Organic farming getting popular


S K Pattanayak, joint secretary and mission director, National Horticulture Mission, Ministry of Agriculture, said, "Under the National Horticulture Mission, launched in 2005-06, assistance is being provided for adoption of organic farming. So far, an area of 0.1 million hectares of land has been covered under organic farming and Rs 1064.20 million has been allotted for vegetables and fruits."

In addition to this, Rs 134.30 million was allotted for to subsidise the cost of organic certification, said Pattanayak during his key note speech at the South Asia Conference on Outstanding Organic Agriculture Techniques and International Seminar on 'India Organic Strategies to Surge Ahead' at University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS) on Thursday.  

Dr P G Chengappa, vice-chancellor of UAS, said that the only way organic farming could make a head-way was if the inputs like seeds are supplied on time. "The certification is a lengthy and expensive procedure. It nearly costs about Rs 40,000 to Rs 1 lakh per acre. Therefore, I have been suggesting that don't bother about certification in the domestic market, at least. An assurance is enough," said Dr Chengappa, adding that aggressive marketing is required to promote the organic products. As a solution for this, he suggested that organised retailers can help by adopting 'shop in shop' concept.  
According to Agriculture department secretary, Subramanya, "The certification for organic produce is presently being given by NGOs. The government certification is yet to come."

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