ASSOCHAM unveils roadmap for organic farming in State
WEDNESDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2012 23:15
PNS | BHUBANESWAR
In a report released here on Wednesday, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) displayed a roadmap that can help Odisha add 80 lakh jobs in the next five years and increase the income of farmers by over 250 per cent.
ASSOCHAM secretary general DS Rawat informed the media that the low usage of fertilisers and pesticides in large pockets of the State, which has always been considered as a weakness of the State’s agriculture, can be converted into a major strength if these areas can be brought under organic farming. The report identifies the State as having over 26,000 hectares of such farmland.
Rawat disclosed that after West Bengal and Bihar, the ASSOCHAM has identified two districts in Odisha to set up, with support from the World Bank, food processing clusters. While on of the districts is Kandhamal, the other would either be Koraput or Khurda.
The ASSOCHAM report contains information about different aspects of organic farming including the local and international markets and specific information about agriculture in the State in the backdrop of its worldwide status. But it is silent about addressing issues of availability of organic inputs like pesticides and fertilisers, compensating the loss of income to farmers during the certification process and many such issues.
The report recommends mainstreaming of organic farming in India by setting up a National Commission of Organic Agriculture, constituting an Organic Food Council by the Central Government to address the specific issues of organic agriculture and launch of a Mission Organic Odisha by the State Government with region-specific plans like concept of organic village in each district or development block.