Organic farming for sustainable vegetable production and livelihood enhancement
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Vegetables being highly nutritious and easily digestible, hold major position in eradicating hunger and malnutrition and offer vast potential for ensuring food and nutritional security for millions of people of our country. Moreover, most of the vegetables are capable of giving very high yields and economic returns to the growers in a short period of time, besides generating on-farm and off-farm employment. As a result, in recent years, major emphasis is given for commercial exploitation of vegetable crops. However, under conventional production system, a large quantity of pesticide is being used by vegetable growers at frequent intervals to manage insect-pests and diseases in vegetable crops. Herbicides and chemical fertilizers which are used for conventional vegetable production are also the source of ground water pollution, environmental deterioration and contamination of food, as they enter the food chain. There are innumerable health hazards posed by these agro-chemical contaminated vegetables due to the presence of higher pesticide residues, heavy metals, etc. Hence, there is need to produce food devoid of contaminants. Organic agriculture is one among the broad spectrum of production methods that are supportive of the environment and restricts the use of synthetic inputs.
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