With organic farming having great potential in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said the state government is planning to set up a separate agency for certification of organic products.

The state has formulated a progressive agriculture policy in 2008 under which special focus has been given to organic farming, Patnaik said, while addressing the biennial Convention of Organic Farmers organised by the Organic Farming Association of India.

“The policy supports sustainable incentives for farmers harvesting organic certified crops. Organic seed banks will be opened. Organic Farming Association will be promoted,” he said.

Stating that Odisha was in an advantageous position with virgin lands and less contamination because of organic farming practices, he said a range of organic products like cotton, turmeric, ginger, pulses and scented varieties of rice were being regularly exported.

The Kandhamal Turmeric was already a brand name all over the world, he said.

Quoting a recent study by ASSOCHAM, Patnaik said Odisha has an export potential of Rs 600 crore from organic farming produce in the next five years.

The study reveals that organic farming could create 80 lakh additional jobs both in-farm and non-farm sectors, he said.

Stating that organic farming will also be introduced as a compulsory subject at both degree and post-graduate level in the state Agriculture University, Patnaik said consumption of chemical fertilisers and pesticides were significantly low in Odisha compared to the national average.

“Our agriculture policy also has a resolution to include organic farming in the syllabus at school level,” he said.

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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