Shimla, July 31: To develop any of the states, the government firstly will have to strengthen the farmers and agriculture. Himachal Pradesh is on the same path as it has decided to promote organic farming for diversification of agricultural activities in Himachal.
Notably, the farmers of Himachal Pradesh are being motivated to adopt organic farming and grow cash crops for the diversification. Therefore, the project worth Rs. 321 crore is already under implementation in five districts of the State which have yielded good results and a large number of farmers have come forward to switch over to organic farming and go for off season cash crops cultivation.
Also, the Himachal government has announced first, second and third prizes of Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs one lakh respectively for the progressive farmers adopting organic farming. The massive scheme is being implemented in Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Mandi districts in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA).
Participating from the front, the farmers of Shimla, Solan and Sirmour districts have already taken a lead in getting themselves registered for organic farming and taken up vegetable cultivation, supplementing the efforts of the state government to promote organic farming.
Nearly 22,000 hectares has been brought till now under organic farming and 40,000 farmers have got themselves registered under the massive scheme. However, a target of bringing 2,000 hectares of additional land under organic farming has been set while 200 bio-villages have already been set up in the state. So far, Rs 212 crore had been spent under the scheme and a provision of Rs 80 crore has been made for the current financial year.
Agriculture Development Society, Agriculture University Palampur has played a key role in developing irrigation facilities, motivating farmers to adopt organic farming and producing cash crops. Interestingly, Himachal Pradesh has received “Krishi Karmanya Awards” for two consecutive financial years in 2014-15 and 2015-16 for excellent enhancement in agriculture production.