Organic farming: Reaping mixed benefits

Organic farming: Reaping mixed benefits Dhanpao village: Two patches of land adjacent to each other. Wheat is sown on both tracts. But while one yields numerous saplings, the other is barren. The reason: organic manure was used in the lush green field to grow ginger before wheat was planted.

Lachiwala village: A mound of organic manure lies dumped on government land for many months. The reason: villagers have yet to find a buyer.

This contradictory state of affairs in two villages of Uttaranchal highlights the potential of organic farming on the one hand, and the obstacles to reaping its benefits on the other. The paradox has cropped up despite two ongoing government-run programmes in the hill state to propagate the process. Now, with a view to formulating a coherent strategy on the farming technique, a proposal is being presented to the Uttaranchal cabinet to set up an organic board. The panel would comprise representatives from the farming community, private enterprise and government, and will act as a nodal agency to boost organic agriculture in the state.

Notwithstanding the shortcomings of the current schemes, they have helped modestly in spreading awareness about new technologies. While the Training and Technology Development Centres (ttdc) is an income-generation programme for below poverty line (bpl) families, the other project promotes

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