bioRe and its engagement for organic agriculture research
Starting as private initiative in 199-92, bioRe India has become a successful enterprise in the production of organic cotton combining economic interests with ethical responsibility. bioRe India aims at strengthening farmers families by means of organic farming and thus creating a better livelihood. Organic farming is not only environmentally friendly but also fair and socially responsible.’
bioRe India has engaged into various research activities since its inception. Presently bioRe India is implementing three major research programme. One of them is on Non GM cotton seed breeding and evaluation programme in collaboration with University of Agriculture Sciences Dharward. This programme is guided by Dr SS Patil , leading cotton breeder and Principal scientist at UAS Dharwad. bioRe India is also engaged with FiBL Switzerland in the field of research and have undertaken several research initiatives under a long term partnership. FiBL is world’s leading organic research institute with branches in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. It has been scientific partner of these projects and has guided the work. Since 2007 two major research programmes are being undertaken ith FiBL Switzerland and in partnership with bioRe Association which is organization managed by bioRe farming community:
1. Long-term farming system comparison trial
This is unique long term research where on the same soil, irrigation and weather conditions four different farming systems i.e. Organic, Biodynamic, GMO and conventional are being compared. The objective of these trials is to quantify:
- How organic farming affects yield and yield stability
- How organic farming affects the stability of the agro-ecological system, with emphasis on soil fertility,
beneficial organisms and bio diversity, compared to the conventional system
- Natural and economic resources effectiveness (output/input relationship) of the organic system compare to the conventional system
- Crop such as cotton, soybean and wheat are included in a large trial that serves both, the purpose of scientific research and demonstration to farmers and extension staff.
Long Term term comparison Experimentation: ( Started in 2007, Has 4 types of farming systems replicated 4 times each, total 32 plots with crop rotation ,each plot Size: 16 m2 per replicates, Vertisol, management guide used of ICAR and IFOAM for respective crops, students undertaking Masters thesis and PHDs from foreign universities )
2. Participatory on Farm research (POR) (Link to PDF)
The objective of POR is the participatory development locally adopted technologies together with organic farmers.
Present topics of research are:
- Manure trial (how can the efficiency of phosphate rock in the local organic cropping system be increased?
- What is the possible contribution of nitrogen fixing plants such as gliricidia, sesbania and crotalaria to the local organic production system?
- Cotton pest trial ( check the effectiveness of the home made bio pesticides against various cotton pests)
- Over 50 organic farmers participate yearly on POR trials.
Besides, bioRe builds on its network with Indian research institutions such as Indian institute of soil science, the Indian agriculture research institute (IARI), the national research center for soybean (NRCS),the cotton research station Khandwa under RVSKVV Gwalior.
3. Non GM cotton seed breeding and evaluation under organic conditions:
This is probably the most intense breeding and evaluation program on Non GM cotton seeds and perhaps the only one under organic situation. The research started in 2010-11 and has reach to advance level where bioRe releases its first good quality Non GM seeds as TFL seeds for its organic farmers from 2018 onwards. For more information read in special initiatives on page “services”.