The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will promote organic farming in Kerala.

According to K. C. Shashidhar, NABARD chief general manager here, the initiative will be implemented in association with banks and non-governmental organisations who will introduce over 10,000 farmers to organic farming in the first phase.

“Organic farming practices need to be encouraged using local knowledge of farmers and also they need to be integrated with the tested practices of research scientists and academia. To accomplish this, we will associate with Kerala Agricultural University,” said Shashidhar.

The project will be implemented in seven districts initially in association with the Kerala Social Services Forum, an umbrella organisation of NGOs.

As a prelude to its formal launch, NABARD will conduct a two-week training programme aimed at creating the right awareness about organic agricultural techniques, organic manures, production of bio-control agents such as organic pesticides and organic fungicides.

It will also inform the farmers about pesticide-free food production methods, post-harvest management means, food security through organic farming, seed conservation, said Mr. Shashidhar.