SUNDARGARH:‘Organic’ is the new mantra for farmers of Sundargarh to reap profits. Today, at least 1049 small and marginal farmers have given up chemical farming and taken to organic farming.
The Sundargarh-based Centre for Integrated Rural and Tribal Development (CIRTD) in association with Action Aid Foundation are implementing organic farming in eight gram panchayats (GPs) of Balishankara and Sadar blocks on a pilot basis.
As many as 25 farmers’ clubs have been formed and 1049 farmers are promoting use of indigenous seeds, organic manure and pesticides in a scientific manner. Barely after two years into initiation, about 2,000 hectares of land have been covered and farmers have reaped rich returns with low farm input costs.
General secretary, CIRTD, Nata Kishore Mishra said the farmers are encouraged to use indigenous seeds instead of the hybrid ones through awareness programmes.
The traditional seeds are cheap, easy to preserve and can be used for a longer period, which is not possible in case of hybrid seeds. Hybrid seeds require mono-cropping on vast area with assured irrigation and are not naturally resilient to climate. Since these seeds also require heavy use of chemical fertiliser and pesticides, input costs are raised, he claimed.
CIRTD project coordinator Rabi Kamal said in organic farming, less expensive ‘Jibamrit’ (a solid form of bacteria culture) and ‘Taral Jibamrit’ (a liquid form of bacteria culture) are used as manure. Organic pesticide ‘Handi Osho’ is prepared using cow dung and urine, leaves of Neem, Karanja, Arakha, Bael, Custard Apple and molasses. Use of organic manure and pesticides enhances micro-nutrients of soil and water retention capacity to eventually increase soil fertility.
A woman tribal farmer, Anita Lakra (30) of Kinjirkela gram panchayat, said under the procedure, the produce increased to 1,130 kg against 850 kg of paddy she had harvested in 2013 on one acre of land. Due to less input cost, her net profit went up by three times, she claimed. Another farmer Pradip Jatarama of Karla gram panchayat said his produce on 1.20 acre rose from 960 kgs to 1240 kgs in a year.