Interest in organic farming growing
Puducherry, Dec 29: It has an advantage over conventional farming, say Puducherry farmers. Of the 11,000 hectares of agricultural land in Puducherry, around 22 hectares of certified organic farms might appear to be small in comparison. However, not only is the area under organic farming slowly growing, it also appears to be finding a new-found enthusiasm in the farmers’ community which has begun to appreciate its advantages over conventional farming.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in association with the Indian Bank Self Employment Training Institute (INDSETI) and NGO Ekoventure have been holding training programmes in organic farming since a few years in Puducherry villages. Since 2014, Ekoventure has helped facilitate organic certification under the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Among those who have taken to organic farming is V. Subramanian, a staff member of the milk society in Sillukaripalayam village in Mannadipet commune. He had given up farming owing to mounting losses. His interaction with Ekoventure led him to take back his leased land and try organic farming with black gram two years ago. Now, in his two acre field, he grows traditional varieties of paddy like Seeraga Samba and Mappillai Samba, besides also trying out lady’s finger and groundnut. “People were surprised to see me take up farming again. With each harvest, I have improved,” says Mr. Subramanian. He promotes organic farming among others in his village, and his children have also taken to his interest, he says.