Go organic dream hinges on livestock
Dehradun, May 1: Uttarakhand has a topography similar to Sikkim but still it lags behind that hill state in going fully organic. While Sikkim brought 75,000 hectares under organic farming last year and declared itself an organic state, Uttarakhand has managed to bring about 68,528 hectares under organic agriculture in the last few years.
The efforts towards making Uttarakhand fully organic started in 2002. The biggest constraints for Uttarakhand farmers are the non-availability of organic manure, inadequate marketing linkages and a committed policy to promote organic crops by declaring a minimum support price (MSP) for cereals.
“It takes minimum three years for a farm to be completely organic. We have insufficient organic manure, which comes from animal and agriculture waste, to achieve the goal. Contrary to the government claims, the livestock population is decreasing in the state and hence there will always be a shortage of organic manure. To promote organic farming, an entire ecosystem has to be developed. Another constraint is lack of market response. Farmers do not adopt organic farming when produce is not sold. There is no organised market for organic products,” says SP Bahuguna, an organic farmer in Vikasnagar, Dehradun.