The hill state of Himachal Pradesh is taking lead in the organic farming and nearly 22000 hectare of land has been brought under organic farming. As per official record about 40,000 farmers have got themselves registered under the scheme. A target of bringing 2000 hectare of additional land under organic farming besides developing 200 bio villages has already been set up for the State.

For diversification of agricultural activities, an ambitious project of Rs. 321 crore is being implemented in five districts viz. Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Mandi in collaboration with Japan International Co-operation Agency (JAICA), of the state.

As of today, an amount of Rs. 212 crore has been spent under the scheme and provision of spending Rs. 80 crore has been made for the current fiscal. Agriculture Development Society is key player in implementing the scheme with main objective to develop irrigation facilities, motivating farmers to adopt organic farming and producing cash crops.

To ensure the success of organic farming, the Agriculture University Palampur has established Organic Farming Wing for giving direction and momentum to the campaign in the State. The farmers of Shimla, Solan and Sirmour districts have already taken a lead in getting themselves registered for organic farming and taking keen interest in producing vegetables, thereby supplementing the efforts of the State Government in popularizing organic farming.

Chemicals are in least use in Himachal Pradesh in comparison to other states of the country and there is immense potential of organic agriculture in the State. As per an agriculture survey, there is a scanty use of chemicals in the State i.e. 158 grams as against 381 gms per hectare average in the country.

‘Vermiculture’ is the key component in promoting organic farming and the State Government is providing special impetus on manufacturing vermi compost in large scale. Farmers are being providing 50 percent subsidy for installing vermi- compost unit and 1.50 lakh such units have been established in the State so for. A target of installing 20 thousand more such units have been fixed for this fiscal so as to ensure adequate availability of vermi compost to the farmers.

State Government has fixed the norms for maintaining quality of Vermicompost and for giving commercial dimension to this activity, commercial units of vermi compost are being established in the State. Five Units for the production of Bio fertilizers have been established so that farmers could be provided adequate fertilizers in a time bound manner.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.