Complete support system for organic farmers in TN

Complete support system for organic farmers in State

Published: 20th March 2022 05:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2022 05:07 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers, Agriculture

Representational Image. (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The State government has decided to roll out "Tamil Nadu Organic Farming Mission" under the department of horticulture to support organic farming at every stage of the production cycle and help farmers market their produce across India with a single certificate. The mission will be implemented under a cluster-based approach on 50 hectares each with two clusters in each district.

Farmers interested in organic farming will also be encouraged to form 150 clusters covering an area of 7,500 acres under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, a Rs. 5 crore Central scheme that will be funded by both the Centre and the State.  

Awards and rewards will be given to best performing organic farmers for innovations in agriculture techniques and best exporters, agriculture minister MRK Panneerselvam told the Assembly while presenting the budget for 2022-23 on Saturday. To ensure the quality of organic produce, 100 per cent assistance will be given for residue analysis of organic produce. About Rs.1 lakh per group will also be extended to 100 farmer producer organizations interested in production and sale of organic inputs like vermicompost and jeevamirtham etc.

To facilitate access to quality seeds and provide advisory on seed production and certification of organic crops, an Integrated Seed Certification Office Complex that will help with seed certification, inspection and testing will be established in Villupuram and Tiruppur districts at a cost of Rs.4 crore.

To reduce cost of certification and marketing of organic crops, a participatory guarantee system (PGS) will be introduced to facilitate marketing of organic produce across India without incurring any additional certification expenses.

S Thangarasu of Cauvery Thai Organic Agriculture Farmers’ Centre at Arumalaikkottai in Thanjavur welcomed the mission.

Pointing to the allocation of funds for cultivating seeds of traditional paddy varieties on 200 acres and distributing them to 20,000 farmers, G Sither of Mariammankoil village near Thanjavur, said, “This is a welcome step as the government has taken a policy decision on organic farming. Though the details of the proposed 150 organic farming clusters in over 7,500 acres are not yet clear, such steps give hope to organic farmers,” he said.

Demanding more funds, N Veeraragavan of Pannal in Nagapattinam district said, “The government should encourage 10 farmers in each village to take organic farming. The government should also promote advanced forms of organic farming like biodynamic agriculture.”

While K A Koothalingam of Pallathur in Thanjavur said farmers cultivating traditional paddy varieties under organic method expect marketing support such as supplying their produce to government hospitals and anganwadis, P Saravanakumaran, an organic farmer from Kuravapulam in Nagapattinam, wanted incentive for buying organic inputs. "If the government markets organic produce as much as it does non-organic produce, more farmers may choose the field," he said.

MRK Panneerselvam, in his budget speech, also announced setting up of two special millet zones. While Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Kallakurichi, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Vellore districts will come under the first zone, Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Tenkasi, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Theni, Tiruchy, Karur, Dindigul, Ariyalur, and Perambalur will be part of the second zone. In ‘millet festivals’ to be organised at State and district levels, farmers will be encouraged to cultivate the crop.

With inputs from Antony Fernando @ Nagapattinam and N Ramesh @ Thanjavur


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