Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran on Thursday said that the organic farming in the State will be popularised in a big way in tune with the growing global awareness on safe food.

He told the media that the State government, which has already adopted its organic farming policy, would take a major step in this direction on January 30, Gandhiji Remembrance day, by declaring some areas in Wayanad and Idukki hill districts as fully organic.

This would be a beginning in the government’s efforts at declaring some panchayats as fully organic by next year, leading to conversion of the whole State as organic in the long run, he said.

The Minister, who was in Nelliampathy to inaugurate the Rs. 2.5 crore, state-of-the-art Biotech Lab set up by the private sector Poabs Group, lauded the efforts being made by the company, which owns internationally certified largest multi perennial organic and bio-dynamic plantation in the country at Nellimapathy, in promoting organic farming.

He said that Nelliampathy Grama Panchayat itself could be declared as organic if more plantation growers in the area go for organic cultivation.

To encourage farmers to switch over to organic farming, the government was also planning to set up organic markets in different parts of the State where organic produces could be made available on a regular basis, the Minister said.

Answering a question, Mr. Ratnakaran said the government was also thinking in terms of setting up of a biotech lab to ensure availability of quality farm inputs like organic maure, bio-fertilizers and bio-control agents, adding that the State Agriculture University was taking steps in this direction.

Earlier inaugurating the Poabs Biotech lab, he said that it had become a global necessity to switch over to organic farming as availability of safe food was essential to ensure the healthcare of the mankind.

He said the global climate change was forcing countries to switch over to environment friendly farming methods.