Himachal takes lead in organic farming

Jul 30, 2017 16:56 | Feature & Viewpoint
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An ambitious project of Rs. 321 crore id being implemented in Himachal Pradesh for diversification of agricultural activities under which the agrarian community is being motivated to adopt organic farming and produce cash crops.  The scheme is implemented in five districts of the State and giving prolific results as large number of farmers have come forward for adopting organic farming resulting the off seasonal vegetable producing state has now become the leader of organic farming.

    Nearly 22000 hectare of land has been brought under organic farming and  40000 farmers have got themselves registered under the scheme. A target of bringing 2000 hectare of additional land under organic farming besides developing 200 bio villages has already been set up for the State. The State Government has announced attractive prizes for the farmers for excellent work in organic production. First, second and third  prizes of  Rs. 3 lakh, Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. one lakh  respectively would be given to the progress farmers adopting organic farming.

The scheme is being implemented in Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Mandi districts in collaboration with Japan International Co-operation Agency (JAICA). As of today, an amount of Rs. 212 crore has been spent under the scheme and provision of spending Rs. 80 crore has been made for the current fiscal. Agriculture Development Society is key player in implementing the scheme with main objective  to develop irrigation facilities, motivating farmers to adopt organic farming and producing cash crops.

With the concerted efforts of Agriculture Department and Agriculture University Palampur, an enormous change has been noticed in agriculture activities in the State. Agriculture University Palampur has separately established Organic Farming Wing for giving direction and momentum to the campaign in the State. The farmers of Shimla, Solan and Sirmour districts have already taken a lead in getting  themselves registered for organic farming and taking keen interest in producing vegetables, thereby supplementing the efforts of the State Government in popularizing organic farming.

Chemicals are in least use in Himachal Pradesh in comparison to other states of the country and there is immense  potential   of organic agriculture in the State. As per an agriculture survey,  there is a scanty use of chemicals in the State i.e. 158 grams  as against 381 gms per hectare average in the country.

‘Vermiculture’ is the key component in promoting organic farming and the State Government is providing special impetus on manufacturing vermi compost in large scale. Farmers are being providing 50 percent subsidy for installing vermi- compost unit and 1.50 lakh such units have been established in the State so for. A target of installing 20 thousand more such units have been fixed for this fiscal so as to ensure adequate availability of vermi compost to the farmers.

State Government has fixed the norms for maintaining quality of Vermicompost and for giving commercial dimension to this activity, commercial units of vermi compost are being established in the State. Five Units for the production of Bio fertilizers have been established so that farmers could be provided adequate fertilizers in a time bound manner.

Apart from it, several schemes have been implemented in the State to ensure increase in agriculture production. Special attention is being provided on the use of modern techniques & equipments, scientific farming and availability of high yielding seeds. This has  resulted in tremendous change in socio-economic status of the agrarian community of the State. Himachal Pradesh has been given “Krishi Karmanya Awards” for two consecutive financial years 2014-15 and 2015-16 for excellent enhancement in the agriculture production, which is a matter of pride for the state.