State to Promote Organic Farming

Concerned over the rise in agricultural expenditure and dip in production, which has left the farmers struggling to survive, the State government has come up with an ambitious plan to promote organic farming with robust support mechanism.

The plan is to open specialised outlets for sale of organic products and to encourage farmers to take up organic farming methods offering subsidies.

The State government is drawing up strategies to harness this new profitable avenue in a bid to support the farmers.

To start with, the State government would utilise the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna(PKVY) scheme of the Centre to revolutionise the farming sector by adopting the organic farming.

Under the programme, 14,750 acres of agricultural land in the State would be taken up for organic farming with regular support from the State agriculture department. For convenience, the said quanta of land would be divided into 295 clusters of 50 acres each. Both Central and State governments will fund the programme.

Speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of a seminar on ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ at Prof Jayshankar Telangana State Agricultural University, agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said that the government will support marginal farmers.

“Farmers possessing less than an acre would be enrolled under the programme. There would be regular field visits and support mechanism from the department officials,” he added.

Panchayat Raj and Rural Development minister KT Rama Rao too appealed to the farmers to take up natural farming methods than relying on chemical fertilisers.

Speaking at the seminar, Rama Rao said: “Farmer suicides can be brought down by adopting of organic farming. This would prove more beneficial to small and marginal farmers who are struggling to meet the agricultural expenses.”

Norms for Polyhouse Farming Relaxed

In a bid to encourage polyhouse cultivation across the State, agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy has announced that the government will relax the norms to facilitate more companies and farmers to join the initiative. Accordingly, the security deposit for companies has been reduced from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. So far, five companies have come forward to take up polyhouse farming. They would now get 35 per cent of total costs as the first instalment. Subsequently, they would get 50 and 15 per cent of income in second and third instalments respectively.

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