Navara was traditionally cultivated organically. Because of its poor yield and difficulties in controlling pests and diseases, conventional method of farming was adopted by farmers. As Navara is a medicinal rice NEF decided to adopt only organic farming methods lest it might affect the medicinal properties. Moreover as Navara bran, root are also used in ayurvedic treatments, health rejuvenation therapies , any chemical or pesticide residue in the course of conventional farming might not yield the desired results. The expert opinion from the Ayurveda physicians and others in the field of Ayurveda was also to go for organic farming of Navara.
But conversion to organic farming in Navara rice turned out to be risky, laborious and costly.
The farm grows its own plants which are used for manure, along with green leaves obtained from the farm
Pest control in organic Navara rice farming is a major challenge. NEF planted Tulsi [ocimum sanctum] and Marigold on the bunds of the paddy fields to repel pests. .There was an instance when four acres of Navara crop was completelt damaged by pests. Following this, use of nets to catch the pests was introduced and the workers were trained in this.
Rats do extensive damage to the rice crop. Here also manpower is employed for control.
Thus Navara Eco Farm completely eliminated the usage of chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides in the farm. Hence all the products coming out of NEF are free of chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides.
A research paper confirming the medicinal qualities of Navara
For a stamp of quality of the product, organic certificationwas sought in 2003 and finally obtained certification in 2005 for rice, and rice products. The entire farm is CERTIFIED ORGANIC for NPOP(National Project on Organic Production),EU (European Union) and USDA(United State Department of Agriculture) from year 2006. Ms. Indocert, Kochi, did the certification of Navara Eco Farm.