BHUBANESWAR: Chief Secretary GC Pati on Tuesday emphasised on formulation of a standard operating procedure (SOP) for organic farming in the State.
Inaugurating the national conference on “Organic Farming for Eastern Region” here, the Chief Secretary said there is a huge scope for organic cultivation in the State. But an assured marketing support system will encourage farmers to take up organic farming in an extensive way.
Identifying five critical areas for intervention, Pati said formulation of SOP for organic farming in different horticultural zones, intensive awareness building and training activities for farmers, regular certification of crops, simplification of the process of certification and assured marketing support to the farmers need immediate attention.
Presiding over the national conference, Chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Santosh Sarangi said the export of agriculture and processed food from the country has increased by 19 per cent and India has emerged as the eighth biggest agricultural exporter in the world. Last year, agro food export was to the tune of `1,34,000 crore.
Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Rajesh Verma said the State would soon have a dedicated policy for organic farming. Advisor, Organic Food Production in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, PVSM Gouri said Odisha has around 69,055 hectares of certified area for organic cultivation including 14,033 hectares wild area which is larger than that of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The products certified for Odisha are cotton, turmeric, vegetables and cashew. Around 106 organic farmer groups have been formed involving more than 40,000 farmers and the total quantity of organic food production in the State is around 33,994 tonnes per year, she said while elaborating various promotional schemes available for organic food production.
Director of Horticulture Sanjeeb Chadha said organic farming was done in around 18,500 hectares of 15 districts last year. Managing Director, Agricultural Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited, Om Kara also spoke.