Organic farming should become a part of agricultural policy and vision, especially in States prone to drought, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, R.R. Hanchinal has said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a sensitisation programme on organic farming organised by the Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) here on Wednesday.
Organic farming could benefit farmers by improving soil fertility and the health of the agro-ecosystem, and making farming sustainable over a longer period, Dr. Hanchinal said. It required less financial input, relied on available resources, and ensured better environment conditions, he added.
The Vice-Chancellor spoke of the impetus given to organic farming in States such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Karnataka and Maharashtra have provided Rs. 20 crore and Rs. 10 crore respectively in the budget for this purpose.
Uttaranchal and Mizoram have already declared themselves as “fully organic farming States”, he said.
Dr. Hanchinal said the UAS, Dharwad, had adopted Harugeri and Kamadhenu villages in the district to demonstrate organic farming. It had also started a diploma in organic farming.
Presiding over the programme, KVGB chairman K.P. Muralidharan pointed out that experiments in north Karnataka have proved that organic farming helped preserve soil fertility, grow quality food and reduce farming costs.
Hence, it would be an important agenda of the Bank's credit policy. The bank would associate its ‘farmers' clubs' with UAS, Dharwad, to accomplish this, Mr. Muralidharan said.