State laying emphasis on organic farming: Naveen

Staff Reporter, Bhuvaneshwar

7th Nov 2012

Separate agency to be set up for certification of organic farming

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Tuesday said organic seed banks would be opened across the State as part of laying emphasis on promoting organic farming.

Addressing the biennial convention of organic farmers, Mr. Patnaik said organic farming associations would be promoted while a separate agency would be set up for certification of organic products.

“The consumption of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are significantly low in Odisha compared to the national average. The farmers in Odisha have traditionally been the custodian of rice genetic diversity.

Traditional farming is still in practice in the inland non-irrigated pockets of the State. This has placed Odisha in an advantageous position to resort to Organic Farming Practices as the lands are virgin and less-contaminated,” he said.

Chief Minister said the State too has a large area under forests from where the wild harvests could be collected as organic products.

“A range of organic products like cotton, turmeric, ginger, pulses, niger and scented varieties of rice are being regularly exported. The Kandhamal Turmeric is already a brand name all over the world,” Mr. Patnaik observed.

Referring to a recent study conducted by industry-body Assocham, Chief Minister said the State has an export potential of Rs.600 crore from organic farming produce in next five years. The study reports further reveals that organic farming can create 80 lakh additional jobs both in-farm and non-farm sectors.

The State has formulated a progressive agriculture policy in 2008 under which special focus have been given to organic farming.

“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. Our policy also has a resolution to include organic farming in the syllabus at school-level. It will also be introduced as a compulsory subject at both degree and post-graduate level in the State agriculture university,” Chief Minister pointed out. “Farmers are being encouraged to use more bio-fertilizers. Subsidy to the tune of 50 to 75 per cent is being provided for use of bio-fertilizers.

The concerted efforts of the State government and keenness by organic farmer would certainly lead to a very healthy growth of organic farming in our State,” Mr. Patnaik hoped.