A review on history of organic farming in the current changing context in Nepal

Worldwide, with the increase in awareness of health and environmental concerns, demand for organic agricultural products is increasing, however, its adoption in Nepal at the field level is minimal (0.30% of the total agricultural land area). Exploring the history of organic agriculture could answer, “why its growth, despite the increasing demand, is minimal?” The history of organic agriculture for commerce in Nepal is little known. This study thus explores the scope and history of commercial organic agriculture in Nepal. The paper identifies a few historical landmarks of organic agriculture; and while doing so, it describes the world history of organic agriculture. The study observed that a ‘pure’ form of organic agriculture in Nepal started in 1987, when an American research scholar established a commercial farm. Since then, it advanced until 1992, and then ‘merged’ with permaculture. The organic agriculture movement rejuvenated again in 2002 into the 10th five years plan. Much of the national policy documents on organic agriculture favored ‘income’ and perceived organic products as luxurious goods. As a result, much of the innovation in organic agriculture, government priorities, and people’s perception inclined towards earning dollars rather than environmental conservation and sustainability of the farming system. The movement of organic agriculture in Nepal deviated from its philosophical grounds and the government's priority increased on earnings, resulting in some myths in the Nepalese society on organic agriculture. All these factors caused minimal growth of organic agriculture, despite its great scope at national and international levels.