news Saturday, February 28, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| February 28, 2015| 8.00 pm IST

The Haryana Chief Minister has made an announcement that could go a long way in encouraging sustainable methods and organic farming in the state. Inaugurating the 5th National Organic Farming Convention in Chandigarh, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that 10 per cent of the state’s cultivable land will be brought under organic farming.

The ‘Haryana Fresh’ brand will push organic produce in the state, promised the Chief Minister. He added that the state government will constitute an organic farming advisory committee comprising farmers and experts.

The convention which saw a huge gathering of organic farmers, scientists, policy makers, consumers and activists is being organized by Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI), National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training (NITTTR), Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) and Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM).

“The Green Revolution brought in a new era in agriculture in the region and boosted productivity, but we must not remain blind to the disastrous effects it has had on soil and human health,” said the CM.

Sarvadaman Patel, leading organic farmer from Gujarat and President of OFAI, said it is time organic farming was mainstreamed in India. “Both science and experience is showing that it is the best way forward to sustain farming and farmers in our country while producing enough food, fibre and fodder for all. This convention will show the world the best knowledge and capabilities that India has on this front. Organic farming is the need of the hour and this is more so in the case of Northern states,” he said.

Umendra Dutt, Executive Director , KVM, highlighted the critical situation of farming and farmers in Punjab and Haryana, which are considered as the cradle of Green Revolution. “Despite the tragic experience with an intensive model of agriculture, Punjab and Haryana have the potential to become beacons in ecological farming. This convention in Chandigarh, the common capital of both states, aims to contribute significantly towards this process,” said Dutt. 

Dr K K Talwar, chairperson NITTTR hoped the convention would be a turning point in our food and farming systems. 

The convention is celebrating organic farming through a Nature Festival, including a Kisan Haat or Farmers’ Market, Urban Organic Gardening workshops for Chandigarh citizens and an organic food festival

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