Gujarat's Dang to be declared 100 per cent organic farming district: Minister

PTI | Ahmedabad | Updated: 16-11-2021 14:33 IST | Created: 16-11-2021 14:33 IST
Gujarat's Dang to be declared 100 per cent organic farming district: Minister
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Tribal district of Dang in eastern Gujarat will be declared as 100 per cent organic farming district, as the state government has taken steps to encourage farmers to avoid the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides on the entire cultivable area, state Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Patel said the state government is providing a subsidy of Rs 10,000 per hectare for a maximum of two hectares to each farmer in the largely hilly district for adopting organic farming practices.

''For the first time in western India, Gujarat's Dang will be declared a 100 per cent organic farming district by the governor at a programme on November 19. Farmers in the district are adopting farming techniques that are fertiliser and pesticide free,'' the minister said.

The state consumes 38 to 40 lakh tonnes of chemical fertilisers, for which the government pays Rs 4,200 to 4,300 crore subsidy, he said.

Dang Collector B K Pandya said that out of nearly 58,000 hectares under cultivation in the district, at least 70 per cent to 80 per cent land was already covered under traditional farming practices that don’t require chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

''A majority of farmers in Dang use traditional farming. In the remaining areas, they cultivate rice and millet (nagali), the local staple food. They use fertilisers to cultivate rice in certain pockets. The state government has announced a scheme to provide a subsidy to compensate farmers for fall in production by adopting organic farming practices,'' Pandya said.

The district administration is in the process of implementing the scheme, and the subsidy has been paid to around 12,000 farmers, he said.

Farmers are also being encouraged to use cow dung and urine, and Rs 900 is being paid to them for maintenance of cattle, he said. ''As for marketing, agencies through the state agriculture department will certify the produce as organic so that they can be similarly marketed all over the state and outside,'' the collector said.

The Gujarat government had in 2015 declared an organic farming policy, which stated that areas that have a very low level of fertiliser consumption could play an important role in promotion of organic farming.

Dang district, as well as tribal districts of Sabarkantha, Dahod, Panchmahal, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Surat, Tapi and Valsad are considered to have high potential for organic farming due to the social-economic condition of farmers and traditional cropping pattern that requires minimal use of chemicals, it was stated.

Apart from Dang district, Dharampur and Kaprada talukas of Valsad and Vansda taluka of Navsari districts in south Gujarat are also being covered by the state scheme to encourage 100 per cent organic farming practice, officials said. Speaking about the shortage of chemical fertilisers in the state, the agriculture minister further said that the state government had provided ample amounts of urea, potash, etc. for cultivation on 94.93 lakh hectare during the current season. ''All the fertilisers are available in ample supply across the state. There is no need for farmers to purchase fertilisers in large quantities thinking they are in short supply,'' Patel said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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