The state government has come up with a comprehensive project on creating viable and sustainable farm livelihoods by promoting organic farming in the kharif season on the lines of that in Sikkim where more than 90% of the crops are produced with organic supplements.
Towards that end, the state government has earmarked 130 out of 566 clusters in all the 116 mandals of 13 districts on a pilot basis to benefit nearly 10 lakh farmers over a period of three years. Around 2.5 lakh acres of agricultural land will be covered as part of the project as each cluster comprises 1,500-2,000 acre.
A special training in this regard was also given to around 5,000 farmers at Kakinada in East Godavari district in April this year in the presence of eminent Indian agriculturist Subhash Palekar, who practices zero budget natural farming and has written several books on the subject.
Vizianagaram district agriculture department joint director GSNS Leelavathi said they have identified around 1,600 acres of agricultural land in the district for organic farming. “This is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the state. We will train the farmers on the use of organic supplements such as cow dung, cattle urine and many other supplements that are available abundantly. We will also give priority to producing vegetables and horticulture products on a large scale under the project,” Leelavathi said.
Meanwhile, another senior official from the agriculture department in Visakhapatnam district said organic farming will be helpful to the farmers as the district has vast farmland with deficiency of zinc, nitrogen, iron, calcium and potash.
According to T Vijay Kumar, special chief secretary to the government (agriculture), the Andhra Pradesh director of agriculture will take all the necessary action for successful implementation of the project.