Over the years, it has become commonplace to understand and define organic agriculture as farming without synthetic pesticides and conventional fertilizers. This should not be considered a definition but a characteristic of a socially and environmentally conscious approach to agriculture that is currently experiencing rapid growth in the sector. India is fast becoming a major base for production and supply of organically produced agricultural products to the world market. During the year 2009-10, India exported organically raised commodities at worth of US$116 billion.
In a first of its kind initiative, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of the Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India, has developed a 6-months duration Certificate in Organic Farming Programme. As it would be imparted in IGNOU’s Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode, persons with Secondary School qualification (10+2 pass) in any part of the country could enroll in it.
The main objective of the programme is to:
· impart knowledge and proficiency in Organic production practices, Certification process and marketing of organically raised agricultural produces,
· promote self-employment and income generation.