A one day Organic Stakeholders Workshop held in Shimla and Secretary, Agriculture Ram Subhag Singh inaugurated it. Ram Subhag Singh said that organic farming is emerging as future farming technique and farmers were adopting it for getting better remunerative prices for their products. He said that Himachal Pradesh Government was laying special emphasis on organic farming and some innovative schemes were being adopted in the State to promote organic farming. He said that farmers of the State could benefit immensely from economically and ecologically sustainable organic farming practices which will also help in enhanced production besides making available product free from pesticides.

He said that a mass awareness campaign needed to be devised to popularize organic farming in the State. He said that to standardize organic farming, suitable varieties from existing crops must be identified so that good production, quality and pest resistance could be ensured. He said that livestock need to be integrated with cropping system because animals were the best producers of organic manure. He also emphasized upon the need of developing more and more vermi compost units.

Ram Subhag Singh said that organic farming could become sustainable only when farmers get remunerative prices for their produce. For that State may adopt and promote some certification approaches and lessons should be learnt in this area from international experience. He said that the Draft Organic Farming Policy must include strategies for strengthening organic supply change and marketing infrastructure.

He said that to implement Organic Mission in the State a Mission Mode Approach should be adopted with some kind of autonomous institutional mechanism.

Discussions on Vision, Mission, Strategic Planning, Strategy about Desired Policy Revision, Awareness Raising among stakeholders, Organic Technological Support to Farmers, Organic Extension Support to Farmers, Quality Assurance of State Produce, Organic Inputs Demand and Supply, Developing Organic Supply Chains and Governance and Implementation were held in the workshop.

Participants gave their valuable suggestions during the interactive session.

Vice Chancellor, Sher-e- Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology Tej Pratap, Nagin Nanda, Secretary, Environment, A.K. Yadav, Director, National Centre for Organic Farming, Manoj Menon, Executive Director, International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture, Banguluru, officers from agriculture, horticulture and forest departments and various NGOs working in the field of Organic Farming attended the workshop.

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