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Yogi Adityanath: Incentives to Farmers for Natural Farming Should be Boosted

The chief minister emphasized the importance of protecting Mother Earth, claiming that natural farming will contribute to the conservation of natural resources, the environment, farmer income, and people's health.

Binita Kumari
UP CM Yogi Adityanath
UP CM Yogi Adityanath

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced on Monday that the Uttar Pradesh government will implement natural farming in 135 state-owned farms starting in the upcoming Kharif season and that the Centre should increase the incentive for natural farming to Rs 31,000 per hectare, as well as make a budget allocation for branding and marketing the produce.

On approximately 527 hectares of land, 542 progressive farmers are effectively practicing natural farming in the state. Their services will be used as a key resource for individuals in various districts to promote natural farming, he said.

"Implementation of cow-based natural farming in the state will help in the protection and promotion of biodiversity," Adityanath said, speaking virtually at a 'national workshop on innovative agriculture' organized by NITI Aayog in Delhi.

"Using cow dung and urine to fertilize the land can increase soil health and reduce the use of imported chemical fertilizers. Using crop leftovers in natural farming and mulching would also help to prevent stubble burning," he added.

The chief minister emphasized the importance of protecting Mother Earth, claiming that natural farming will contribute to the conservation of natural resources, the environment, farmer income, and people's health.

"Incentives to farmers for natural farming should be boosted and brought at par with the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) incentive of Rs 31,000 per acre," Adityanath asked as the government draughts a roadmap on natural farming.

"Organic farming gets Rs 50,000 per hectare under the PKVY, which comprises a farmer incentive of Rs 31,000 per hectare for a three-year term. According to him, the Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddati (BPKP) sub-scheme provides Rs 21,000 per hectare, with the farmers' incentive being only Rs 2,000 per hectare.

The chief minister, highlighting the marketing issues encountered by organic and natural farmers, said the value addition of products and their marketing is one of the largest challenges, and he urged the Centre include a budget for branding and marketing initiatives in the scheme guidelines.

Since soil health and the presence of organic carbon must be assessed before sowing and after harvesting, the CM stated that an appropriate budget must be set out for conducting soil tests. Adityanath highlighted the state's efforts to promote natural farming, saying that the state has been pushing this method of farming for the past two years.

Five agricultural universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, ten regional agricultural testing and demonstration institutes, and the state agricultural management institute at Rehmandkheda, Lucknow, have all set up demonstration plots.

In addition, the national government has approved an action plan of Rs 82.82 crore for 35 districts in the state, spanning an area of 38,670 hectares, under the BPKP centrally-funded scheme.

He stated that the scheme will be implemented for three years, beginning in the month of Kharif this year. Under the Namami Ganga program, horticulture and agroforestry have been included in natural farming within 10 kilometers of the Ganga in chosen areas. More than 2 lakh farmers will benefit from this.

The chief minister stated that natural farming has been practiced in various ways in the Bundelkhand region of the state for centuries and that to promote it further, clusters of 500 to 1000 hectares will be built up in all 47 development blocks of the region's seven districts.

In the following five years, a total of 47,000 hectares will be targeted, for Rs 175.46 crore, with 1.17 lakh farmers benefiting, he added.

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