Andhara Pradesh Focuses on Organic Farming

Hyderabad. Realising the growing market for organic products, Andhra Pradesh government has set a target of bringing 10 lakh hectares under organic farming in the next five years. This will also help eliminate the consumption of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and also promote the usage of natural manures like cow dung , reports The New Indian Express.

As the use of natural manure will help reduce expenditure and raise income of farmers, the State government is planning to bring 1.25 lakh hectares under certified organic farming and another 8 lakh hectares under natural farming in 116 mandals by adopting low cost farming techniques, benefiting nearly 10 lakh farmers across the State.

According to an official of the Agriculture Department, organic farming is being planned in 130 clusters covering 1.25 lakh hectares across the State in the next three years by involving 1.5 lakh small and marginal farmers, where a majority of them have been practicing agro ecology approaches for more than three years.

Currently, certified organic farming is being practiced in about 5,000 hectares in the State, the official said.

The government is now planning to train over 1.5 lakh farmers in organic farming methodology in the next three years. Already 5,000 farmers have been trained by known organic farming experts in January at Kakinada.

According to sources, the Agriculture Department has proposed a financial allocation of `69.19 crore for the 2016-17 financial year and `67.63 crore for the implementation of the project.

Initially, paddy, red gram, cotton, pulses and millets will be brought under organic farming and other crops including fruits and vegetables will be brought under this project, a top official of the Agriculture Department told Express. “We are identifying crops to be brought under organic farming. Since there is lot of demand for organic produce in the country, we are planning to take up this kind of farming on a large scale,” he added.

With retail giants like Walmart, Reliance and others approaching the State government for procurement of organic products, the government is seeing a huge market for organic produce.

Going Organic

  • AP sets a target of bringing 10 lakh hectares under organic farming in next five years
  • Agriculture Department proposes a financial allocation of `69.19 crore for financial year 2016-17 and `67.63 crore for the implementation of the project
  • Initially, paddy, red gram, cotton, pulses and millets will be brought under organic farming
  • The market for organic food in India is growing at 25 to 30 per cent a year
  • Resource persons from among farmers who are into organic farming will be identified and trained, who in turn will motivate other farmers to take up natural farming
  • Each expert will train about 500 farmers

(courtesy: The New Indian Express)

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