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HIMOARD scripts success stories in organic farming in Himachal Pradesh

Y.S.Rana | October 04, 2019 04:42 PM

CHANDIGARH: Without doubt, the organic farming is conundrum but Himachal Pradesh needs to go forward with bio-safe agricultural practice. Bimlo mixes cow dung and manure in the field, hoping for a better yield this time. She is a part of the growing army of organic farmers of Himachal Pradesh who have taken the leap from conventional to organic farming with the anticipation of premium returns and healthy farms.

Agent of this change is Himalayan Organization for Organic Agri-Product Research and Development (HIMOARD), which is spearheading organic farming in the state. It was started with participation of barely 139 farmers in 2000, now has 26000 farmers in its fold.   

Dr R.Minhas, president of the organization stated that the society was primarily engaged in promotion of organic farming in the State to raise the economic status of small and marginal farmers making up 90 per cent of the total number of farmers in the state. Its approach and persuasion, has resulted in increase of bio-agents of soil.

While talking to PBD, he said that they were doing organic projects for department of agriculture, Himachal Pradesh in districts Chamba, Kangra, Una, Mandi, Kinnour, Kullu and Lahul and Spiti. Besides, providing consultancy to North East States under UNDP programe and have visited and organized training sessions to farmers in Arunachal Pradesh at Tenzingang. HIMOARD has also taken up an organic project in Leh of J and K and Tinsukhia of Assam with the support of National Horticulture Board MoA GOI.

Recipients of National Award for Excellence in Horticulture sector through Co-operative Development given by National Productivity Council Ministry of Commerce, the largest certified organic farmers group in north India. HIMOARD also organized training programe for organic farming under forest sector reforms and Mid Himalayan watershed projects. The organic projects have been pursued with the financial support of state government and government of India, reveals Dr Minhas.

Under Parmpragat Krishi Vikas Yojna a project is being pursued in district kullu. The organization haaregistered and certified 670 farmers under PGS system, supplying certified organic apple Rajmah, Potato, dry fruits  to top Indian companies.                        

“Our efforts have paid dividends to the farmers that on one hand they are fully protecting the environment, health of the society and are providing chemical free produce to the consumers. The best part of our efforts has been that we have been able to obtain optimum yield and value addition to our produce with a wide open market for our produce in consumer market.” Says he.

it can make significant contribution towards fulfilling the twin objectives of food and income securities, besides capturing global organic market for the commodities country can create a strong niche. It is expected that by 2020 organic farming will develop into one of the dynamic agriculture sector in India.

Dwelling on the progress of the organization, Dr Minhas said that the organization has obtained certification for 132 farms in the years 2006 from Skal international certifications (now CUC Netherlands) covering a range of 9 products in the group of Temperate and Sub Tropical Fruits.   During the year 2008-09 it got certification for 644 farms from USOCA covering a range of 47 products including Fruits, Cereals, Pulses, Vegetables and Medicinal Plants grown in an area of 981 Ha, qualifying standards for NPOP (India), EU 2092/91 (European Commission) and NOP (USA). During 2009-10 obtained certification for 893 farms with an area of 1122 Ha covering a range of 47 products. In 2016-17  it has obtained certification for 13500 farmers from three certification agencies accredited from APEDA MOC GOI.  The farmers sold products valuing Rs. 19.5 lacs and procured orders valuing Rs. 20 crores for certified organic products during these organic events.

HIMOARD has its own Plant Health Clinic, Soil and leaf/ tissue analysis laboratory,  providing diagnostic services to identify disease/ problems along with possible remedies and suggested an appropriate use of inputs to supplement the required nutrient. It also provides marketing platform to the registered growers.  “The organic produce gets value addition as compared to conventional produce, attracting larger participation of farmers in promotion of organic farming,” believes Dr Minhas.

Besides it has invited Mr Paul Dutter Certification inspector from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Organic India (IITC), INDOCERT, ICCOA and IFOAM (International Federation on Organic Agriculture Movement) Germany to impart training to Master Trainers of the organization.

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