The Goa government will set up a Centre of Excellence for organic farming to encourage farmers to stop using fertilisers and adapt conventional methods, Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai said on Wednesday. The government has already floated an expression of interest (EIO) inviting bids from international companies for the project, he said. "The centre of excellence is being created so that people will see and believe the plus points of organic farming," Sardesai said. He said the government was willing to tie up with an Israeli company to set up the centre.
The minister said that after Sikkim, Goa wanted to become the second state in the country to adopt 100 per cent organic farming. "Making the entire state go for organic farming is not an overnight job. I had met agriculture minister of Sikkim and he told me that it took 8-10 years only after which the state became organic," Sardesai said. "Going organic is a way forward for the farming in the state. I want Goa to be the second state.
The roadmap is being worked out. We cannot decide the timeline. We will encourage organic cluster. I can't say about the timeline because it is entirely dependent on the farmers, he said. "There is a government-sponsored scheme called Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), in which many traditional methods have been adopted to make Goa organic," he said. He said India contributed 30 per cent of total organic farming in the world, but amounted to only 2.59 per cent of the total organic production globally.
(With inputs from agencies.)