Jammu- The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday announced a project to boost organic food production and increase economic returns for farmers in the union territory.
The ‘alternate agriculture system for sustainability’ project is a part of the government’s larger efforts to create a safer, cleaner and more sustainable environment for agriculture and food production in the region, an official spokesman said.
He said the government has kept a budget of Rs 84 crore to support the programme over the next five years.
“This initiative is part of a larger effort to promote sustainable agriculture, commercial agriculture and healthy food production. The project envisages creation of over 12,600 jobs and 300 enterprises in the organic agri-sector,” the spokesman said.
He said the programme included a range of interventions to support organic farming such as expanding organic cultivation in a cluster approach, producing and recycling bio-inputs, facilitating certification and marketing and providing training and capacity building for farmers.
The project aims to create six to seven organic clusters per district, covering a total of 2,000 hectare of land, the spokesman said, adding, additionally, it aims to convert another 2,000 hectare into organic production, including niche crops and default organic areas.
According to the spokesman, the programme will also provide training to 10,000 farmer families in organic farming and establish 200 commercial and 3,000 low-cost vermicompost units and 100 Integrated Organic Farming System Units.
Besides, two bio-input production units will also be set up to supply organic inputs for the production clusters, he said.
“The project will have a number of positive outcomes which will further fuel growth in organic production within J&K, including development of trained manpower and a package of practices suited to the region, dedicated bio-input production facilities, certification and branding facilities and an organic value/market chain,” Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo said.
“By promoting organic cultivation, the livelihood of these farmers will be secured and their returns significantly improved,” he added.