Research & Technology
System Comparison and Participatory Research, 2005-06
India’s first scientific study/research on ‘System Comparison’ between organic farming system and conventional farming systems was conducted on cotton and its intercrop/rotation crops in Madhya Pradesh during 2003-2005. The research work was designed and coordinated by FiBL, Switzerland in cooperation with ICCOA and Maikaal BioRe Organic cotton project. The findings of this research study were published in English and Hindi versions in 2005. A Manual on ‘Organic Cotton cultivation’ and “Organic cotton Tool-kit’ was also produced for use by farmers and it is available in print version as well as in CD format.
ICCOA’s New Research Project MoU with Govt. of Sikkim, 2009-2012
There is a general lack of credible research and development effort, especially for developing package of agronomic practices suitable for organic cultivation. Besides, the technically sound and successful commercial scale business models are not readily available. Though organic farming has been in vogue in different parts of the world for over two decades now, there have been no systematic studies to compare organic systems of farming with conventional cultivation in terms of productivity, product quality and cost of cultivation. ICCOA has signed a MoU for a Research project on ‘Technology Intervention in Organic farming through ‘System Comparison’ and development of ‘Organic Package of Practices’ with the Govt of Sikkim. This project is supported and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Sikkim for a three year period. For this project ICCOA has also engaged FiBL as its consultant in the research program. This pilot project will prove to be a useful tool for policy support as well as for decision support for farmers willing to convert to organic farming. Therefore this research has the potential to be the crucial factor driving organic farming quickly and substantially forward in the mountainous states in India.
Research and Survey on Marketing of Organic Products
India’s first market research on organic products was conducted by ICCOA in 2006 and published as “The Market for Organic Foods in India”. This study is a benchmark for market potential and is referred to in many international publications/articles. (“The Market for Organic Foods in India”, VSK Kishore Rao, Raj Supe, Manoj K Menon, Tej Pratap) ICCOA also conducted a survey and research in Gujarat state to find how small and marginal farmers market their organic products. Published as “Market Potential for Organic Produce from Gujarat” (Sponsored by Oxfam GB, Ahmedabad, Gujarat). A part of the project a ‘Strategy paper’ on how Oxfam can modify or scale up their works in organic farming for the benefit of these small and marginal farmers was also submitted. ICCOA studied small and marginal farmers and their potential benefits for them from organic farming in Gujarat, with special emphasis to Kutch region worth Rs.6.43 lakhs.