Farming Sector looks up in State as Profitability goes up
The state government has been taking several measures to popularize organic farming through its nodal agency Punjab Agro. Already more than 1,000 farmers have been registered as certified organic farmers in Punjab who are using this technique in over 550 acres of farms.
Buoyed with the success, the government has decided to register 1000 farmers through Punjab Agro every year making it a mass movement against ill effects of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides.
The government has been motivating farmers to take up organic farming through a number of awareness programmes and has also started allotting Panchayati land for setting up organic farms in every block. Besides, provisions have also been made for allocation of shops in the cities and towns for selling organic fruits and vegetables.
It’s due to sustained endeavours of Punjab government that already more than 5000 acres of land has been brought under organic farming. The centrally-sponsored scheme for popularisation of organic farming in the state was introduced in the year 2007-08.
Under the scheme, Rs 15.20 lakh had been allocated by the Centre and training programmes on organic farming were to be organised for the farmers in the state. Punjab government lost no time in lapping it up and set up a Model Organic Farm of over 577 acres of land at Ropar under Organic Farming Council of Punjab for production, demonstration and training on organic farming.
The farm also has been instrumental in the vermicompost production. The council, set up in 2006 by the Punjab Government, has been helping farmers get their fields certified free of cost so as to enable them sell their produce as organic products. Punjab Agro too has drawn a plan to set up marketing chain to promote organic wheat produce on a global scale. The government also decided to set up an Organic Farming Board for promoting chemical-free farming in the state.
No wonder the area under organic farming is increasing in Punjab with more farmers getting drawn to it for growing vegetables, fruits and cereals. And if the records of Organic Farming Council of Punjab are any indication the number of registered farmers practicing organic farming is likely to rise further and the area under organic farming cultivation is likely to cross 6,000 acres soon.
The Punjab government further to encourage farmers taking up innovative farm measures has recently announced cash prizes from Rs 1 lakh to 3 lakh. The awards will be given under the ‘Recognition and Award to Persons Engaged in Agriculture and Allied Sectors Scheme’.
The media in its recent reports had also lauded the Punjab government for introducing organic farming in Punjab (http://goo.gl/0b0FT5). The report in Punjab’s leading paper The Tribune had elaborated on how small and marginal farmers who opted for organic farming are a privileged lot know.
Those into organic farming now know how much their product is in demand. Organic wheat is in great demand among the doctors etc. who are using organic products. The farmers into organic farming have been making large profits, states the news report.