News Excerpt
According to a report by organic giants FiBL and IFOAM-Organic Internationals, Organic farmland now covers an area of 71.5 million hectares (~appx.) and more than 186 countries are involved in organic activities.

Livestock Organic Farming
•    Organic livestock management is aimed at use of natural breeding methods, minimize stress, prevent disease, progressively eliminate the use of chemical allopathic veterinary drugs, and maintain animal health and welfare.
•    Waste products like the faecal matter of livestock are utilised as manures and pesticides. Cow urine can be used as a pest repellent as well as growth promoter.
•    Efficient utilisation of waste matter from the livestock farm allows farmers to reduce their dependence on synthetic soil amendments from outside and thus, curb other extravagances.
•    Organic manure and organic matter: Livestock waste can be utilised as simply as manure on the farm. Organic manure helps in improving soil structure and leads to increase water infiltration, better water-holding capacity, good nutrient retention and improves microbial diversity. Cation exchange capacity and soil pH get influenced positively.
•    Organic Livestock Farming and Animal Production is characterized by-
o    Integrated production - with plants and soil. Harmony with the ecosystem in maintaining the balance between different resources. Organic farming works most successfully where a diversity of livestock species and a diversity of crops are produced. Circulation of nutrients between plants, animals and soil.
o    Safer products - More transparent trade and a lower risk of food contamination (free from residues of chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones etc.)
o    Nutritious & Natural Naturalness in following the natural methods of feeding, rearing, breeding, health care etc. Nutritious products as grown on natural resources.
o    Species Preservation- according to organic farming no species should be extinct from the planet. It emphasizes the maintenance of local and native breeds.
o    Biodiversity- at gene level in terms of traditional and adaptability, at species level in terms of diverse combinations of plants and animals, at ecosystem level maintenance of natural areas within and around organic fields. Organic farming works most successfully where a diversity of livestock species and diversity of crops are produced, for reasons related to livestock health, agronomy and environment.
o    Principle of Precaution- for sustainability of life on the planet for the present and the future.
o    High Quality products - as it assures a lower level of drugs and pesticides used in the process, so organic products must be free from genetically modified organisms and food poisoning in general.
o    Eco Friendly - as free from pollution and maintains sustainability.
o    On farm inputs - as it emphasizes the use of home-grown feed and recycling of organic farming nutrients.
o    Certification of products- Origin of animal to marketing of its product.

Organic Livestock Production v. Conventional Livestock Production
    Organic livestock farming is welfare concerned and is strongly related to the environment in which it operates, whereas, conventional system is production oriented.
    Organic farming differs from conventional farming in many ways. Organic farming is primarily knowledge intensive, whereas, conventional farming is more chemical and capital intensive.
    Organic production involves fewer intensive livestock farming practices than conventional ones. Synthetic fertilizers and pesticide sprays are prohibited in animal feed and fodder production and animals are kept at lower stocking rates, which in turn decrease the pollution risk.
    Differ in aspects relating to natural/ biological and economic, but primarily on the support of natural processes in their production systems. Therefore, sustainability, diversity, renewability, and integrity are important aspects.
    Organic agriculture has clear benefits in reducing environmental pollution in comparison to conventional agriculture.
    The basic standards of organic farming provide suitable tools to minimize environmental pollution and nutrient losses on the farm level, which seem to be more effective measures than conventional production.
    Regulations concerning housing conditions serve as preventive measures against conflict behaviour and the incidence of injuries and claw disorders.
    Certification of organic production system assures the consumer the quality of the products.

    According to the basic principles of organic agriculture, livestock are kept as a part of the farming system and their nutrition must be based on home-grown feeds. Therefore, sustainability and productivity of farming system depend on the internal flow of nutrients produced by livestock.
    The agricultural cycle is incomplete without the input of domesticated animals that play a predominant part under the organic management of livestock.
    Animal husbandry is vital for organic agriculture since it stabilizes the agro-ecological system and makes this more productive.


Organic Livestock Farming in India
ParamparagatKrishiVikasYojana (PKVY): It is a sub- component of Soil Health Management (SHM) scheme under National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) whichaims at development of models of excellence in organic farming through a mix of traditional wisdom and modern science in value chain mode to install sustainability, ensure long term soil fertility build-up, resource conservation and to offer safe and healthy food grown through organic practices without the use of agro- chemicals.