Mangaluru

Udipi farmers opting for organic, natural farming on the rise

A file photo of a Savayava Santhe at the Raitha Seva Kendra at Doddanagudde in Udupi.

A file photo of a Savayava Santhe at the Raitha Seva Kendra at Doddanagudde in Udupi.  

The number has gone up to 1,237 this year from 466 in 2018

The number of farmers opting for organic and natural farming in Udupi district has more than doubled thanks to the initiatives taken by the State government, and also the increasing awareness among farmers about their importance.

According to the Department of Agriculture here, there were 466 farmers following organic and natural farming in 520 hectares of land under various government schemes in 2018. But this number increased to 1,237 farmers and the area under organic and natural farming cultivation has risen to about 900 hectares this year.

The programmes under which farmers have opted for natural and organic farming include Zero Budget Natural Farming and Organic Farming and Certification Programme. Besides farmers who are registered as organic farmers under government schemes, there are 35 farmers who are following organic farming on their own.

As many as 747 farmers registered under the Zero Based Natural Farming scheme are following natural farming in 438.74 hectares in villages such as Hanehalli, Cherkady, Shirva, Japti, Yelajit, Bellala, Irvathur, Nallur and Chara in the district.

As many as 291 farmers were following organic farming in 180 hectares in villages, including Moodukadur, Yedmeru, Halady, Kodlady, Heroor, Belanje, Jarkala, Irvathur and Cherkady.

These farmers normally cultivated paddy, coconuts, vegetables, arecanut, black pepper and cashew.

They sold their produce at the Savayava Santhe (Organic Market) held in Udupi every Sunday, and in the three outlets run by Dakshina Kannada, Chikkamagaluru and Udupi Districts Regional Cooperative Organic Farmers Associations Federation Ltd. under a tie-up with private entities in Udupi, Manipal and Malpe, daily.

“There is a good demand for vegetables and other agricultural and horticultural crop grown using organic and natural farming methods. This can be seen by the number of people who visit the Savayava Santhe here,” said Satish, Technical Officer, Department of Agriculture.

Another reason is that the farmers have realised the value of organic and natural farming. Srinivas Bhat, a farmer who follows organic farming method in nine acres at Kudi village, said that farmers were switching to organic and natural farming because soil gets enriched in the long run.

“Vegetables and other agricultural and horticultural crops have comparatively longer life. They are more pest resistant. Though the yield is less in the beginning, later it gets steady, benefiting the farmers,” he said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 12:40:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/farmers-opting-for-organic-natural-farming-on-the-rise/article29684697.ece

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