The Kerala Government has created an Organic Farming Mission to encourage the adoption of sustainable organic and climate-smart farming practices in the State.
The mission aims at expanding organic farming to 5,000 hectares in Kerala in the next five years through an annual target of 1,000 hectares.
Kerala Agriculture Minister P. Prasad announced the formation of the Mission in Thiruvananthapuram on November 8, 2023. The government had formally issued orders related to the mission on October 26, 2023.
In farms run by the State Agriculture department, at least 10% of the area will be set aside for organic farming practices. Another mandate of the mission is to make sure that selected beneficiaries/farms of organic farming schemes pursue the system at least for five years.
In 2010, the Kerala Government had announced the Organic Farming Policy. In its election manifesto, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) had also promised an institutionalised mechanism for promoting organic farming.
Organic farming protocol
The mission will take steps to expand the system for certification, branding and marketing of organic agricultural products from Kerala. An organic farming protocol, which is in sync with protocols prevalent at the national and international levels, will be implemented as part of the activities for improving the marketing potential.
The mission will also focus on value addition of organic products.
Another important task of the mission is ensuring that farmers have access to good-quality seeds and production equipment/materials. This will be ensured through small-scale units, Krishikoottam collectives, the Karshika Karma Sena, Kudumbasree, Krishisree Centre, and the Agro Service Centres.
The mission will also take the initiative to formulate organic farming schemes in every Assembly constituency in Kerala in collaboration with the Krishikoottam collectives and farmer producer organisations (FPO). A governing council chaired by the Agriculture Minister and an executive committee with members drawn from the heads of government departments and farm sector institutions will manage the affairs of the mission.
In September 2023, the Kerala Government had issued orders creating the Poshaka Samriddhi Mission to step up production of millets and vegetables.