Organic farming tag for litchi

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PATNA: With an international accredited organic farming certification organization, International Panacea Ltd. (IPL), giving certification to litchi, Bihar government has made a headway in its efforts to extend organic farming in the state.

Nafed, a national cooperative marketing federation, collaborated with IPL to assess the organic farming potential of litchi in 1,000 hectare area in north Bihar. Nafed, in collaboration with IPL, will arrange export market for litchi to give more remunerative prices to farmers, said the agriculture specialist, project planning committee, state agriculture department, Anil Kumar Jha.

Organic farming certification of litchi followed the C1 certification given to organic vegetables produced in 500 acres in a vegetable cluster at Sohdih in Nalanda district. Under a vegetable initiative programme of the state government, organic farming is being done on 6,000 hectares of land at Sohdih. Organic farming will not only improve the soil for better productivity but also save the human beings from consuming harmful pesticide-laced farm products, he said. The process for organic farming certification of pulse crops on 16,000 hectares at Mokama tal and riverine (diara) areas in Patna district areas has been started by an accredited agency from Pune.

Certification of organic farming is necessary not only for good business of organic farm products, for which there is good national and international market, but has added another dimension to sustainable farming system. The crux of organic farming is recycling of organic matter in the form of agriculture wastes including shoots and roots that degenerate into the soil improving its fertility, use of vermi compost and bio-fertilizers and other methods to give strength to the soil by improving its fertility, he said.

The agriculture specialist added that under the organic farming programme, farmers are being given end-to-end solution for organic farming. Organic farming certification for quality of the farm products will fetch more remunerative prices in the national and international market. The government has arranged services of the agencies specializing in organic farming to provide training to the farmers. The agencies have also to arrange organic farming certification by accredited international agencies and then facilitate marketing of the organic farm products, he said.

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