22.5 lakh hectares brought under organic farming: Radha Mohan Singh

"Food security is not an issue anymore in the country, but we still have the challenge of providing healthy and nutritious food to the growing population," Singh said.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: November 9, 2017 6:53 pm
Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture minister, express online, Indian Express, organic farming, latest news Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh (File)

The government is promoting organic farming through many schemes and 22.5 lakh hectares have been brought under such cultivation so far, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Thursday, reports PTI.

He said organic farming has become a national and global requirement for providing nutritious food to people as well as to maintain sustainable production and soil health.

Addressing the Organic World Congress 2017 at Greater Noida, he said indiscriminate and excessive use of chemicals-based fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides is affecting soil health and environment as well as human beings.

“Food security is not an issue anymore in the country, but we still have the challenge of providing healthy and nutritious food to the growing population,” Singh was quoted as saying in an official statement.

The minister noted that India is one of the oldest organic agricultural nations of the world and a large part of the country still practices traditional organic farming. Singh highlighted that currently 22.5 lakh hectares have been brought under organic farming and 3,60,400 farmers have benefited under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.

He said the government targets to bring 50,000-hectare area under organic farming in the northeast region and 45,863 hectares have been brought so far under such farming. Singh said that in Uttar Pradesh, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana was launched in 2015-16 and so far 28,750 farmers have benefited from 28,750 acres of land.

For the marketing of organic products, the government is allocating Rs 5 lakh per district to set up sales outlets. The event, organised by the International Federation of Organic Farming Movements (IFOAM) and other partners, is likely to see the participation of 1,400 representatives from 110 countries, and 2,000 Indian delegates.

He said the government acknowledges that indiscriminate and excessive use of chemicals during last several decades has posed a question- “how long can we continue to do farming like this?”

The environment and social and economic issues are linked to chemical fertiliser based farming and it needs our attention, he said. “We have become dependent on chemical farming and the use of fertilisers, pesticides, and other chemicals have increased the production but at the same time excessive use of chemicals has led to the production of unhealthy crops,” Singh said.

Talking about the adverse affect of indiscriminate use of these chemicals on the environment, the minister said that a large part of chemicals is absorbed by the soil, air, and plants. Spraying of chemicals pollutes faraway plants and they seep into the ground and pollute water sources. Singh said the use of chemicals has led to climate change and created ecological imbalance and it is affecting human beings too.

“For the sake of soil health, sustainable production, and healthy and nutritious food for people, organic farming has become a national and global requirement,” he said.

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