbits.

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Organic vegetable farming

Various horticultural crops are grown on about 30.00 lac hectares in the state. After West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh produces the second most vegetables in the nation. In small and marginal farms, vegetable cultivation has increased significantly. The growth in horticulture-based activities in the last five years is attributed to the government’s focus on this activity during the past five-year plans.

This increased allocations, concessions, subsidies, and incentives for growers and exporters. The hybrid varieties of tomato, cabbage, and other vegetables have occupied a large area, increasing vegetable production rapidly. Hybrid vegetable production is proposed under RKVY to improve product quality and production per acre. The high hybrid rates, however, are sometimes out of reach for small and marginal farmers.

VegetableAreas growing in UP
PeasBareile, Badaun, Pilibit, Shahjahanpur, Kanpur Nagar
ChilliesG.B. Nagar, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Agra, Mainpuri, Mathura
OkraChitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Allahabad, Kaushambi
TomatoMirjapur, Sonbadra, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau, Balia
BrinjalChitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Allahabad, Kaushambi
CauliflowerFaizabad, Ambedkar nagar, Gonda, Balrampur, Bahraich, Shravasti, Sultanpur, Amethi
CabbageKashganj, Hathras, Eata, Muradabad, Bijnor, Rampur, Amroha, Sambhal, Bareile
SpinachSaharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, G.B. Nagar, Bulandshahar, Hapur
RadishMuradabad, Bijnor, Rampur, Amroha, Sambhal, Bareile, badaun, Pilibit, Shahjahanpur
CarrotGonda, Balrampur, Bahraich, Shravasti, Sultanpur, Amethi, Lakhimpurkhiri, Unnao

Organic fruit farming in Uttar Pradesh

U.P. is the first state in the country to declare those areas as fruit belts where concentrated specific fruit-growing areas exist. The state has declared major mango, guava, and aonla fruit-producing areas as fruit belts. Due to physical diversity, different fruits are produced in Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, three horticultural zones may be identified in the state on a regional basis. Important fruits grown in the state are mango, guava, aonla, papaya, banana, jackfruit, ber, and citrus.

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Papaya Farming

Northern temperate zone

This includes hilly parts (Kumaun-Garhwai region) of the state covering the districts of Pauri Garhwal, Chamoli, Dehradun, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi, Almora, Pithoragarh, Nainital, and Udhamsingh Nagar. The average height of this area is 600 m above sea level, and its higher parts come under snow during winter. The main fruits are apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and plums.

Sub-tropical zone

This incorporates the Tarai region of the state covering the parts of Saharanpur, Bijnor, Rampur, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Kheri, Bahraich, Gonda, Basti, Gorakhpur, and Deoria districts. The region is char­acterised by 90 cm-125 cm of annual rainfall and a hot summer season. It has two sub-regions: 

  • The north­western zone grows litchi, peaches, plums, and grafted mango.
  • The northeastern zone with higher rainfall produces fruits like jackfruit, pineapple, banana, mango, etc.

Plain region or Sub-tropical region

The region enjoys oppressive heat during summer and cold winter. The average annual rainfall ranges between 100 to 125 cm. It is divided into three sub-regions : (a) Central zone growing loquat, grafted mango, citrus fruits, jackfruit, and papaya, etc. (b) eastern zone producing jack fruit, mango, be I, and amla, etc. and western zone supplying malta, Mozambique, Pomplamoose, guava, papaya, mango, jujube, etc.

Organic herbs farming in Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh government is looking at encouraging farmers to take up farming medicinal and aromatic plants to supplement their income and partly hedge their positions from seasonal fluctuations of price, demand, and rainfall conditions. The UP government has prepared a specific plan in this regard. After a pilot project in the arid Bundelkhand region, efforts have been intensified to provide similar benefits to the farmers of Purvanchal or Eastern UP.

The government is now trying to promote medicinal plant farming in districts like Meerut, Mathura, and Firozabad. It is widely accepted that medicinal plants cut down on investment and maximize farm income quickly. Therefore, the UP government is boosting medicinal farming, which has a lucrative and largely insulated forward industry linkage of food processing, consumer products, and pharma sectors.

The UP horticulture department facilitates medicinal farming by hand-holding farmers and providing them with basic and technical know-how about the new concept, which promises higher per unit returns. The concept has started to gain traction in Gorakhpur, where farmers have shown keen interest in growing Tulsi, Aloe vera, Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Shatavari, Kalmegh, and Sarpagandha and are preparing nurseries for these medicinal and aromatic plants.

Organic millet farming in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh (UP), the second-largest millet-producing state, is looking to expand its exports. According to a government official, the UP government is now taking proactive steps to increase the acreage of millet by reviving the traditional and indigenous crops under the rain-fed farming system. Millets provide a spectrum of low-risk crops which are resilient to climate change. The state government has planned to promote the cultivation of such nutritious cereals in rainfed areas.

The UP government aims to increase the Bajra acreage from 980,000 hectares (ha) to a million and hike its production from 24.55 quintal/ha to 25.53 quintal/ha. In addition, the state plans to expand jowar acreage from 215,000ha to 224,000ha. Some major millet crops grown in UP are jowar, Bajra, Kodo, and Sanwa. UP produces 5 million tonnes (Mt) of millet which is 20 percent of India’s annual output.

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Millets

With Uttar Pradesh being one of the country’s major millet producers, the state government has drawn plans to boost the production of cereals further to make the state number one in millet production in 2023 – the International Year of Millets. In addition, the Agriculture Department has drawn plans to distribute free seed kits to farmers to increase the area of cultivation of millets in the state. It also plans to revive millet cultivation under the rainfed farming system. 

