State has huge potential in organic farming: Naveen
Stating that Odisha has huge potential in organic farming, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said that the State Government is planning to set up a separate agency for certification of organic products.
The State has formulated a progressive agriculture policy in 2008 under which special focus has been given to organic farming, Patnaik said, while addressing the biennial Convention of Organic Farmers organised by the Organic Farming Association of India at OUAT Swaminathan Hall here.
“The policy supports sustainable incentives for farmers harvesting organic certified crops. Organic seed banks will be opened. Organic Farming Association will be promoted,” he said.
This apart, the State Government has decided to set up a separate agency for certification of organic products. The Odisha State Seeds and Organic Product Certification Agency has recently been accredited as the Certifying Body for the organic product and it is one of the state owned agencies to have such an accreditation, the Chief Minister informed.
Stating that Odisha was in an advantageous position with virgin lands and less contamination because of organic farming practices, he said a range of organic products like cotton, turmeric, ginger, pulses, niger and scented varieties of rice were being regularly exported. The Kandhamal Turmeric was already a brand name all over the world, he said.
Quoting a recent study by ASSOCHAM, Patnaik said Odisha has an export potential of `600 crore from organic farming produce in the next five years. The study also reveals that organic farming could create 80 lakh additional jobs both in-farm and non-farm sectors, he said.
In conformation with its policy, the State Government has taken some initiatives like farmers’ training camp, establishment of vermi hatcheries, and provision of green manure seeds. Similarly, farmers are being encouraged to use more bio-fertilizers. Subsidy to the tune of 50 to 75 percent is being provided for use of bio-fertilizers.
“The concerted efforts of the State Government and the organic farmers will certainly pave way for a healthy growth of organic farming in our State”, Patnaik said.
Stating that organic farming will also be introduced as a compulsory subject at both degree and post-graduate level in the state Agriculture University, he said that consumption of chemical fertilisers and pesticides were significantly low in Odisha compared to the national average.
“Our agriculture policy also has a resolution to include organic farming in the syllabus at school level,” he said. On the occasion, the Chief Minister felicitated successful organic farmers.
While president of the Association Sarvadaman Patel delivered the welcome address, renowned environmentalist Dr Claude Alvares made a presentation on organic farming in India.