DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand government in a bid to go organic, has passed a law which criminalizes usage of chemicals in the form of fertilisers or pesticides in selected areas.
The aim is to make the hill state 100 per cent organic. The decision as taken in after cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
"We are aiming to go back to traditional knowledge combined with modern science to reduce health hazards and make farming products of our state mire viable for people of the country as well as the world," said Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
The act titled as Organic Agriculture Act 2019 will come into force soon.
The law will impose Rs 1 lakh fine and a prison sentence of one year for those who violate the law by using chemical fertilizers, insecticides or pesticides in blocks notified by the state government as organic blocks.
At first, the initiative will be implemented in total 8 blocks across the hill state.
The act will be tabled in Uttarakhand legislative assembly in upcoming winter sessions to be passed and converted into a law to be fully implemented soon.
On April 26, 2018, the HC taking serious note of farmer suicides in Uttarakhand had issued a series of directions to the state government including formulating a scheme for payment of compensation and pension to the families of farmers who have committed suicide.
The HC had also ordered the state government to form a “State Farmers Commission, as per Section 3 of the Uttarakhand State Farmers Commission Act” within three months of the time period.
Remarking that the farmers are not getting proper price for their crops and they have not been told about the importance of MSP, the HC asked the government to implement the recommendations made by the National Commission on Farmers (NCF) asking to provide minimum support price of “at least three times above the average cost of production” and form a “State Farmers Commission, as per Section 3 of the Uttarakhand State Farmers Commission Act”.
The bench remarking that the interest charged by the banks “is exorbitantly high” and banks and money lenders use coercive steps forcing the farmers to commit suicides went on directing the state government to “consider formulating a scheme for a waiver of loans raised by small marginal farmers, at least up to Rs. 50,000, or to permit them to pay the loans in instalments by reducing their rate of interest.”
Identifying the problems in the agricultural sector of the state the bench stated various reasons for dire state of farmers in the state including the shrinking of average landholding is shrinking in the hill state, using agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, large scale migration of farmers, and only fraction of land being under irrigation while majority of land in hills lying barren.
In series of various other directions, keeping in mind the welfare of the farmers the court had on April 26, 2018 ordered- “to ensure enforcement of the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007 in letter and spirit to enable the farmers to store their produce and to prevent them from selling their produce under distress” and “to prepare the App in consultation with the Department of Technology and private players to have the up-to-date Khasra-wise data of the status of crops grown in the State of Uttarakhand within a reasonable period.”