1.71 lakh farmers growing chemical-free crops in the state, online portal for certification of 50 thousand natural farming farmers to be developed
The crops being grown by natural farming in the fields lying in the lap of hills of Himachal Pradesh are attracting everyone today. Farmers are also happy by using completely natural resources without the use of chemical fertilizers or spraying pesticides and those who consume these pure produce are also satisfied that they are now avoiding the ill effects of chemicals. All this has been made possible by the State government's Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojana. This is one of the ambitious schemes among the various other innovative schemes launched in the state under the able leadership of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
With the incentives of the State government, the inclination of the farmers towards natural farming has increased many folds in the state. Oriented towards chemical fertilizer-free farming, women of the state are also playing an important role in taking Himachal forward in the production of natural crops. The women of Himachal are not only moving ahead on the path of self-reliance through the natural mode of agriculture, but are also inspiring other people.
The residents of Panjayanu village of Pangana sub-tehsil of Mandi district have set an example by adopting natural farming. Leena Sharma of this village had inspired the villagers to adopt natural farming by setting an example. Leena Sharma got a chance to participate in the training camp of agricultural scientist Padma Shri Subhash Palekar organized by the Department of Agriculture. After this Leena started natural farming in her fields and with her inspiration today about 30 families of the village have adopted it. Another woman from the village, Satya Devi, has become a master trainer of natural farming. Apart from traditional crops, groundnut, garlic, chilli, pulses, beans, tomato, brinjal, capsicum, linseed and coriander are being cultivated in the village. Natural farming has increased the efficiency and fertility of their fields, while their income has also increased.
It is a happy result of the innovative efforts of women like Leena Sharma and Satya Devi and the encouragement of the double engine government that today about 9 thousand 421 hectares area is being cultivated by natural method by about 1.71 lakh farmers of the state. For the year 2022-23, the State government has set a target of bringing 50 thousand acres of land under natural farming. Apart from this, 50 thousand farmers will be certified as natural farmers. An online portal is also being developed for this. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also appreciated the model of natural farming in Himachal Pradesh on national forums.
The aim of Prakritik Kheti, Khushal Kisan Yojana is to increase income by reducing the cost of crop production, to save soil and humans from the ill effects of chemical farming. Under this scheme, the solution of indigenous cow dung and cow urine (gau mutra) and some local flora is used for spraying crops in place of chemical pesticides.
For making inputs to be used in natural farming, farmers are being provided 75 percent subsidy on drums subject to a maximum of Rs 750 per drum. A farmer family can get this benefit on three such drums. 80 percent subsidy is being given to Gaushala Parivartan for making the pucca Gaushalas and collecting cow urine, with a maximum limit of Rs.8,000.
For the supply of inputs used in natural farming, there is also a provision of assistance of up to 10 thousand rupees for opening natural farming resource reserves in each village. So far, about Rs. 58.46 crore has been spent under Pratikriti Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojana.
Apart from developing a natural farming model in all 3615 panchayats of the state, work is being done to convert 100 villages into natural farming villages. With the aim of making the farmers self-reliant, a target of establishing 10 new FPOs (Farmer-Producer Organization) based on natural farming has been set up in the state. Along with fixing the place for sale of natural farming products in 10 mandis, 2 new mandis will also be created. Under this scheme, the state government has made a budget provision of Rs. 17 crore for the financial year 2022-23.
The double engine government of the Centre and the State, working with the basic mantra of Sarv Sankalp se Shat-Pratishat Sidhi (cent percent accomplishment with all determination), has ensured speedy and timely implementation of the revolutionary schemes operating in the agriculture sector. With this Himachal Pradesh has now emerged as a Model State in natural agricultural production.
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