24,000 Farmers Registered for Organic Farming in Himachal

By Pankaj Sood

Solan (Feb 15): Organic farming is taking Himachal by storm. As per records with the agriculture department of the state, around 24,000 farmers have registered themselves for organic farming. Considering the huge response, the department has now started certification of organic produce to help farmers get better returns in the market.

Besides this, the department is also carrying out training programmes to teach farmers techniques involved in organic farming. On Friday, a farm located in Bohac-Berti area of Solan was given certificate for being the first certified organic farm in the state.

Sources said around 1,200 hectares of land in Hamirpur, Solan and Bilaspur districts are under organic farming, while Mandi and Kangra have around 1,300 hectares under organic farming. The government has sanctioned Rs 5.5 crore for the two district to promote natural farming. Director agriculture JS Rana said workshops are being held at various places across the state to train farmers in organic farming.

Palampur-based Chaudhary Sarvan Kumar Agriculture University’s International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture has been entrusted with the task of training farmers. The department has also started issuing soil health cards to farmers. For this technicians from the agriculture department visit farms and test soil samples for various parameters. Till now, 3,32,339 soil samples have been tested and over three lakh farmers have been issues these cards.