There has been an increasing emphasis on organic farming in the country with both the govt and co-op bodies making a pitch for it. Addressing a gathering of stakeholders in Port Blair union minister Radha Mohan Singh expounded on its benefits.
‘Country should progress to be an organic nation and fulfil Prime Minister’s vision of being a chemical-free country’, said Singh. Small and marginal farmers, who are unable to meet agriculture expenditure, can switch to organic farming as it is cost-effective and profitable, he underlined.
The centre is moving in a phased manner to convert states after states as organic zones. NCDC Deputy Managing Director Mr D N Thakur explained to Indian Cooperative various initiatives undertaken by the cooperative lender in this direction.
The Ministry granted a huge fund to Uttrakhand recently to go organic. NCDC has prepared a project report on the issue, said Thakur. Organic farming is highly favourable in dry and lowly-irrigated regions, hilly states, north-eastern states and islands.
In fact, Sikkim has been declared 100% organic state and many states are now following its footsteps. Shri Singh said that his aim is to make Andaman Nicobar Islands an organic island.
The Minister said that Andaman and Nicobar Island has been adopting organic farming at a small-scale (321 hectares) and that the Island has immense potential and is favourably placed for organic farming due to less use of chemical fertilizers and abundant species.
Singh said that an exhibition of organic production will be held in Organic Farm, a body established by Andaman and Nicobar administration. Besides this, organic coconut farms have been developed in Sippighat Farm, a body established by CIARI. Such model/exhibitions will help win farmers’ confidence.
In order to ensure sale of organic produce, the administration is working to develop Andaman Bazaar. Besides, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has taken the responsibility of organic exports.
The Minister asserted that Organic farming should be promoted with the same spirit as Green Revolution. He urged all stakeholders to join hands to make this mission successful.