Focus on organic farming

Focus on organic farming
Under the banner of “Shashwat Sheti” (assured farming) the state
agriculture minister Eknath Khadse has roped in non-government organisations related to agriculture, irrigation and industries to adopt a model to bring down expenses on farming, making it more health-centric and assuring better financial returns to farmers.

Organic farming finds a special mention in the holistic approach of the government’s agriculture policy. It stresses how organic farming would help restore soil quality affected due to excessive use of
chemical fertilizers.

The Maharashtra government has drawn up a comprehensive plan to promote organic farming in a phased manner as an alternative to chemical fertilizers.

A comprehensive draft report on implementation of organic farming, along with special budget, is being worked out. Organic farming would be promoted aggressively to replace chemical farming in a phased
manner, informed, Khadse.

Under the Shashwat program, apart  from awareness campaigns, equal focus will given to make organic compost available to replace chemical fertilizers rampantly used by farmers hoping to get higher and quicker yields.

One of the objectives of promoting organic farming is to get rid of chemical farming and motivate farmers to adopt organic farming. Organic farming will automatically lead to protection of cows. Khadse said any farm product that is waste can be converted to organic manure. The decision to set up gokul grams for sheltering old cows was to make use of cow dung and urine for organic manure. The cowsheds would be modified to transform cowdung into liquid manure. It would be used in fields. Apart from crop rotation and green manure, vermi-composting will be taught to farmers willing to undertake organic farming. Use of chemical fertilisers had jumped almost by 60 per cent in the last two decades. It, however, led to erosion of nutrients in the soil.