Organic livestock farming in Uttar Pradesh

The state has 0.5 million crossbred cattle, 3.5 million non-descript cattle, and 7.5 million buffaloes in milk, producing around 17.4 million tonnes of milk annually, and buffaloes are contributing the major share (12 million tonnes). Besides, 11.7 million poultry contribute 0.9 billion eggs per annum.

There is also a sizeable number of goats (13 million) and pigs (2.3 million). The western part of the state has rich feed and fodder resources, which must be judiciously utilized. In contrast, in the eastern region, there is a need to improve the bioavailability of feed resources. The state has a high potential to enhance the productivity of cattle, buffalo, and goats with the following technologies:

  • Improved germplasm of goat (Jamunapari and Barbari) for enhanced milk and meat production
  • Crystoscope assisted Artificial Insemination for a 25% increase in conception rate
  • Field-based diagnostic kits and vaccines for major diseases
  • Complete feed blocks, bypass protein technology for high yielders, and area-specific mineral (P, Ca, I, S) supplementation for 10-15% improvement in productivity
  • Hormonal modulation of poultry in organized farms for a 5% increase in egg production
  • Value addition and improving shelf life of milk (low cholesterol ghee, herbal ghee, mango lassi, mozzarella cheese, and flavored milk), poultry products (chicken chunkalona, chicken patties, chicken idli) and mutton (nuggets, kababs).

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Dairy Farming Feeding Setup

Organic aquaculture farming in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh has 28,500 km of rivers and canals, 3.15 lakh ha of reservoirs, and 1.61 lakh ha of ponds and tanks, producing 2.67 lakh tonnes of fish yearly. The mean fish yield from ponds under FFDA is 2.6 tonnes/ha/year. An inadequate quantity of fingerlings for stocking the reservoirs and lakes is a major constraint to fish production. However, on account of the vast resources, even a marginal increase in yield rates of the reservoirs and ponds in the state can contribute a substantial quantity of fish to the production basket.

Uttar Pradesh has a good potential for the growth of inland fisheries. Fish Farmers Development Agency (FFDA) operates in each state district to facilitate the development of inland fisheries. It provides infrastructural and support services to fish farmers in the state. An independent Ministry is working in the state for the development of fisheries. The state has given great attention to the proper implementation of (FADA) Programme. Central Inland Fisheries Institute and the Institution of Indian Council of Agricultural Research are working at Allahabad to develop inland fisheries.

Recognizing the production of 746,000 metric tonnes of inland fish in the state in 2020-2021, the central government has also awarded the state’s Fisheries Department with a cash prize worth Rs 100,000 and declared Uttar Pradesh to be the best state in terms of inland fish production. In 2019-2020, India’s total inland fish production was 10.43 million metric tonnes. In 2020-21, eastern districts of the state produced 47 percent of the total inland fish production, according to the Department of Fisheries.

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Fish Net

How to get organic certification in Uttar Pradesh

  • For a farm to be granted an organic farming certificate, the farmer (or group of farmers/processors/traders) must comply with the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) standards.
  • The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) requires applicants to submit an application in the requisite format with a fee and complete field verification.
  • The Uttar Pradesh State Organic Certification Agency (UPSOCA) has provided the general standards for organic crop production, which are available on the UPSOCA website. 
  • On the UPSOCA website, you can download the application form under the registration forms section.
  • All the information requested by the Uttar Pradesh State Organic Certification Agency (UPSOCA) in the application must be provided, such as the name, addresses, details of the contact person, field location, and group details, must be completed, signed, and returned to the office for registration.
  • After the application is scrutinized by the evaluator and accepted, the offer letter (approximate fees for the inspection and certification) and a copy of the agreement will be sent to the operator by the evaluator. In cases where the client cannot be accepted for certification due to technical reasons, the same will be informed to the concerned.
  • The operator is registered on tracenet.
  • The requested person should pay the prescribed registration fee, field inspection fee, one-time travel cost, and the application form.

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Organic certification
  • On receipt of the payment, fix the inspection date in consultation with the operator and send the inspection intimation letter along with a copy of the farm records and NPOP standard.
  • The inspection shall be conducted on the day finalized, and the signed mutual agreement will be provided to the operator. A copy of the inspection report will be handed over to the operator during the inspection. The detailed inspection report is submitted to the evaluator.
  • For individual operators, the detailed crop list along with the major and minor non-conformities and the corrective actions deadline are entered into the tracenet.
  • For group farmers, The certification body verifies the data entered in the tracenet by the group and enters the major and minor nonconformities along with the deadline for corrective actions.
  • After receipt of the full payment, the evaluator reviews the operator file and submits the same to the Certification committee. The Certification committee takes a final decision based on the corrective measures taken by the operator against the nonconformities raised in the inspection report
  • The quality manager will generate the certificate through the tracenet and send the same to the operator.
  • For the use of the certification agency logo/ India Organic Logo, the operator must send a request for the same to the office, which will be sent to the operator after approval by the Certification committee will be sent to the operator as per the NSOP. In addition, the draft of labels must be sent to the certification agency office for verification and approval before printing.

Conclusion

The UP state government is preparing to initiate organic farming across villages along River Ganga’s banks. The government is set to turn UP into a hub of organic farming. As part of the government’s certification process, these products will also be certified by PGS India Ghaziabad. The Namami Gange project covers 27 districts and 36 districts for traditional agriculture development. Chandauli, Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Prayagraj, Fatehpur, Pratapgarh, Mirzapur, and others are included in Namami Gange Scheme.

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