Chemical fertiliser use shows uptick amid Rajasthan govt’s organic push to farming
Announcements made by the government after it came out with the organic farming policy in 2017, such as setting up of a directorate and earmarking separate space for selling organic produce in krishi upaj mandis, have remained on paper.Updated: Aug 10, 2018, 22:01 IST
Though the Rajasthan government has been trying to promote organic farming and has come out with a policy, official data reveals that use of chemical fertilisers has gone up in the state.
“Official data indicates that the use of chemical fertilisers in the state has risen to 52 kg per hectare from 48 kg per hectare over the past four years,” states a report released by the Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society, a civil society organisation.
Organic farming refers to growing crops without chemical fertilisers and pesticides, but using only biological materials and natural substances, such as cow dung and herbal preparations.
Announcements made by the government after it came out with the organic farming policy in 2017, such as setting up of a directorate and earmarking separate space for selling organic produce in krishi upaj mandis, have remained on paper.
The civil society organisation’s report has pointed out that while the government had announced to set up organic farming clusters in 11 districts of the state, very few steps have been taken to ensure the marketing of organic products for the farmers.
The report states that Rajasthan Organic Certification Agency (ROCA) was established in 2015 and farmers, especially in the tribal sub-plan area (TSP), are being encouraged to go for organic farming, but the number of beneficiaries has been very limited.
The concerns raised over lack of work done to promote organic farming is a part of a section on agriculture situation in Rajasthan compiled by Kisan Sewa Samiti Mahasangh secretary Bhagwan Sahai Dadhich and social activist Ashok Mathur.
State agriculture minister Prabhulal Saini said the government has done a lot to promote organic farming in the state and the total organic farming area in Rajasthan has exceeded 6,500 hectares. “The state government has recently sanctioned a project for setting up 5,000 sectors across the state and each sector will comprise 50 organic farmers,” he said.
Rajasthan is a predominantly agrarian economy with more than 65% of its population dependent on agriculture. The total net sown area in the state is 180 lakh hectares. According to the union agriculture ministry data, Rajasthan stands second in terms of production of pulses and area under the crops.