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This hill state has decided to link the soil testing unit with Organic farming in each district to shift more agrable area under the Conventional Organic farming system. The State Organic Unit in charge Mr. Raguvir Singh told that Organic farming is a flagship program of the State Government as it was decided to this farming in a systematic staged manner.
The Government was taking effective steps to maintain the fertility of the soil during each season. The soil sample were being collected from the farmer’s field and analysed in soil testing laboratories which have been established in all the districts except Lahaul and Spiti.
The facility of four mobile soil testing vans was also being provided out of which one van was in operation exclusively for the tribal areas for testing the soil samples at the site. These laboratories have been strengthened with latest equipments. It had also been ensured to provide soil health cards to every eligible farmer which would help them to know the soil status and nutrient requirements etc.
“Farmers are not using chemicals and chemical based fertilizer which saves them lot of money as they use the natural available resources.” he added. The State was spending about Rs 8.64 Crores per annum to contain the erosion of existing farmer under this conventional agriculture moreover about 2000 hectare area is being tapped by the department to switch over under it, he said.
The State is witnessing transformation in the cultivation of more than 26,741 farmers as they joined the Organic farming in the state and 15,548 hectare land is already producing the organic products. More farmers are showing keen interest in this new technique as farmers are fetching 20 to 30 percent more prices of vegetables, cereals and fruits for their organic supply in the market.
The organic farming is becoming popular in the State as it is not only environment friendly but also addresses the health issues. The State is offering liberal financial assistance to farmers as Rs. 5,000 is being provided for the construction of vermin pit and vermin culture.
Organic manure produced thereby was also being given additional incentive, and also being provided as it was being approved for organic intake further. The incentive at the rate of Rs. 10,000 per hectare for certification was also being provided for a period of three years. The soil fertility map was being prepared by the Agriculture University Palampur by using the Global Positioning System (GPS).