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9th November 2023 (15 Topics)

Kerala forms organic farming mission to boost agriculture

Context:

The Kerala Government has created an Organic Farming Mission to encourage the adoption of sustainable organic and climate-smart farming practices in the State.

About the Mission –

  • The mission aims to increase organic farming to 5,000 hectares in the next five years, with an annual target of 1,000 hectares.
  • The Kerala Agriculture Department will designate at least 10% of the area in state-run farms for organic farming practices.
    • Selected beneficiaries/farms under the organic farming schemes are required to continue this practice for at least five years.
  • The initiative involves implementing a comprehensive organic farming protocol in alignment with national and international standards.
  • A key focus will be on adding value to organic products and ensuring that farmers have access to high-quality seeds and production equipment/materials.
    • This will be facilitated through various organizations like Krishikoottam collectives, Karshika Karma Sena, Kudumbasree, Krishisree Centre, and Agro Service Centers.

What is Organic farming?

  • Organic farming is an agricultural method that focuses on cultivating and producing crops while minimizing the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and growth regulators.
  • Organic farming relies on natural substances and processes to maintain soil fertility, control pests and diseases, and foster the growth of crops.

Key Initiatives for Organic Farming in India-

  • National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP): The NPOP is a central government initiative that sets out standards for organic production, accredits certifying agencies, and regulates the organic food market in India. It aims to provide certification and quality assurance for organic products.
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): Launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, PKVY aims to promote traditional indigenous practices along with organic farming. It supports organic farming by providing financial assistance to farmers to take up organic farming practices.
  • Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER): This initiative targets the northeastern states to develop organic value chains. It includes capacity-building, research, certification, and infrastructure development to support organic farming practices in the region.
  • National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF): The NPOF encourages organic farming by providing financial assistance and supporting infrastructure development for various activities related to organic farming.
  • Participation in Global Organic Trade: The government has actively participated in international trade and agreements related to organic products. It has focused on exploring and expanding export markets for organic produce, adhering to the standards and regulations of importing countries.
  • Promotion of Organic Clusters: Various state governments have established clusters to promote organic farming. These clusters provide support for organic cultivation, processing, certification, and marketing.

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