GUWAHATI, May 30 � Following the launching of the ambitious �mission double cropping�, the Agriculture Department is set to embark on another first-of-its-kind endeavour aimed at boosting organic farming in the State.
As part of the programme, a substantial area under each of the 126 assembly constituencies is to be brought under different organic crops � mostly vegetables, fruits and joha rice.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka said that under the initiative, organic farming was to be formally introduced covering a minimum of 50 hectares of cropland in every constituency in the first phase.
�Organic food is the buzzword today in view of its multiple benefits, particularly its health and nutrient aspects. We also expect to boost our agricultural exports by emphasizing more on organic products,� Deka said.
A four-member committee has been formed for the purpose which is studying various aspects of organic farming, including soil quality testing.
�It will also interact with farmers and suggest measures to motivate them and get them involved in organic farming,� Deka said, adding that the MLAs, too, have been requested to extend their support in the implementation of the project.
The Rs 35.38-crore project �to be implemented in three yearly phases � will involve and benefit 12,600 farmers. Its different components include technology transfer, certification, fencing, mechanization, market linkage, and training to both farmers and service providers.
Deka said that once organic farming gained ground in the State, it would help enhance manifold the prospects of exporting organic products under brand Assam.
�As organic food has great demand in the international market, we expect to tap this potential and build brand Assam vis-�-vis agricultural products,� he said.
According to the Minister, organic farming � when done on a large scale � stands to change the face of the State�s agriculture.
�I can assert that this is going to be an epoch-making endeavour triggering sweeping changes in agriculture. We hope to see the first sprouting of the saplings by October-November,� he added.