With an aim of disseminating organic farming, ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ has been implemented throughout the country by the central government since past three years. The details of the scheme was known to many only after the speech by the Minister of Agriculture, Radhamohan Singh, proudly explaining about the scheme during the organic farming conference conducted in Greater Noida, New Delhi, on 9th of November, last year. He informed that through the scheme 2.25 million hectare of land has been brought under organic farming till now. By 2025 about 14 million hectare of land will be covered under this scheme. We spoke to the Director of Agriculture, Dhakshinamurthi, about the process of implementing the scheme in Tamil Nadu.
“This scheme, ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ aims to reduce the usage of pesticides and chemical fertilizers thereby recuperating soil fertility. It has been implemented with an intention of popularizing organic farming through the Department of Participatory Guarantee Certification. This is a project being introduced to the farmers who are involved completely with organic farming. It’s a boon to those who aspire to switch over to organic farming, aiming to improve soil fertility and those who are interested in environment protection. It has been in practice for the past two years. Small and Marginal Farmers can benefit from the scheme only when they come together and integrate themselves as a group or team.
In Tamil Nadu, there are 42 groups created so far and about 2000 acre of land has been put under organic farming. Further, there are 52 groups created by the horticulture department, implemented in 2,550 acres of land. During the current year, it’s planned to create 500 organic farming groups. By this there will be 25,000 acres of land to be put under organic farming in Tamil Nadu. The organic farming scientist, Nammazhwar strived to disseminate organic farming. This scheme has been introduced to fulfill those strivings and the farmers should make use of the scheme fully.
“Through this scheme, inputs, seeds, crops of green manure, micro fertilizers are provided to the farmers and there is a subsidy to construct vermicompost pit. There is also support money to gain organic farming certificate and touring to various organic farms. There is also support to organize training program to be conducted by the organic farmers. Except Chennai, this scheme is implemented in all other districts of Tamil Nadu. Any crop intended to be cultivated organically can be included in the scheme. Farmers of the same village or neighboring villages can join collectively in the scheme. Farmers should join the scheme and get benefited as it is supporting the welfare of the soil and, environment and health. Farmers who wish to join the scheme can meet the Assistant Director - Agriculture of their respective districts and get registered. Thiru Asokan, Assistant Director – Agriculture (Dryland crop project) provided additional information about the scheme.
“The success of this scheme depends on the efforts of the farmers. Each group should have 50 acres of land, with a minimum of ten members. Each member should have a minimum of one acre. Those who have more land area can allot a part of it and join the scheme. There is no compulsion to have cattle. However it is essential that at least one cow is available with each group.
The farmers who join the scheme will have a support fund of Rs 25,000 to buy drum, tools like jack, implements to control insects towards preparing inputs and Rs 5,000 towards constructing a vermicompost pit. For gaining training on organic farming Rs 20,000 is provided and also Rs 500 per acre towards procuring seeds. To produce Jeevamirtham, Beejamirtham, etc, Rs 1,500 per acre is provided.
Similarly, for producing green manures, biological fertilizers, biological fungicides there are support funds available. There is a provision to buy a four wheeler for Rs 1,20,000 towards transport of products to the market. By making use of these benefits for three years, and getting involved in the scheme of organic farming with full commitment, the participating farmers can gain considerable profit.
Mobile: 99943 56878
“Pesticides should not be used”
Velmurugan, Circle Officer - Agriculture, Athur, stated, “There are five groups created by the District Agriculture Department in Salem. One among the groups has been functioning successfully. Those who join the scheme should not use pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They should follow organic cultivation technologies properly. All the efforts of converting to organic farming methods should be documented. Except the farm based inputs, biological fertilizers will be provided by the agriculture office.
In Tamil Nadu, this scheme has been implemented through the agriculture and horticulture departments. No voluntary organizations are involved in the scheme. Those who wish to join the scheme can approach the Assistant Director – Agriculture with Aadhar card, bank account books, chitta and photos.
For contact, Velmurugan
Mobile: 99524 17105
“I was given Rs 15 lakhs”
In Salem district, organic farming groups are created under the traditional agriculture development scheme. In Ramanayakkanpalayam, Athur circle, there is an organic farming group, named ‘Organic Farming – Ramanayakkanpalayam paddy’. We spoke to the leader of this group, Singaram.
“We created this group two years ago. There are 50 members in the group. About 30 of the members have switched to organic farming from chemical farming, in order to join the group. I have been into organic farming for the past 15 years. I had interacted with Nammazhwar Ayya in regard to organic farming methods. We find the information from ‘Pasumai Vikatan’ useful. I have currently cultivated Mappillai samba, Karuppu kavuni and Salem Sanna. Now and then our group received subsidy towards input production, sales and seeds. Though the scheme we have nearly received Rs 15 lakhs.
With the help of the subsidy money we could buy and use drums meant for Panchakavya, Jeevamirtham production, and sprayers. We have been provided with the PGS India organic agriculture certificate for a year to sell our products. After three years, we are assured to have one more organic certification. We have requested for additional equipment to hand grind paddy to rice and power weeder for weeding the farm. All of us in the group follow single paddy cultivation. After paddy harvesting, we are going to grow vegetables like brinjal and lady’s finger. It’s truly a beneficial scheme for the farmers”.
For contact, Singaram
Mobile: 93447 53271
This scheme is applicable for horticulture too
This scheme is implemented through horticulture department as in agriculture department. All crops that are classified under fruits crops like vegetables and fruit bearing crops can be included under this traditional agriculture development scheme. Information can be gained from approaching the Assistant Director - District Horticulture Office.
For contact, Department of horticulture and plantation crop, Ezhilagam, Chepauk, Chennai 600 005
Phone: 044 2851 3232/ 34
(This article written in Tamil by Jayakumar & Danasekaran for Pasumai Vikatan magazine dt 10/1/2018 has been reproduced in English by V Amalan Stanley)