Yogi Adityanath seeks increase in incentives for natural farming


PTI, Apr 25, 2022, 5:09 PM IST

Stating that the Uttar Pradesh government will implement natural farming in 135 state-owned farms from the upcoming kharif season, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday demanded that the Centre should raise the incentive for natural farming to Rs 31,000 per hectare besides making a budget allocation for carrying out branding and marketing of the produce.

Currently, as many as 542 progressive farmers are successfully practising natural farming in the state on around 527 hectares of land. Their services will be utilised as key resource persons to promote natural farming in various districts, he said.

Addressing virtually a ‘national workshop on innovative agriculture’ organised by Niti Aayog in Delhi, Adityanath said, ”Implementation of cow-based natural farming in the state will help in the protection and promotion of cow breeds as well.” Use of cow dung and urine will improve soil health and reduce use of imported chemical fertilisers. Use of crop residue in natural farming and its use in mulching will also help curb stubble burning, he said.

The chief minister emphasised on the need to protect mother earth and said natural farming will help achieve multiple goals including conservation of natural resources, environment, enhance farmers income and people’s health.

As the government prepares a roadmap on natural farming, Adityanath demanded that ”incentive to farmers for natural farming should be enhanced and brought at par with the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) incentive of Rs 31,000 per hectare.” Under the PKVY, Rs 50,000 per hectare is provided for organic farming, which includes farmer incentive amount of Rs 31,000 per hectare for a period of three years. Under its sub-scheme Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddati (BPKP), Rs 21,000 per hectare is provided, out of which farmers incentive is only Rs 2,000 per hectare, he said.

Highlighting the marketing challenges faced by farmers doing organic or natural farming, the chief minister said value addition of products and their marketing is one of the biggest challenges as he suggested the Centre includes in the scheme guidelines a budget for activities related to branding and marketing.

Since assessment of soil health and presence of organic carbon before sowing and after harvesting is necessary, the CM said an appropriate budget needs to be provided for conducting the soil tests.

Highlighting steps taken to promote natural farming in UP, Adityanath said the state has been promoting this method of farming for the last two years. Demonstration plots have been organised in the fields of five agricultural universities, Krishi Vighyan Kendras, 10 regional agricultural testing and demonstration centers and state agricultural management institute, Rehmandkheda, Lucknow.

In addition, under the centrally-funded scheme of BPKP, an action plan of Rs 82.82 crore has been approved by the central government for 35 districts of the state covering an area of 38,670 hectares. The programme will be implemented for three years starting from Kharif this year, he said.

Horticulture and agro-forestry have also been included in natural farming within 10 km of river Ganga in selected districts under the Namami Ganga program. This will benefit more than 2 lakh farmers.

Stating that Bundelkhand region of the state has traditionally been practising natural farming in different forms, the chief minister said to promote it further it is proposed to set up clusters of 500 to 1000 hectares in all the 47 development blocks of all seven districts of the region.

About 47,000 hectare area will be targeted in the next five years with the project cost of Rs 175.46 crore, benefiting 1.17 lakh farmers, he added.

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