Farmers in Uttarakhand derive significant benefits from organic farming. For example, Gopal Dinta (36), a farmer from Utpalta village in Chakrata region of Dehradun, has seen his income increase by more than 40% since switching to organic farming in 2017.
“I started by working under the supervision of officials from the Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board.” The officials advised us to limit the use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture in stages, which allowed me to obtain a price more than 40% higher than what I had previously received. “We get market access so that we can sell our products without going through a middleman,” says Dinta.
Organic farming is practiced by about 4.5 lakh farmers. Officials are confident that these farmers will soon reap the economic and other benefits of organic farming. “The government is working to promote organic farming practices, which would include traditional methods, in 6,100 farming groups.” This would bring over 1.23 lakh hectares of agriculture under the organic farming umbrella. This would eventually benefit the health of consumers,” says Vinay Kumar, Managing Director of the Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board.
Organic farming has increased at an unprecedented rate in Uttarakhand. The area cultivated using innovative technologies has increased more than sixfold. Organic farming covered only 35,106 hectares in 2018, but it has already climbed to 2.30 lakh hectares. The 2.30 lakh hectares out of the total 6.48 hectares of agricultural land are under the umbrella of organic farming, which accounts for about 34% of the total cultivable area.
The state government has set a target of 31% organic farmland by 2021, which has now increased. Organic farming covered 35,601 hectares in 2017-18, 1,24,365 hectares in 2018-19, 1,54,226 hectares in 2019-20 and 2,30,540 hectares in 2020-21. Pulses, vegetables, millet, wheat and a variety of other seasonal crops are staples.
“The normal rajma sells for ’80 per kg, while our product sells for ‘120 per kg”, says Manohar Solanki, a farmer. The council’s ‘Organic Uttarakhand’ outlets buy our produce and help us sell it directly to Delhi and Mumbai markets through NGOs and other organizations. »
Uttarakhand, according to Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal, is the first state to pass an organic farming law. “The state is responsible for almost 40% of all organic farming in the country. In this regard, we want Uttarakhand to serve as a model state. To encourage the new technology, the state of Uttarakhand passed the “Organic Agriculture Act 2019”. Those who break the law risk a fine of 1 lakh and one year in prison. .