Govt to develop 3,000 clusters for organic farming
Ranchi: Lending a fillip to organic farming in the state, the Jharkhand government has decided to identify and develop 3,000 clusters across Jharkhand for promotion of organic farming.
“Jharkhand’s organic farming plan has been approved the centre and we will be working in mission mode to promote the production of organic farm products in the state. An organic corridor will also be developed in the state to help the farmers have access to markets for organic produce,” said Kumar. He was speaking at a workshop organised on food processing organised by ASSOCHAM in Ranchi.
Director of Jharkhand Horticulture Mission Society, Rajiv Kumar, said, “The state has great potential in the organic produce market. We need to promote the production of organic products among the farmers in the state and the union government needs to work in tandem with the state government to aid the growth,” said Kumar.
He added, “The organically produced soya beans and lady’s fingers in Jharkhand are in heavy demand in international markets. We need to tap the potential of these markets and take the products from Jharkhand to the international consumers.”
Kumar added that the horticulture department is willing to extend a helping hand to farmers who are looking to shift to organic farming methods. The department of agriculture and land conservation will also be roped in to contribute in the initiative.
B N Singh, research director at Birsa Agricultural University also echoed the need to give farmers access to better markets for organic products and said: “Food sufficiency is crucial to a strong economy and over the years, India has been able to produce surplus products across many categories of crops. But now, the country needs the production of more oilseed and Jharkhand could make a notable contribution in that. Becoming self-sufficient in oilseed and its by-products can save the country 17 thousand crore rupees in foreign currency every year.”
ASSOCHAM regional director S K Singh said the Union government has set aside a fund of Rs 6,000 crore for developments in the food processing sector. “We need to realise the potential of the processed products from the agriculture sector, especially in the organic category. The international markets are evolving and the farmers here must be given access to them for more profits.”
State food and consumer affairs minister Saryu Rai would speak at a two-day conference on organic farming, ‘Towards Organic Jharkhand’, beginning on Wednesday. The discussion will be led by Centre for World Solidarity (CWS), a social group which will see deliberations on the need to ban harmful pesticides in the state and the cost control of organic produce.