CSAT 2023

Q. There is a claim that organic farming is inherently safer and healthier.

The reality is that because the organic farming industry is still young and not well-regulated in India, farmers and consumers, alike, are not only confused about what products are best for them, but sometimes use products in ways that could harm them as well. For example, since organic fertilizers are difficult to obtain on a large scale in India, farmers often use farmyard manure, which may contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Certain plant sprays, such as Datura flower and leaf spray, have an element called atropine. If it is not applied in the right dose, it can act on the nervous system of the consumer. Unfortunately, how much and when to use it are not well-researched or regulated issues.

Q1. Based on the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:
1. Organic farming is inherently unsafe for both farmers and consumers.
2. Farmers and consumers need to be educated about eco-friendly food.
Which of the assumptions given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Q2. Which one of the following statements best reflects the most logical, rational and practical message conveyed by the author of the passage ?
(a) In India, organic farming should not be promoted as a substitute for conventional farming.
(b) There are no safe organic alternatives to chemical fertilizers.
(c) In India, farmers need to be guided and helped to make their organic farming sustainable.
(d) The aim of organic farming should not be to generate huge profits as there is still no global market for its products.

Question from UPSC Prelims 2023 CSAT

Model Answer:

Q1: Correct Answer – (b) 2 only

Explanation – 
The passage does not claim that organic farming is inherently unsafe for both farmers and consumers. It does, however, highlight the lack of regulation and information about organic farming practices and products in India, which can lead to misuse and potential harm. This suggests that there is a need for education about eco-friendly food, making assumption 2 correct. Assumption 1 is not directly supported by the passage.

Q2: Correct Answer – (c) In India, farmers need to be guided and helped to make their organic farming sustainable.

Explanation – 
The passage discusses the challenges faced by farmers and consumers in India due to the lack of regulation and research in the organic farming industry. It mentions the misuse of certain products due to lack of knowledge and the potential harm it can cause. Therefore, the statement that best reflects the message conveyed by the author is that farmers in India need guidance and support to make their organic farming sustainable.

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