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Government Agriculture Schemes

New organic farming policy to boost agricultural

NEW DELHI: The government is planning a new policy to promote organic farming in states, which will be aimed at boosting exports in the agriculture sector.

“Many states are waking up to the idea of organic farming but the potential is still untapped. The government is working on a detailed policy to support the export of organic products,” said a senior official in the commerce ministry.

The policy will be jointly prepared by the ministries of commerce, agriculture, and food processing. The commerce ministry will also set up a series of centres in states to help organic farmers to brand and sell products to international market, where demand for such products is high.

A day before, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu had asked states to explore ways of increasing exports of agriculture products, especially value-added agriculture products. “A new agricultural exports policy is required that lays focus on increasing exports of value-added agricultural products so that farmers can access international markets and increase their income,” Prabhu said at the third meeting of the Council of Trade Development and Promotion, held in Delhi.

At present, organic farming has been promoted in states through specific programme under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana. The government is providing assistance to farmers for organic cultivation, certification, labelling, packing, transportation and marketing of organic produce under the scheme.

Two lakh hectares in 10,000 clusters have been covered so far. In addition, organic value chain development for organic products from production to marketing is promoted in north-eastern region through Mission Organic Value Chain Development.

Organic farming is also supported by other schemes like Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, Network Project on Organic Farming under the activities of Indian Agricultural Research Institute and National Programme for Organic Produce under activities of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority.

ICAR through its scheme Network Project on Organic Farming is undertaking research to develop location-specific organic farming package of practices for crops and cropping systems, which is being implemented in 20 centres covering 16 states.