Organic farming catching up fast with farmers in state

Bhanu P Lohumi, Tribune News Service, Shimla, December 30
Programme extended to entire state after success of pilot project

The benefits of going the organic way

  • It reduces the cost of production
  • Doesn’t cause soil erosion and pollution and natural nutrients are retained
  • The returns are 15 to 20% higher in the market
  • Being practiced on 15,548 hectare land and 26,000 farmers have been registered, out of which 3,397 farmers, cultivating 2,695 hectare land has been certified
  • In Khkhorala village in Rampur, 100% farmers are certified as organic

Enthused by the success of pilot organic farming projects in Shimla and Rampur launched in 2005, the state Agriculture Department has extended the programme to the entire state now.Farmers in rural and remote areas who made little use of inorganic fertilisers are also seen adopting the programme by default. There is craze among farmers for certification of produce and soil as organic and the department has mooted participatory support system for certification by adopting a cluster approach.A senior scientist at the Agriculture Department said: “An organic farmer’s certification is given after three years (six crops) for cereals and four years in case of commercial crops and the cluster approach with a group of minimum of 25 organic farmers. The certification cost has been reduced and shortage of manpower and service providers has been overcome to a large extent.”
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