Dang Tribal District in eastern Gujarat will be declared a 100% organic farming district as the state government has taken steps to encourage farmers to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides throughout the cultivable area, said state agriculture minister Raghavji Patel. Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Patel said the state government is providing a subsidy of Rs 10,000 per hectare for up to two hectares to each farmer in the largely hilly district for adopting organic farming practices. .
“For the first time in western India, the Dang of Gujarat will be declared a 100% organic agricultural district by the governor during a program on November 19. Farmers in the district adopt farming techniques without fertilizers and pesticides “, said the minister. .
The state consumes 38-40 tonnes lakh of chemical fertilizers, for which the government provides a subsidy of Rs 4,200-4,300 crore, he said. Dang Collector BK Pandya said that on nearly 58,000 cultivated hectares in the district, at least 70 to 80 percent of the land is already covered by traditional farming practices that do not require chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
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“The majority of farmers in Dang practice traditional agriculture. In the remaining areas, they cultivate rice and millet (nagali), the local staple food. They use fertilizer to grow rice in some pockets. The state government announced a program to provide a subsidy to compensate for the decline in production of farmers by adopting organic farming practices, ”Pandya said.
The district administration is in the process of implementing the program and the grant has been paid to around 12,000 farmers, he said. Farmers are also encouraged to use cow dung and urine, and they are paid 900 rupees for the maintenance of livestock, he said.
“On the marketing side, state agriculture department agencies will certify products as organic so that they can be marketed the same statewide and outside,” said the collector. The government of Gujarat declared an organic farming policy in 2015, which stated that areas that have a very low level of fertilizer consumption could play an important role in promoting organic farming. Dang district, as well as the 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 socio-economic condition of the farmers. and the traditional cultivation method which requires minimal use of chemicals, it was said.
Besides the Dang district, the talukas of Dharampur and Kaprada de Valsad and the talukas of Vansda in the districts of Navsari in southern Gujarat are also covered by the public program to encourage the practice of 100% organic farming, have officials said.
Speaking about the shortage of chemical fertilizers in the state, the Minister of Agriculture further said that the state government has provided large amounts of urea, potash, etc. for cultivation on 94.93 lakh of hectares during the current season.
“All fertilizers are available in large quantities statewide. Farmers do not need to buy fertilizer in large quantities thinking they are in short supply,” Patel said.
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