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Govt. Reveals Big Plans For Natural Farming, HP to Be Top Player In Country

A target has been set of bringing 50,000 acres of land under Natural Farming.

Shivani Meena
Natural Farming: An Ecosystem Friendly Approach
Natural Farming: An Ecosystem Friendly Approach

In Himachal Pradesh, the Jai Ram Thakur-led government has decided to encourage natural farming in a big way. By the end of 2022-23, a goal of bringing 50,000 acres of land into natural farming has been set.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur declared in the state assembly when presenting the budget estimates that at least one model of natural farming will be built in each of  3,615 gram panchayats of states. He believes that this will benefit the training of farmers in the nearby areas.

According to Thakur, at least 100 villages would be established as natural farming villages under Government of India guidelines, and natural farming farmers will be registered. A total of 50,000 farmers will be certified as natural farmers from this group. He stated that through building a dynamic online website, information about natural farming will be made available to the public.

Two dedicated natural farming produce mandis will be established in the state, he said, and ten additional mandis would have dedicated areas to sell natural farming produce. For the very first time, he said, a natural farming sales counter would be put up in Delhi and selected locations in the state.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, he said, the agriculture sector offered significant stability to the economy of the state, and the industry is predicted to increase at 8.7% in 2021-22.

According to the chief minister, he announced the creation of an expert group for agriculture and related sectors, and the state government formed one under the chairmanship of Prof Ramesh Chand, a member of the NITI Aayog. He stated that an expert group had submitted its findings and that agencies concerned will produce a detailed action plan after reviewing the recommendations of the study.

Natural Farming To Get Importance in Agriculture Universities

In the last budget, he said, his government announced a research and development fund for both agricultural and horticulture universities. "Agriculture and horticulture universities will change the syllabus in graduate and postgraduate programs to incorporate natural farming, as suggested by the Prime Minister, and will also begin research in this field," he said.

He said that he announced the commencement of the 'Prakritik Kheti Khushhaal Kissan Yojana (PK3Y)' when presenting the 2018-19 budget. The results of this initiative have been fairly positive, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at a national conclave on natural farming in Gujarat on December 16, the year before, advised farmers throughout the country to embrace natural farming and follow Himachal Pradesh.

He stated that roughly Rs 1,500 crore has been provided in the Union Budget 2022-23 to encourage natural farming, with Himachal Pradesh becoming the first state to promote natural farming in the government sector.

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