Organic Production: An Indian experience at OEFFA Conference

By Dr. Rafiq Islam
SWBR Program Leader

South Centers visiting scholar Riti Chatterjee was one of the speakers invited to deliver a presentation at the 2020 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) annual conference in Dayton on February 13, alongside Aaron Wilson, Rafiq Islam, Vinayak Shedekar, and Alan Sundermeier of The Ohio State University. 

Her presentation topic was titled “Indian Experience on Organic Farming” and was included in the Building Agricultural Resilience to a Changing Climate session. In it, she discussed India’s rich and diverse heritage of agricultural traditions that makes it suitable for designing organic production systems, investment in applied research, Extension, and marketing infrastructure. 

Chatterjee also touched on the constraints farmers are facing with special reference to small vegetable farmers. Lastly, she told a success story of an Indian organic farmer, elucidating how he is raising various types of vegetables on his 7-acre farm. 

Additionally, she spoke about government assistance, management and cultural practices he follows at his farm, his online and direct marketing strategy for the produce, labor engagement, etc. In response to questions from the audience, she elaborated how Sikkim, an Indian state, became fully organic.

Chatterjee, a PhD candidate at Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishwavidyalaya in West Bengal, India, is working on conservation agriculture as one of the Senior Research Fellows at the Center for Advanced Agricultural Science and Technology, Indian Council of Agricultural Research-NAHEP, and World Bank-funded project. She is pursuing her doctoral research on estimation of ecological services in terms of energy, climate, and knowledge management: the dynamics of social ecology of conservation agriculture. 

She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural sciences from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishwavidyalaya. In her MS degree program under the supervision of Professor S.K. Acharya, she focused on the health and ecological dynamics of farmwomen. Hers was named best master’s thesis jointly by Banaras Hindu University and RASSA. So far, she has published seven peer-reviewed research articles in national and international journals and co-authored book chapters.

As part of her on-going PhD program on conservation agriculture, she received the World Bank fellowship for a period of six months to pursue her Extension outreach research at The Ohio State University. Currently, she is working as a visiting scholar in the Soil, Water, and Bioenergy Resources Program at The Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon under the supervision of Dr. Rafiq Islam.

Chatterjeee can be reached at ritichatterjee2015@gmail.com.